There will come a point in his career when Josh Taylor sets his sights on the elite welterweight fighters.
That day will come on his terms, though, and at a point when he feels there is nothing less to accomplish at junior welterweight. For now, the plan in 2022 is to stick it out at his optimal weight, with England’s Jack Catterall (26-0, 13KOs) next to challenge the reigning undisputed champion on February 26 at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.
“I make the weight, piece of cake. I can really do my whole career at 140 if I really wanted,” Taylor recently told Boxing Social. “I may well stay at 140. We’ll see what happens in this fight with Jack. There are plenty of big fights both at 140 and 147.
“We need to make sure what happens on February 26 first. That’s what we’re focused on, and then we’ll focus on what happens next after that.”
Taylor (18-0, 13KOs) has landed in the high honorable mention section of the Fighter of the Year race in 2019 and 2021, having collected all four major junior welterweight titles and the lineal championship during those campaigns. The 2012 Olympian for Great Britain earned his place among pro boxing’s elite.
Back-to-back wins over a pair of unbeaten titlists in Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis in 2019 saw Taylor claim the IBF and WBA belts, respectively, along with top honors in the World Boxing Super Series tournament. Just one fight came of Taylor’s 2021 campaign, though a major one as the Scottish southpaw outlasted undefeated WBC/WBO titlist Jose Ramirez to earn a twelve-round, unanimous decision in their thriller last May 22 in Las Vegas.
The natural course of progression for the small handful of undisputed male champions—especially in the four-belt era–has been to immediately move on to the next weight division. Taylor isn’t quite there yet, as he believes the right fight—or fights—can keep him at junior welterweight division beyond his upcoming showdown versus Catterall.
“I’m making 140 real comfortable. There’s no talk of moving up just because I have to,” insists Taylor. I’m not struggling to make weight. My weight is good, it’s perfect. I could probably do my whole career at 140.
“[T]alk of me moving up is to achieve more in the sport. The only thing left for me at 140 is to win a domestic title, and I believe that, for me, is moving back a step. No disrespect to any of the lads over here, but I want to challenge at the world title level. I’ve won them all (at 140). The only way to win more is to move up to 147 and hopefully challenge the best fighters up there. That’s further down the line. I’m not even thinking about it at the moment.”