Josh Taylor confident of WBSS progression, predicts semi-final opponent
Josh Taylor believes victory is assured as the Scottish number two seed prepares to host undefeated American Ryan Martin in his World Boxing Super Series Super Lightweight Quarter-Final at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow on November 3.
Taylor begins his quest for The Ali Trophy in familiar territory as he returns to the Glasgow arena where he claimed Commonwealth gold as an amateur in 2014 and this year recorded impressive back-to-back wins over Nicaraguan danger man Winston Campos and former World Champion Viktor Postol.
“I feel that The SSE Hydro is definitely my home arena and my home in boxing,” said the 27-year-old. “I’ve had such great success there since the Commonwealth Games in 2014, and also my two biggest victories as a professional. I don’t think there is anyone who is going to beat me in front of the fans in the Hydro. The atmosphere, the noise they make and the support they give. They throw every punch with me. There is no way anybody is going to beat me at The SSE Hydro.”
With three weeks to go, the Scottish boxer, who holds the WBC Silver Super Lightweight strap, is eager to get underway as he looks to establish himself as the number one 140lber by lifting the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy.
“I am so excited for this tournament to start,” he says. “It is such a massive opportunity for me not just in terms of my boxing but also building my profile all around the world. It’s a global tournament so after this quarter-final, which I believe I will win, the semi-final could be anywhere. I am really looking forward to being involved and fighting all over the world in the name of the great Muhammad Ali. I promise I won’t let any of my fans down”
Taylor’s first test will see him squares-off against the highly rated Ohio resident Martin. With an extensive amateur background and undefeated in his 22 professional contests, Taylor is aware of the threat the American poses.
“I’ve studied enough of him to know what I need to watch for,” said Taylor. “I know he is a very well rounded fighter. He’s got fast hands, he’s good defensively, he’s got a good variety of punches and he knows his way around the ring. He’s obviously got power as well although his record doesn’t suggest it with only 12 stoppages from 22 wins, I know he is going to be able to punch and he’s going to be strong so I’ve got my hands full but I’m fully confident I’m going to come out on top.”
If successful, Taylor will meet the winner Ivan Baranchyk and Anthony Yigit, who contest the IBF World title on October 27 in New Orleans in another of the Super Lightweight bracket’s hotly anticipated quarter-finals. The Edinburgh-boxer gives Baranchyk the edge but says he is confident of overcoming either of his potential semi-final opponents.
“I don’t care who wins,” says Taylor. “I think Baranchyk will probably get through that, but I’m confident of beating him. If Yigit wins, I know I will win that fight as well. I’ve got experience with him in the ring as a professional and I’ve had experience with him as an amateur so I know I’m comfortable in winning that fight as well so I’m not really bothered who I face.”
“In fact, I’m not really fussed about any of the opposition in the tournament. I think I can beat every single one of them. That being said they’re all very good fighters. They’ve all had good amateur careers and they’re all stiff competition, but I’m fully confident I’m going to come away with that trophy.”
Fans at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow will be treated to a spectacular double header featuring two Quarter-Final contests as Scottish Su-per Lightweight star Josh Taylor takes on the undefeated Ameri-can Ryan Martin, and Northern Ireland’s WBA World Champion Ryan Burnett meets former four-weight World Champion Nonito Donaire in one of Season II’s Bantamweight contests.
Tickets from £35 (plus fees) are available at: thessehydro.com