In his own words, Josh Taylor explains how he intends to leave his own legacy when he fights Jose Ramirez for the undisputed title on May 22 in Las Vegas
TRAINING for Jose Ramirez (on May 22) is going well. I started sparring last week, so it’s good to get the timing back and get the ringrust sorted out. So I’m feeling good, feeling ahead of schedule, feeling nice and fit.
The Ramirez fight has been on the horizon for a while. It could have happened during the World Boxing Super Series because Ramirez could have gone into that as well. We knew right after it that I would go for Ramirez.
It’s massive. This fight for me definitely is huge and a real motivator. It’s a chance for me to become the first four-belt undisputed world champion in Scotland and in Britain. So it’s a massive, massive achievement if I pull it off. I believe I will. So I feel that this is just huge for me and is going to cement my name in the history books and my legacy as one of the best boxers to do it in Britain.
It’s unbelievable. It’s almost unheard of how many fighters have achieved what I’ve achieved in so few fights. I’m really proud of my achievements so far in the game but this one will just be massive.
I’ve always said I want to fight the best. Even when I first started out as a professional I didn’t want to be fighting 10 or 15 journeymen. I felt that was a step back. I’d been to the pinnacle of the sport in the amateur game, I’d been to the Olympics, two World championships, two Europeans, two Commonwealth Games and countless multi-nations tournaments where I’d won gold medals and Best Boxer prizes. I knew that I had the class and I knew that I had the ability to fight and hang with the best so I didn’t want to waste time when I turned professional as I was already 25. I wanted to go for big fights as soon as possible.
I had a goal of becoming world champion, that was my ultimate goal to become a world champion. Everything else was a bonus after that. I never once thought I would be fighting for the undisputed title. You think to yourself that would be class but will it happen to me? Will that come along for me?
I do feel very privileged to be in this position but I’ve worked hard for it and I’ve earned my spot and I’ve earned my chance as well. So I feel proud and I’m really determined to pull this one off.
It’s not been easy at all. It’s been quite tough. It’s been a lot of years of sacrifice and dedication. I’ve spent most of my adult life away from home. Probably 80 per cent of my adult life I’m away from home and boxing. I’m earned my stripes. I’ve worked hard for it and I’ve dedicated myself to the sport and it’s paid off.
I’ve got the experience now in abundance as a pro so I don’t feel any pressure, any doubt. I’ve just got nothing but confidence going into this fight. Being involved in big fights myself, in the Hydro against Ivan Baranchyk and in the O2 against Regis Prograis, I’ve been involved in these big fights now. I’ve got the experience and also that experience of being in Vegas with Carl Frampton. I’ve had an abundance of experience in big events. I definitely know there’s going to be a crowd there but hopefully people can travel over. Hopefully the travel restrictions get lifted and we can get our travelling support going as well.
I think I know what to expect from Ramirez. He leaves it all in the ring. He puts it on you and puts pressure on you. I think I know what to expect from him. The fight will definitely have all action written all over it, given our two styles. I like to have a fight and I like to come forward and I like to put the pressure on as well. So it’s got the makings of being a complete and utter firefight. But I do believe I’ve got the better skills, more ability than him, the better boxing IQ. I just believe I’m better than him in every department. I do believe that it’s going to be a great fight for myself and a great performance from myself as well.