Josh Taylor Adamant He Is Far From Finished: “Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Ali – They All Lost Multiple Times”

By James Slater - 02/17/2024 - Comments

It sure does seem a long time ago now when Scottish warrior Josh Taylor was both undefeated and the holder of all four 140 pound world titles. You have to go back to the night of February 26th to see the last time southpaw Taylor entered and exited the ring with all four belts along with his perfect record. That night was of course the night Taylor held onto his belts by way of one of the most controversial decision seen in British boxing in quite some time.

The split decision Taylor was awarded at the end of his thrilling fight with fellow lefty Jack Catterall was followed by a significant absence from the ring, and when Taylor did return, he held only the WBO 140 pound title; with him having either vacated the other belts or with him having been stripped of them. And then Taylor lost his fight with Teofimo Lopez and suddenly, the former pound-for-pound star was an ex-champ with a 19-1(13) record.

Taylor has not looked good in a fight since his fine showing against Jose Ramirez, who the 33 year old decisioned back in May of 2021, the win seeing “The Tartan Tornado” become the first-ever four-belt world champion in British boxing history.

But Taylor says he is no way finished; not after the Catterall struggle, not after the Lopez defeat. And on April 27, in a fight that could be dubbed ‘Finally,’ Taylor will at last rematch Catterall, 28-1(13) this in a non-title fight. And Taylor is vowing a commanding win, one that will show he is “still one of the game’s top dogs.”

Speaking with BBC Scotland, Taylor says the greats of the sport lost, and yet they are still considered legends. And Taylor is proud of the way he did something special and that he is “one in 65 million to ever do it.”

“Just because I lost one fight doesn’t mean I’m finished. I know I’m still a good fighter and I just want to send the message out there,” Taylor said. “Just because someone has a couple of bad performances, does that mean they’re finished? Look at all the fighters throughout history, all the great fighters in the past – Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, Muhammad Ali – they all lost multiple times. They’re still great fighters though, aren’t they? I’m the only undisputed champion in the UK. One in 65 million people to ever do it and I’m the one that’s done it, so how can I be finished with one loss?”

It’s true, Taylor has accomplished plenty of things to be proud of in the ring, and no, one loss does not mean a fighter is done. However, to repeat, how long is it since Taylor looked good in a fight? It’s a cliché, but Taylor’s career will be on the line on April 27. Another close call against Catterall, or even worse, a loss, would leave Taylor in real trouble, with the obtaining of another big fight proving tough.

On his best day, Taylor has proven he is a special talent. But have Taylor’s best days gone for good? Taylor says no, but we will not know until April 27 in Leeds.

Can you pick a winner with any real certainty ahead of Taylor-Catterall II?