Barry McGuigan believes that Josh Taylor (7-0, 7 KOs) is the future of Scottish boxing following his man’s fifth-round demolition of Dave Ryan at the Meadowbank Arena on Friday night.
Ryan was halted for only the second time in his career—the only other stoppage was injury incuded—in what was a breakout performance for the 25-year-old Commonwealth light-welterweight champion, prompting McGuigan to predict big things for Edinburgh’s rising star.
“We’ve got great respect for Ricky Burns but at the rate this guy is making progress we are not afraid to lock horns with him in nine months to a year—absolutely,” said McGuigan when speaking to The Herald (Glasgow).
“He is the target. He is one we are looking at. He is the world super lightweight champion and he is here [in Scotland]. It couldn’t be a better set of circumstances. While Ricky is a great fighter I don’t think he is the fighter he was and this kid is making unbelievable improvements.”
“It was a great performance,” added McGuigan. “He is gelling so well with [trainer] Shane [McGuigan]. The big thing was going from three rounds to 12 rounds but we knew we could hit the ground running with him because he is so naturally talented. He is a tremendous puncher, a wicked puncher, he didn’t even hit this guy clean once tonight.”
With Burns the dominant forth north of the border, McGuigan predicted that Taylor can launch a takeover and will be able to challenge the three-weight world titlist sooner rather than later as he bids to hit the world scene.
He said: “I don’t think he will get tested until world level but (will have) a couple of fights, one or two, at this level. The problem is that this domestic and European scene are around the same level, then you are up to world level and there is a massive gulf in class. We are going to have to be very selective, but he is in the gym every day, raring to go. It is just a case of holding the reins back.”