Josh Taylor On His Move To Welterweight: “With Crawford Being Stripped, It Opens Up The Division”

By James Slater - 11/25/2023 - Comments

Former unified 140 pound champ Josh Taylor, 19-1(13) has made up his mind: he will move up to welterweight for his next fight. Taylor, speaking with The Herald, says he has made his decision, he will move up to 147 to “achieve more greatness in terms of becoming a two-weight world champion.” Taylor, last seen being beaten by Teofimo Lopez, with the Scottish hero losing his last remaining 140 pound belt, says the recent stripping of welterweight kingpin Terence Crawford “opens up the [147] division.”

And Taylor, beaten only by Lopez, wants to have around three or more fights before he calls it quits on his career. That’s the plan, he says.

“I have a plan in terms of three or four more fights so if it all goes how I want it to, I can then hang the gloves up and say thank you very much,” Taylor said. “Boxing has been my whole life for so long. Since I was 15 years old, I’ve spent 80 percent of my life away from home. I’m happy with what I’ve achieved and I still want to achieve more but if it all goes to plan, I’m soon going to say see you later. I’ve decided now, I’m going to move up to welterweight. It’s more motivation for me than anything. I feel like if I stay at my weight, I’ve got nothing else to achieve. I’ll go up to 147 and want to achieve more greatness in terms of becoming a two-weight world champion. With Crawford being stripped of his (IBF) belt, it opens up the division so maybe I can be the guy to become a two-weight undisputed world champion.”

As far as Taylor not having anything left to achieve at 140 pounds, well, there is that demanded rematch with a certain Jack Catterall. As fans know, Taylor barely edged fellow southpaw Catterall almost two years ago, with plenty of people feeling Taylor was extremely fortunate not to have lost the fight. Catterall, Taylor says, will be accommodated after he has won a belt at 147 pounds.

“We’re aiming for February [for my next fight] and I want to box three times next year,” Taylor said. “I want to get my first fight at welterweight, then get a title fight afterwards and then a rematch with Catterall and put him back in his box. Then maybe one more fight and then that’ll be me done.”

It sure sound like a plan Taylor has, but can he do it? Who might the 32 year old wind up facing at welterweight, and can Taylor defeat one of the best at the weight to win a world title? Can Taylor even become unified champ at 147? That would take some time, and perhaps more than “three or four fights.”

Then there’s the return with Catterall. Did Taylor merely have an off night in the first fight, or does Catterall have his number? It seems as though we’ve been asking that question for an age now. But Taylor, a superb fighter, will be welcomed back next year. It will be interesting to see if Taylor can do it at welterweight.