Josh Taylor (12-0, 11KOs) remains undefeated after making light work of Winston Campos (30-4-5, 18KOs) in front of the Glasgow faithful on Saturday night. But what next for Taylor and how far can he go?
The Scotsman sits at number 2 in the British rankings just behind Manchester-based fighter Terry Flanagan (33-0, 13KOs) who takes on the undefeated American Maurice Hooker (20-0-3, 16KOs) on April 14 at the O2 Arena in London for the vacant WBO super-lightweight title. ‘Turbo’ Terry was the WBO lightweight champion until he vacated his title last year to step up into the 140lbs division.
Even though Josh Taylor has only had 12 professional fights he has been dispatching strong opponents already which is why there is already talks of a possible world title shot. For me the first step should be to try and dethrone fellow southpaw Flanagan and become the number 1 fighter in Britain before challenging for world titles.
A fight between Taylor and Flanagan would be huge, not only in the north of England and Scotland but in the UK as a whole. Taylor has a massive Scotish following and Flanagan has a decent fan base so you can just imagine the atmosphere.
Sounds great in hindsight but the boxing game is a little more complicated when it comes to negotiating fights, especially when two different promoters and television companies are involved.
With all that being said it is still very early doors for the 27-year old but I can see why there is an urgeny to push him through quickly because he clearly has a lot of ability. I believe he should continue to pick off the fighters above him in the world rankings to established himself as the number one contender.
The division is wide open especially with undisputed super-lightweight champion Terrence Crawford (32-0, 23KOs) out of the picture and now competing in the 147lb glamour division. Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30KOs) is the next big name but he has already indicated that he will also move up to 147lbs. That is of course after he attemps to become a 4-weight division champion against IBF holder Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10KOs) on Saturday night.
One fighter that I am certain the Tartan Tornado would love to fight is Ricky Burns conqueror Julius Indongo (22-1, 11KOs). The Namibian outclassed Burns in front of the Scotish faithful so I’m sure they would love to see Taylor seek revenge for that defeat. Indongo is in action for the first time since his defeat to Crawford against undefeated Regis Prograis on March 9.
Also in action on Saturday night is another undefeated fighter Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13KOs) of Cuba who takes on Kiryl Relikh (21-2, 19KOs) at the Freeman Coliseum in Texas, US for the vacant WBA strap. I do think the Belarusian will just fall short again like in their first encounter but he would be the perfect opponent for someone like Taylor who is on the rise.
Opponents like a Relikh, Ukrainian Viktor Postol (29-1, 12KOs) or Frenchman Mohamed Mimoune (20-2, 2KOs) would be challenging enough for Taylor right now. These are the type of fights that will set him up nicely for the massive ones in the future.
There are plenty of other solid opponents within the 140lb division that could cause Taylor problems with so many scrambling for a title shot. Englishmen Jack Catterall (19-0, 10KOs) would be a good domestic dust up or maybe Russian Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24KOs) his only defeat came against Indongo.
Two more undefeated fighters are Sweden’s Anthony Yigit (21-0, 7KOs) and Antonio Orozo (26-0, 17KOs) of Mexico. The list goes on but one thing is it sure if Josh Taylor can continue to make waves at this point in his career then he could well end up with a title shot quicker than expected.
I don’t think any fighter in this division sells tickets or brings a fan base quite like Taylor does. If you add his talent to that then this kid has all he ingredients to go right to the very top.