Josh Taylor, who recently became the unified world super-lightweight champion, pleaded guilty to racial abuse after being arrested outside a nightclub
The timing was unfortunate, to say the least. In the early hours of Sunday (December 15), the day of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards event in Aberdeen, unified super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor – who many boxing fans were insisting should have been included in the shortlist for the main award – was a hundred miles south, getting arrested in Edinburgh for racially aggravated threatening and abusive behaviour.
Taylor, who security staff said was “clearly intoxicated”, was with friends at the city’s Shanghai nightclub before being asked to leave due to some form of disturbance. Once outside, Taylor, from nearby Prestonpans and who unified two 140lb belts in October by defeating Regis Prograis in a Fight of the Year contender, unleashed a torrent of abuse at the bouncers.
“You are all sh*te doorman,” 28-year-old Taylor apparently yelled. “You can’t fight for real.” He then exacerbated the situation by abusing one doorman in particular. “Your nose ring is gay”, “You are a gay-looking c***” and “You big orange-looking c***”, were the Scotsman’s insults of choice.
Taylor, an Olympian and undefeated in 16 pro fights, showed contrition in court, pleading guilty to the main charge and copping a £350 fine. Josh was also found not guilty of cocaine possession. He has since further addressed the matter on Twitter, posting the following:
“Whilst out celebrating with friends on Saturday in Edinburgh I made some stupid comments and poor decisions resulting in legal charges.
“I hold my hands up for making remarks which caused offence and I was rightfully found guilty of. I’m ashamed about the whole incident.
“The other charge, I have been rightfully found not guilty of. I’m regularly tested by all the relevant authorities - and could be at any time regardless of when I’m fighting. I would never risk my career and reputation with drugs.
“I wholeheartedly apologise for my stupid actions. It has been a roller coaster of a year for me, becoming unified world champion and on this occasion I’ve taken it too far.
“I can only apologise, not only to those whom I offended, but to my family and friends for the upset I’ve caused. There’s no excuse for the comments and the disturbance. I’m going to take some time off over Christmas to reflect on my actions and ensure it never happens again.
“I want to thank my family, friends and fans for their continued support over the years and can assure them I will endeavour to live up to their expectations and make them proud once more.”