Josh Taylor targets Terence Crawford in five-fight wish list before retiring

"I could maybe even go down to 135 and challenge for a title there and then jump up to 147 and be a three-weight world champion."

Just 17 contests into an already remarkable fighting career, Scotland's "Tartan Tornado" Josh Taylor is a man in something of a hurry.

Currently in possession of the WBA (Super), IBF, and Ring Magazine junior welterweight titles, Taylor has enjoyed a whirlwind rise into the sport's upper echelons.

However, if the Tartan Tornado has his way, a rapid departure from the squared circle could also be in the Scotsman's horizon.

Indeed, just six years into his professional career, and fresh from a stunning first round stoppage of Thai Apinun Khongsong in September of last year, Taylor recently detailed an ambitious plan to fight some of the sports biggest stars before hanging up his gloves with his faculties firmly intact.

Next on the Edinburgh-born fighter's immediate agenda though is a unification showdown against the unbeaten WBC and WBO champion, Jose Ramirez.

html) */?>

A domestic dust down with another unbeaten opponent in the shape of Englishman Jack Catterall could also be set to take place later in the year.

Despite the prospect of becoming Scotland's first undisputed champion since the great Ken Buchanan, Taylor is now setting his sights on potentially lucrative and life-changing bouts against some of boxing's biggest names before executing his intention to exit the game as a multi-divisional champion.

A rapid rise to the top for Scotland's superstar

A Commonwealth gold medalist in 2014, Taylor turned pro the following year, and in just his 15th professional fight, captured his first world title via a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Belarussian opponent Ivan Baranchyk.

The Scot would then add the WBA lightweight title to the IBF strap picked up against Baranchyk with a majority decision victory over another previously unbeaten fighter in the shape of American Regis Prograis in the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight final five months later.

It was a contender for Fight of the Year in 2019. While the ongoing global pandemic put paid to much of the boxing calendar in 2020, Taylor was able to stay busy, returning to action in September following an eleven-month absence from the sport.

Defending his titles against the aforementioned Khongsong, alongside new trainer Ben Davison, Taylor ended the fight in the very first stanza with a vicious and beautifully timed liver shot.

Following that dominant KO success, Taylor's options would now appear to be virtually unlimited. Having signed with MTK Global and Bob Arum's Top Rank in 2020, Taylor should have little trouble securing true legacy fights with some of the biggest names in and around his weight class.

With the promise of riches and global stardom awaiting the Scot, a move up to 147-pounds, or even back down to 135-pounds could offer Taylor the mega-fights he craves.

Terrence Crawford, Errol Spence, Teofimo Lopez, and Vasiliy Lomachenko are just some of the potential star opponents being mooted for future fights in both respective weight classes.

Josh Taylor, right, defeated Regis Prograis last October (Paul Harding/PA)
Josh Taylor, right, defeated Regis Prograis last October (Paul Harding/PA)

Taylor confirmed his desire to seek out only the sports biggest talents while revealing his plans to retire from boxing at the top of his game. "Another four or five fights - if they're big fights - and that's hopefully me done.

"These ones that are potentially coming around now are for life-changing money. If I win, I will quite happily retire at the top of the game. Live the rest of my life and enjoy it, maybe open up my own gym and start training and managing fighters," he told BBC Sport.

Taylor aiming to live the American Dream

Of course, Taylor is not the first, and certainly won't be the last champion to map out a career trajectory that ultimately, rarely follows its intended pathway.

Still, given his already sizable achievements in the ring, there is every chance that this fighter's preferred sporting narrative proves to be self-fulfilling. A unified champion in a mere 17 bouts, Taylor now has the fighting world at his feet with his remarkable success surely cementing his legacy as one of Scottish boxing's finest ever champions.

You only need to look at the combined record (110-1) of Taylor's last five opponents to understand that this one man tartan army has already crafted a spectacular fighting career.

The ensuing bout with the unbeaten Ramirez though will undoubtedly pose another tremendous examination of Taylor's credentials. A true "pick´em" fight, as they say. Should he come through that test unscathed to emerge as Scotland's first unified champion in nearly half a century, there is no doubt that both the stardom and riches Taylor craves will be lying at his doorstep.

html) */?>

But could this fighting Scotsman, already a legend in his home city of Edinburgh, go down in history as one of Britain's truly great champions? A victory over a Pound for Pound star like Lopez, Spence or Crawford would ensure his place in the pantheon of legendary British fighters while simultaneously swelling the Scot´s bank balance in the process.

A move up to the 147-pound division would seem like the more natural direction for Taylor, with Spence and Crawford representing two of the sports finest Pound for Pound fighters. Both fights would guarantee a level of riches and fame that have eluded some of the best fighters to emerge from north of the border in past years.

Taylor is comfortable at the 140-pound weight class, though, and feels he could even challenge the very best in the red-hot 135-pound division.

"I'm making the weight so much more easily," he told BBC Sport. "I could maybe even go down to 135 and challenge for a title there and then jump up to 147 and be a three-weight world champion. These are all longer-term goals.

"You've got Teofimo Lopez, who's big for 135. You've got Vasyl Lomachenko. It would be hard to make the weight, but I think it is doable. And then jump up to 147 to take on Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, the greats of the sport." he explained.

While a move down the divisions does seem a touch optimistic for a fighter entering his 30's, no-one could accuse the Scottish champion of a lack of ambition and it would take a brave man (or a fool) to suggest he's not capable of beating the stellar names that exist both north, and south of his 140-pound weight class.

Should he achieve further glory in either of those divisions, an already impressive fighting resume will be catapulted to levels of greatness that few British fighters of both current, and bygone eras could rival.

No matter what fighting route the amiable Scot chooses in the coming months and years, both his immediate and long term future would appear to be paved with nothing but bright lights and big opportunities.

Latest Boxing Videos