Tay­lor is hav­ing time of his life as he eyes big­gest prize

The Scotsman - - Sports Digest -

Josh Tay­lor ap­pre­ci­ates the op­por­tu­nity he has been given in life and in­tends to en­joy the ride while he can. The Ed­in­burgh boxer ac­knowl­edged that, as a pro­fes­sional ath­lete, his ca­reer in the lime­light won’t last for­ever.

“I’m en­joy­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s not go­ing to last so this will be the best time of my life. I’m get­ting paid for do­ing some­thing I love,” he said can­didly at yes­ter­day’s fi­nal press con­fer­ence ahead of to­mor­row night’s bout with Mex­i­can Miguel Vazquez, the for­mer IBF world light­weight cham­pion, at the Royal High­land Cen­tre in Ed­in­burgh.

The 26-year-old’s last vic­tory over the pre­vi­ously un­de­feated Ohara Davies in July pro­pelled the Scot up the world rank­ings [No 6 in the WBC] where an­other tri­umph this week­end, he be­lieves, would take him to within touch­ing dis­tance of the big­gest prize of them all.

“I have to get through this one but I don’t feel any pres­sure, I en­joy it and soak it all up. Live for the mo­ment I say,” the cur­rent WBC Sil­ver and Com­mon­wealth su­per light­weight cham­pion said with pur­pose.

“I’ve al­ways be­lieved that I can go on and be a world cham­pion so it’s no sur­prise that I’m do­ing well, without sound­ing big-headed.”

Tay­lor ad­mits his new-found fame has had its ad­van­tages of late. When asked if he has been recog­nised when out and about on the streets of the cap­i­tal, he said: “A

0 Josh Tay­lor, left, with Miguel Vazquez yes­ter­day at the fi­nal press con­fer­ence be­fore the fight to­mor­row. wee bit more, yes. Es­pe­cially after the last fight so you have to give Ohara a wee bit of credit for that with all the talk­ing he did be­fore­hand in big­ging up the fight. Ev­ery­body wanted to see him get­ting beat so that upped my pro­file as well.

“I was out shop­ping with my mate after the last fight and we were go­ing to go for a few drinks after. The guy work­ing there recog­nised me and gave me a few quid off the stuff, which was good. I bought three or four pairs of jeans and hegave­mea­cou­ple­ofthem­for noth­ing.

“Then, when we went out for drinks, there were guys buy­ing me a few pints. I hardly spent a penny so it was bril­liant. I ended up go­ing home with more money than I went out with!”

For now, though, hit­ting the pubs and clubs in town couldn’t be fur­ther from the Pre­ston­pans fighter’s mind.

Tay­lor is only too aware of the threat Vazquez poses to end­ing his un­de­feated record. The Mex­i­can, who is four years Tay­lor’s se­nior, has shared the ring with some of the very best in the busi­ness and come through those bouts un­scathed.

The 30-year-old has 39 wins to his name from 44 pro­fes­sional con­tests and is yet to lose by knock­out. How­ever, the 2014 Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal­list sees no rea­son why he can’t write him­self into the his­tory books as be­ing the first man to do so.

“Once the first bell rings we’ll see how he fights. I ex­pect that he’s go­ing to wait on me try­ing to at­tack him be­cause he’s a counter-puncher. I’m go­ing to be pa­tient but keep the pres­sure on and out­work him,” Tay­lor said. “I think I can out­last him. If I feel tired I can take a rest at some point as I can’t go full pelt for 36 min­utes. I don’t think he’ll push the fight, it will be down to me.

“I’ve been in camp for 14 weeks now and I’m in the best shape of my life. But this guy has only lost to top-level fight­ers so I’ll need to be at the top of my game.

“I am con­fi­dent, though, I can stop him but I’m not too both­ered about the knock­out as it’s about putting in a strong per­for­mance and dom­i­nat­ing him.

“It would be a huge state­ment to stop him and it would re­ally get my name out there in the box­ing world.

“Even if I don’t stop him, if I bat­ter him about then peo­ple will take no­tice. The win is the most im­por­tant thing.” Jake Ball has told team­mates that his sprained an­kle is feel­ing “sore” after it forced him out of Eng­land’s at­tack.

Ball, pic­tured, did not re­turn after fall­ing over in his de­liv­ery stride in his fourth over, hav­ing al­ready taken one Cricket Aus­tralia XI wicket on day two of four in Eng­land’s pink-ball trial match at the Ade­laide Oval.

After the tourists fin­ished on five for none in their sec­ond in­nings un­der lights, 65 runs to the good over­all fol­low­ing CA’S dec­la­ra­tion on 233 for nine, Ball’s fel­low seamer Chris Woakes re­ported Eng­land are un­sure as yet how bad the in­jury is.

Woakes said: “He didn’t re­ally know the ex­tent of it, but just said it was quite sore. He said that it went un­der­neath him.”

Ball’s in­jury to his right an­kle comes just two days after an­other seamer, Steven Finn, had to fly home from the Ashes for a pos­si­ble op­er­a­tion on torn car­ti­lage in his left knee. Woakes ad­mits Finn’s ab­sence for the en­tire cam­paign is a “big loss”, but in­sists Eng­land will be able to cope with the at­tack – led by James An­der­son and Stu­art Broad – which is left be­hind.

“I don’t think it’s a con­cern,” he said. “We’ve got a good unit in the dress­in­groom who are will­ing to put in the hard yards.

“I think we can all cause some prob­lems out here with what we’ve got.”

Ball had been quickly into his stride on tour so far, in the first warm-up match in Perth and here.

Woake­sadded:“he’sbeen bowl­ing nicely on this trip so far, so when you see a fel­low fast bowler go off the field – par­tic­u­larly the way he did it, fall­ing un­der him­self – it’s quite frus­trat­ing for him and us as a team.”

Eng­land’s cur­rently de­pleted re­sources were il­lus­trated when 41-yearold field­ing coach Paul Colling­wood was pressed into sub­sti­tute du­ties for an over in the mid­dle ses­sion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.