Taylor looking to make impact

  • Last Updated: September 25 2013, 12:27 BST

Lochend light-welterweight Josh Taylor will haul the weight of history all the way to Kazakhstan next month when he bids to become the first Scottish boxer to win a medal at the World Amateur Championships.

Josh Taylor: Aiming to make history

The 22-year-old Taylor believes he is as well-placed as any previous fighter from his nation to break that duck at a tournament which began in 1974, denying the opportunity to earlier greats like two-time Olympic medallist Dick McTaggart.

After years of sporadic success at best, the Scottish programme has been boosted by the success of Taylor in establishing himself on the GB podium squad in Sheffield at the same time as Glasgow's Ricky Burns still reigns - just - as a professional world lightweight champion.

And having moved back up to his favoured 64kg limit after being forced to boil down to lightweight in 2012 in order to realise his dream of going to the London 2012 Olympics, Taylor says he could not wish to be in better shape.

"I still have to diet to make the weight but it's nothing like as dramatic as what I used to have to do to get down to 60kg - I couldn't afford to have a single day off or I wouldn't make it," said Taylor.

"I'm comfortable at 64kg and I'm feeling very strong. Last year was really tough for me because I spent six months boiling down to go to the Olympic qualifier, then I had to do the same again just to make it to the Olympics."

Taylor stepped in some big shoes at the Games, becoming the first Scottish lightweight to represent Great Britain since the great McTaggart more than half a century before, but in the circumstances it was no surprise he should fail to muscle in on the medal rounds.

After a fine start beating Brazilian Robson Conceicao in his opening bout, Taylor was unfortunate to come up against Italy's former world champion Domenico Valentino in the last 16, where he was the first British boxer to be eliminated.

Taylor added: "Getting down to 60kg was the only way I was going to get to the Olympics and it was all I'd ever wanted to do, so there was no choice to make. I would do the same all over again if I had to.

"I was down for a few months afterwards but I soon readjusted my focus and I have the Glasgow Commonwealth Games to look forward to. For me it is going to be just as big as the Olympics and I can't wait to experience it again."

The home Games could hardly come at a better time for Scottish boxing with Burns' success inspiring a new generation of prospective stars, and Taylor being joined by at least one more Scottish team-mate - middleweight Aston Brown - in Almaty.

Taylor added: "There's a lot of talented boxers in Scotland just now and the scene is really buzzing because of Ricky. People are seeing him up there and it's giving them a lot of belief if he can do it, why can't they?

"It's a great honour to represent Scotland at the World Championships and it would be amazing to come back as Scotland's first orld champion. It's an incredibly tough competition but I see no reason why I can't go all the way."

Scotland have yet to confirm their full squad for the World Championships. Taylor and Brown have been selected by the British Amateur Boxing Association, with Amateur Boxing Scotland expected to supplement the team with their own choices at a later date.


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