Josh Taylor defends his unified IBF, WBA and Ring Magazine belts in a homecoming occasion at the Hydro in Glasgow on May 2 against the unbeaten Thai ApinunKhongsong. Taylor and the undercard fighters gathered today in Glasgow to preview the huge show, live on BT Sport, and below are a selection of the quotes.
It is definitely good to be back and it has been a long time coming. It will be good to get back out under the lights on such a big show, with Josh defending his titles in Glasgow, so it is good to come back on such a good card. Hopefully I will get a good fight, dust off the cobwebs and get back into the mix this year. That is the idea. Losing to Daniel Dubois was obviously a bitter pill to swallow because losing your 0 is not nice, but it is one of those things and I have taken it as experience, being only 23 years of age. In heavyweight terms I am still a baby and, as long as I move forward, that is my aim.
Josh, first and foremost, is a phenomenal fighter and has been since the amateur days. As someone who knows him personally I am proud of what he has achieved. I was quite surprised when I got offered a fight up in Glasgow on this date and was pleasantly surprised when I saw who the other fighters were on the bill. Everyone sat up here – except Steven Donnelly from Ireland – was on Team GB at some point and mostly at the same time as me. It just shows the strength in depth we have in this country. To be on the same card as my stablemate Lee is a big thing and I have come up to Glasgow three times in the past for his fights. All the fighters on this card have taken opportunities early, taken risks early and that is why they are sitting where they are sitting. I’m trying to get big meaningful fights and I worked so hard to get the British title in my possession that I don’t want to give it back and want to win it outright.
Troy has got a great record and you have to respect that. I know he has power where I have my boxing ability and I think that is what will pay off in this fight. It is a great fan-friendly fight and everyone was excited for it when it was announced. This is what I live for and what I have been asking for since my first few fights. There is no point fighting journeymen your whole career and, after this fight, every onewill be massive. If you take risks you will get rewards and that is what I’ve done. I had a great amateur career and I just knew I had the talent. We will respect each other and may the best man win on the night. I can’t wait for it.
Steven is a great fighter who has been to the Commonwealth Games at three different weights so he has got the boxing ability there and it will be a great fight, as he said. I don’t worry about his boxing ability because I can box myself and I have been in with world class amateurs too. It is not a three round fight, it is a ten rounder, so you can be as good an amateur as you like because it is the professional game. I have a lot of respect but on the night I will show I am the better fighter.
It will be good to fight at home sweet home because I only live about 20 minutes away and have a lot of friends and family here. It is time to shine. I’ve had 11 fights now and all I need to do is listen to Dominic Ingle and my manager Shelly Finkel, then I don’t think I can go wrong. Keeping on grafting in the gym is the only way forward for me, then titles will come and I will be ready. I’ve got big dreams and I am ready to accomplish them. When I moved to Sheffield it was all new for me, but I was looked after and there was always someone doing stuff for me. I am married now and I am getting my washing washed and not sleeping in the same underpants for three nights solid! It has worked out for the good and I am happy. She buys me fresh pyjamas from time to time so I have hit the jackpot!
First of all the Farooq fight was a fantastic one to be involved in and all of the UK were impressed with how good a fight it was. It was close and I had to dig deep and I got it on a split decision. I feel like everyone is entitled to an opinion I can accept, but some folk are coming on saying things I don’t agree with. It is something I am more than happy to put right if we get that chance with hopefully something bigger at stake next time. Having the British and Commonwealth titles means a lot and when I turned professional I didn’t imagine I would have then after just eight fights. It is massive for me and I am not finished yet. I want a big 2020 with more titles. I am glad to be on the same bill as Josh and bringing the big cards back to Scotland. I have learned so much off of Josh and will continue to do that.
It is good to be back here in Glasgow for the first time since unifying because I thought I would have been away in America. I am delighted to be back here having a homecoming sort of fight to treat my friends and family before going Stateside to chase the big fights. I am really excited to be part of a great card and the talent on the undercard is brilliant. It will be a great night of boxing so make sure you tune in. I believe I am going to get the result and take care of business, so I have to remain focused and get the job done. He has had 16 fights with 13 knockouts and I don’t know much more than that. He looks pretty tall and stands tall, but it is hard to judge the quality of the opponents he has been in with because there isn’t great footage. He looks like he carries a lot of power, to be honest, and punches correctly through the target. From the bits I have seen he has rocked his opponents so he looks like he carries power. He will have my full attention and I must make sure I am switched on because if I don’t get this job done then my dreams and ambitions are shattered.