When Josh Taylor so comprehensively outpointed Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas last weekend, the light-welterweight from Prestonpans became the first British boxer to win all four belts in the same weight category.
He was also the first Scot to unify a division since Edinburgh’s Ken Buchanan in 1971, when the WBA and WBC were the only sanctioning bodies.
Yet that’s not all Josh has in common with the great man, who gave him advice when he first started boxing as a teenager.
Taylor intends to emulate the great man by following in his footsteps and topping the bill at Madison Square Garden, the famous New York venue which Buchanan headlined five times in the 1970s.
Taylor, 30, hopes to meet his idol, who’s now 75 and living in a care home, this week to thank him for his support.
“It’s quite scary because my long-time sponsor and friend, Ross Koppel at Seconds Out, posted a photograph the day after the fight with me and my Ring magazine belt and one of Kenny with his from back in the day,” he said.
“The next one was him coming home from Puerto Rico with his sunglasses on and his bruised face and another me with my sunglasses on – wow!
“The similarities between us are incredible. I went over to America and fought in the lion’s den to bring back all the belts just like he did. Even the nicknames – I only found out last year that he was called the Tartan Legend and, of course, I’m the Tartan Tornado.
“Some of these coincidences are just too good to be true, although I don’t believe in coincidence: I think that this was meant to be happening.
“So I’d love to fight in Madison Square Garden, where he ruled the roost 50 years ago. I actually wanted the Ramirez fight be in Madison Square Garden because of the massive Scottish and Irish contingency on the East Coast.
“Under normal circumstances, that fight would have been in New York but I do have a desire to box there in front of that expat audience.
“I spoke to one of his handlers, who sent me a video of Ken saying: ‘Well done, son – I’m glad you’ve done it’.
“I’ve tried to arrange to see him but that might prove quite difficult at the moment with everything that’s going on but, hopefully, there could be a way around it – maybe I could meet him in the park or a coffee shop. I’d love to do that and so would he.”
Ricky Burns is the only Scot to win world titles at three different weights but Taylor doubts that he’ll be able to pull that off.
“To become a champion at three weights I’d probably have to go back to lightweight,” he claimed.
“I probably could do that now I have a nutritionist on board. But I’m also 30 and maybe going to 135 would take a wee bit too much steam out of me. That’s maybe too much of a risk.
“So if I were to try to do it at three weights I’d probably need to move up to light-middle, which might be a bit too much of a jump in terms of natural size and strength. But I’d give it a go if the right fight came about: I wouldn’t say no to it.
“I could also be a career 140lber. I’m not in a rush to go up to 147 because I’m making the weight comfortably. But, me being me, I’m very ambitious.
“I now want to become a two-weight world champion because that would be me really cementing my place in the history books. I want to keep setting new goals.”
Lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez Jr’s father and trainer, Teofimo Sr, has demanded a fight with Taylor, claiming the Scot is scared of his son.
“He’s saying that he’s an undisputed world champion when he isn’t – he only has three of the belts,” shrugged Josh.
“He still has business to take care of at lightweight. But he’s obviously just bumping his gums because he wants the big fights, which is understandable.
“I’d happily take the fight and cut him down to size. I’d bring him down to earth with a bang. I genuinely think I’d beat him up if we ever meet but I’ve no real interest in Teofimo Lopez.
“How they can have the audacity to say I’m scared of him is . . . it’s just a joke.
“It’s quite funny but I have this big target on my back now. Everyone wants a piece of me and, although I’ve worked hard to get here, I’m going to need to work even harder to keep what I have.”
The Tornado also revealed that he predicted his current undisputed status years ago.
“I have a big feature wall in my house and I purposely had six holes built in it to accommodate all my belts, which was all down to my self-belief,” he explained.
“I had the extra holes made because I knew I was going to win Ramirez’s belts as well.
“About a year ago I learned about the law of attraction and visualisation but I’d been doing that for years without realising it.
“This wall was designed because I knew that not only was I going to be a world champion but that I’d be the undisputed world champion so when these two belts that the airline lost arrive the wall will be complete.”
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