The United Kingdom’s investment in the noble art of self-defense has paid hefty dividends of late. The country’s performances in recent years, both at the amateur and professional levels, is proof of it. Josh Taylor, a burgeoning 140-pound sharpshooter, looks to etch his name to the growing list of high-quality scrappers from this treasured island.
Born just east of Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, “The Tartan Tornado” had initially partaken in taekwondo before being directed to “the sweet science” to improve the coordination of his hands. It’s all seemed to work out well, as Taylor is fantastically efficient in all manners of fighting. His hand and footspeed, his timing, his punch radar, his power and fluidity of movement are all standout attributes that have helped him garner success.
As an amateur it helped carry him to the Olympics, becoming the first Scottish lightweight to qualify since the immensely experienced and talented Dick McTaggart did so in Rome’s 1960 Summer Games. It also won him a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games against Junias Jonas of Namibia, and permitted him strong showings in the World Series of Boxing, an amateur (semi-pro?) league designed to give fellas a taste of the pro field while maintaining their eligibility.
The aim, however, is obtaining championship status in the paid ranks. So far so good. Taylor has stopped every single one of his seven opponents without much of a hiccup. His crowning performance was in his last outing against veteran Dave Ryan for the Commonwealth title. Taylor looked every bit a good pro, tossing quick counters, accurate power shots, and banging hard to the liver, dropping the game Ryan in the 5th round from a blistering right hook to the body. He followed that up with the awe-inspiring ferocity you see exhibited from predators on the Animal Planet, pouncing on his wounded prey with a withering array of lefts and rights.
What is next for the 5’9-ish light-welterweight is a showdown with a soon-to-be-announced opponent on the Carl Frampton-Leo Santa Cruz undercard, a wonderful place for him to showcase what he’s got. I reckon he gets through that and a good number of future bouts, and, with the top brass at 140 either being knocked off or having future relocation plans, the road may be more easily traveled to his goals.
Josh Taylor said he wants to be Scotland’s greatest fistic combatant since Ken Buchanan. In regards to all of “The Tartan Tornado’s” plans, only time will tell if he will make it, but if he develops a jab anything like Buchanan’s, watch out and good luck.
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