Prestonpans’ native Josh Taylor, 8 (7) – 0, is the hottest prospect in British and Irish boxing.
The Commonwealth super lightweight champion has lit up the pro game since he turned professional in July 2015 with a debut stoppage victory over Archie Weah in El Paso, Texas, USA. ‘The Tartan Tornado’ has produced some electric performances in the past eighteen months, including an immensely impressive fifth-round knockout victory over Derby’s Dave ‘Rocky’ Ryan for the vacant Commonwealth super lightweight title last October at the Meadowbank Arena.
That night Taylor proved he possesses the full array of skills needed to be a world class operator, blitzing the previously unbreakable Ryan and dropping the Derby man twice on the way to a comprehensive title winning performance. Last time out the popular Taylor dominated durable Arizona contender Alfonso Olvera on his Las Vegas debut. That lopsided eight-round points victory was one of the live featured bouts on Showtime in the USA, a hugely impressive step for the twenty-six year old 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
This Friday, March 24, Taylor faces off against his most experienced opponent to date in South African super lightweight champion Warren ‘The Warrior’ Joubert. The thirty-five year old Joubert, 26(11) – 4 – 5, fights out of Johannesburg’s Hot-Box gym under the tutelage of trainer Colin Nathan, and has defended his South African title twice in the last eight months since regaining it from fellow Johannesburg native Grant Fourie. Along the way Joubert also picked up the vacant WBA Pan African title and has beaten some tough domestic rivals such as Jason ‘Badman’ Bedeman.
Friday’s Commonwealth title fight also represents Joubert’s toughest fight of his career to date and the all-action South African champion will be looking to bring the heat when he challenges Scotland’s golden boy Josh Taylor at Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Arena. The stage is set for a classic Northern Hemisphere Vs Southern Hemisphere dust-up.
The Edinburgh crowd are in for a huge night of boxing on March 24 as Taylor vs Joubert headlines a stellar night of boxing at the Meadowbank Arena. Edinburgh’s undefeated Celtic super lightweight champion Jason Easton takes a big step up in class when he boxes Hungary’s dangerous Zoltan Szabo in an exciting ten-round super lightweight contest that acts as the chief support bout of the evening. The talented Easton looked dynamite in his last outing at the Meadowbank Arena when he destroyed Cardiff’s Rhys Saunders for the vacant Celtic super lightweight strap. In Hungary’s Szabo, 15(6) – 4, he faces his toughest test to date against a man who has stopped Ireland’s contender Stephen Ormond on a previous visit to these shores and defeated Wales’ then unbeaten Zack Davies in London last March.
Coalisland’s middleweight contender Conrad ‘Mr Dynamite’ Cummings also features on Friday’s big bill at the Meadowbank Arena in what looks set to be a thrilling championship bout. Cummings boxes Austria’s experienced Gogi ‘Lionheart’ Knezevic, 31(13) – 6 – 1, for the vacant WBO European middleweight title over twelve rounds.
Also on the bill, Kelty’s undefeated middleweight prospect Connor Law takes on France’s teak-tough Francis ‘Fighter Bomber’ Tchoffo in an eight-round middleweight contest, while Haddington’s popular Iain Trotter boxes in a four-round middleweight contest against Hungary’s Sandor Jozsa. Surrey’s undefeated heavyweight sensation Nick Webb, 10(9) – 0, also features on Friday night’s Meadowbank Arena card. The big punching Webb fights in Edinburgh for the second time in his impressive pro career when he takes on Germany’s durable Andre Bunga in a six-round international heavyweight contest.
The SPIKE UK channel is a free-to-air service located on Freeview (Channel 31), Freesat (Channel 141), Sky (Channel 160), Virgin Media (Channel 154), BT TV (Channel 31) and Talk Talk (Channel 31). Taylor vs Joubert will be live on SPIKE UK from 8pm on Friday March 24.
QUOTES FROM THE EDINBURGH PRESS CONFERENCE
JOSH TAYLOR QUOTE: “It’s great to be back home in Edinburgh.
The last time at the Meadowbank the atmosphere was brilliant but this time I’m expecting it to be even louder! I’ve been down in London training like a mad man for this fight with Shane (McGuigan) and I’m hungrier than ever.
“I’ve left no stone unturned for this, I can’t wait to put on a show for my home fans, who are the best fans in the world!”
WARREN JOUBERT QUOTE: “We’ve been in Edinburgh for a couple of days, they are nice people and have been very hospitable. We know we are here for a tough fight but they don’t call me the warrior for nothing, we’re here to win!
“We know he (Taylor) can fight, we’ve seen a good bit of footage of him but professional boxing is different to amateur. He’s only had eigh professional fights, I’ve had 35, I’m the experienced one. That experience is going to be a big factor on Friday night.”
BARRY McGUIGAN QUOTE: “It’s fantastic to be back here in Edinburgh. Josh Taylor is bringing in big big audiences now with his crowd pleasing style. Joubert is coming all the way from South Africa with a big team, we know he’s hungry. These boys are here to win but I have every confidence Josh will win and win in style.
“It’s a huge night for Edinburgh boxing with Jason Easton in a big test against Hungary’s dangerous Zoltan Szabo and Connor Law taking on France’s wily Francis Tchoffo. Conrad Cummings is also in a big fight against Gogi Knezevic for the WBO European middleweight title. Edinburgh get ready, it’s going to be a genuinely unmissable night of boxing on March 24 at the Meadowbank Arena.”
SHANE McGUIGAN QUOTE: “The progress that Josh Taylor has made in the gym is phenomenal. We’ve been working together for over a year and a half now and we have put in a lot of time, day in day out, in the gym.
“He has been getting fantastic sparring against top fighters including the likes of Shawn Porter, and he is doing very well and improving all of the time. Josh is a superb fighter who is developing and getting better and better every day.
“Warren (Joubert) looks like a tough cookie who has come to win so this fight is a perfect platform for Josh to show his fans how much he has progressed.”
COLIN NATHAN (JOUBERT’S COACH) QUOTE: “I’d like to thank Cyclone Promotions for this opportunity. We know what we are up against, Josh is a good fighter. We’re expecting a tough fight on Friday night, but we didn’t come here for a holiday, why would we come to Scotland for a holiday – it’s freezing! We are here to win.”
JASON EASTON QUOTE: “I’d like to start by thanking Cyclone for this opportunity. Training has been going so well. I feel a lot fitter and stronger since my last fight. I’m expecting ten hard rounds on Friday night at Meadowbank.
“I was there when Szabo stopped Stephen Ormond, he’s a tough tough man. But I believe I’m the better fighter and I will win this fight in style.”
CONRAD CUMMINGS QUOTE: “I’m very happy to be up here in Edinburgh. Ronny Mittag pulled out of our rematch (originally set for March 10 in Cardiff) but I’d like to thank my team for quickly sorting out this fantastic opportunity to fight for the WBO European Title.
“The winner gets a top 15 ranking with the WBO so there is a lot at stake and I’m ready to grab the title on Friday night.”
Doors will open at 5.30pm at the Meadowbank Arena in Edinburgh on Friday March 24, with boxing starting at 6.15pm.
TICKETS FOR TAYLOR vs JOUBERT ARE ON SALE FROM TICKETMASTER.CO.UK AND ARE PRICED AT £40 AND £60 + HANDLING FEES.
VIP TICKETS PRICED £100 ARE AVAILABLE FROM CYCLONEPROMOTIONS.COM