As he enters final preparations for the WBSS semi-final against IBF super-lightweight champion Ivan Baranchyk, meet Josh Taylor
Josh Taylor vs Ivan Baranchyk, for the latter’s IBF super-welterweight title, is a mouthwatering clash that doubles as a semi-final in the WBSS 140lbs tournament. The winner will face new WBA ruler Regis Prograis in the final. As unbeaten Taylor, from the Edinburgh suburb of Prestonpans, enters final preparations for Baranchyk in Glasgow on May 18, we reveal 5 things you may not know about this exciting talent.
1. Prestonpans, where Taylor grew up, is a sedate fishing village with a history of coal mining that extends into both sides of the fighter’s family. His mother is a receptionist, his father a landscape gardener.
2. Josh started taekwondo aged five, under instruction from his uncle. He earned a black belt and became British champion.
3. Taylor used to watch Edinburgh’s former world champion Alex Arthur train for big fights at Meadowbank Sports Centre, where Josh’s mother was working. This inspired his switch to boxing, aged 15.
4. The 2012 Olympian suffered with hand problems throughout a highly successful amateur career. He was forced to undergo a bone graft operation on the left after the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which he won essentially with one hand. Josh had a the ligament in the joint cut out and bone from his hip inserted. Touch wood, the Scot has had no hand issues since.
5. Taylor is a motorbike fanatic, his love for the vehicles predating that for boxing. He had his first bike aged five and used to race motocross. The fighter still owns a racing bike, a semi-Suzuki, but no longer rides it as his boxing career has progressed to a high level.