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Josh Taylor in no rush to step up to welterweight

Josh Taylor in no rush to step up to welterweight
© Reuters
Josh Taylor could become the first British undisputed world champion in the four-belt era.

Josh Taylor insisted he is in no rush to move up to welterweight ahead of his attempt to make history in the division below.

The Scot has previously suggested he will one day campaign at 147lbs, where his idol Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford, widely-regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters, are among the current world champions.

Crawford immediately stepped up after unifying the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO light-welterweight titles, which Taylor can emulate if he defeats Jose Ramirez to become the first British undisputed world champion in the four-belt era.

While Taylor (17-0, 13KOs) will be chasing the biggest names after this weekend, the Prestonpans fighter suggested he could continue to remain in a division where he has operated for a lot of his amateur and professional career.

Josh Taylor could become the first British undisputed world champion in the four-belt era this Saturday (Jeff Holmes/PA)
Josh Taylor could become the first British undisputed world champion in the four-belt era this Saturday (Jeff Holmes/PA)

The 30-year-old told the PA news agency: "Every fight for me now is a big fight. I've got the target on my back, I'm the number one in the division so everybody wants what I've got.

"I am not going to be short of options for big fights. I'm still making the weight comfortably, I'm not going to be in a rush to jump to 147lbs so we'll just see what options come after the fight and what comes my way.

"Everyone is on the radar and if they're wanting to have a fight and everything's right for me as well then yeah, why not? I'll fight absolutely anybody. Literally, I'd fight my own shadow, I'm not scared to fight anybody."

Taylor, who holds the WBA and IBF titles, is adamant his only focus is on WBC and WBO champion Ramirez (26-0, 17KOs) but if he prevails in Las Vegas and decides to stay at 140lbs, there is an obvious candidate to face.

Jack Catterall, right, is the WBO light-welterweight mandatory challenger (Dave Thompson/PA)
Jack Catterall, right, is the WBO light-welterweight mandatory challenger (Dave Thompson/PA)

Jack Catterall has been the WBO mandatory challenger since August 2019 but stepped aside to allow Ramirez to fight Taylor, who is therefore keen to reward the unbeaten Lancashire southpaw if he has his hand raised on Saturday.

"I think Jack's a great fighter, he's done a good thing in letting me step aside and fight Ramirez first, given the amount of time he's been mandatory as well," Taylor added.

"He's done a good thing so I would like to try to maybe honour my word and give him his fight next but I need to see what options come my way.

"If a bigger and better fight comes my way then I'll go for that and then I'll fight Catterall after that as well.

"But I'm not bothered about Catterall right now, I couldn't give a monkey's about Terence Crawford or any other fighter. All I'm thinking about right now is Jose Ramirez, that's all that matters to me."

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Josh Taylor poses with his belts after winning the fight against Thailand's Apinun Khongsong on September 26, 2020
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Saturday's key events


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· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

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