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Josh Taylor looks north for next chapter of his career

Former undisputed junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor

Former undisputed junior welterweight champion Josh ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor 19-1 (13) looks set to continue his career at welterweight following his first professional loss.

In June the 32-year-old Scottish southpaw boiled his lengthy frame down to the 140-pound weight limit for one last time to face former undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez 19-1 (13) at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden.

Taylor lost a close but clear-cut decision by scores of 111-117 and 113-115 twice.

“I’m still a bit gutted about it all but I’m mostly angry with my performance because I’d prepared really well,” Taylor told the Edinburgh Evening News. “I was knocking out two, three sparring partners and made the weight perfect as well. There were no issues there.

“But I just think it was accumulation of things. I came back after the fourth round and said to my coach ‘my legs are gone’. I wasn’t able to do a lot of running in camp because of my injury with my foot and even when I got to New York I was struggling to sleep.

“Then there was all the media stuff on fight week as well. But there’s no excuses, he was better than me on the night and I’ve taken the defeat like a man. We move forward.

“Even when I was on my honeymoon, I sat for a couple of days a bit fed up and Danielle was asking what was wrong. But I’ve done my soul searching now, it is what is and it’s time to move on.

“I now don’t have any pressure on my shoulders whatsoever. I’ve had that since the lead up to the Commonwealth Games in 2014. That expectancy has just increased through the years. It’s kind of a little weight off my shoulders as that pressure is now gone. I’ve been carrying it for ten years.

“I have achieved more than I set out to in the sport so it’s now just about enjoying it. I’ve boxed in America four times as a pro, headlined the bill twice, once in Las Vegas when I became undisputed world champion, and then in June at Madison Square Garden.”

Taylor has long hinted at a move up in weight following his victory over Jose Carlos Ramirez in 2021 that saw him unify the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF titles. That seems more likely than ever in the wake of his recent loss.

“If I am staying at the same weight then the next couple of fights won’t be championship weight. But if I do move up then I’ll have a couple of fights and then hopefully get another crack at a world title,” Taylor said.

“I’m still very much in love with the sport so I still feel there is more to give. That passion hasn’t gone away. I need to get my toes wet again and then chase a couple of big fights.

“I’m still performing at the top level, I’m not being outclassed. I’ll hang the gloves up when I feel I am past my best. If I do move up to welter, there will be no going back to super light.”