Former undisputed junior welterweight champion Josh ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor 19-1 (13) wants to fight three times in 2024 to kickstart his career.
The 33-year-old Scottish southpaw has made only cameo appearances since defeating Regis Prograis 29-2 (24) in the final of the World Boxing Super Series in October 2019, boxing just once each calendar year since.
Taylor, who was last in action in June when he lost his WBO junior welterweight title to Teofimo Lopez 19-1 (13) on points, is looking to change that this year.
“I can still do 140-pounds,” Taylor told Sky Sports. “I’m big enough and strong enough for 147 as well. [Undisputed welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford is] unrealistic just now for me. Get a good fight at welter and then hopefully get in for a title shot.
“Crawford vacating his belts and the belts all become fragmented and then I can get a shot hopefully at a title.”
Top Rank president Todd DuBoef, who promotes Taylor, is expecting there to be changes at the top of the 147-pound division with the 36-year-old Crawford 40-0 (31) facing a host of mandatory obligations after adding the WBC, WBA and IBF belts to his WBO strap with a dominant ninth-round knockout of Errol Spence Jr 28-1 (22) in July.
The IBF has already stripped Crawford of their belt and elevated undefeated 26-year-old phenom Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis 31-0 (28) to full championship status after the Omaha, Nebraska native let it be known he had no intention of facing him.
“I think you’ve also got to see what else happens with the welterweights,” DuBoef said to Sky Sports. “Crawford sitting on a lot of those titles, who knows what’s going to happen with that and I think Josh fits in very nicely with his ranking and obviously his body of work for some type of title in the 147-pounds division.”
One fight that would be seemingly easy to make would be against WBO number one contender and fellow lefty Giovani Santillan 32-0 (17) for the vacant belt if Crawford moves up in weight or is stripped of the title by the Puerto Rican-based sanctioning body. The WBO ranks Taylor at number five and both are promoted by Top Rank.
“That’s one that could be in-house. It would be made pretty easily as well. There’s a lot of big fights out there at 140- and 147-pounds. The future’s looking bright. I want to get back in as soon as possible and get the momentum going,” Taylor said.
All going to plan, Taylor will step back through the ropes in March or April.
“Then get out hopefully in the summer and then maybe once at the end of the year. Definitely two times next year, hopefully three,” Taylor said.
“I’m still in this game to be involved in big fights and I believe that I still haven’t reached my pinnacle yet, even though I have reached the pinnacle of the sport.
“I still feel that I can still achieve more and I’ve still got more to give. I can do everything without restrictions now, there’s no excuse why I can’t get back to my best.”