Josh Taylor says he couldn’t care less about Tank Davis or Teofimo Lopez
WBA and IBF super lightweight champion Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor (17-0, 13 KO’s) is kicking dirt on the name of two top competitors. This does not come to much of surprise as in modern day boxing, there has been a trend going at each other for entertainment purposes only. It seems more than ever that only “sidestepping” great potential bouts for the sake of just talking about them.
One of the most recent glaring examples of this is Ryan “KingRy” Garcia. On countless occasions he’s been heard to say WBC lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney is a terrific talent and a difficult fight. Yet when he had the opportunity to square off with Haney, Garcia radically contradicted himself by saying that his career was too laughable to consider facing him. At the same time, he is opting to fight in a title eliminator to earn the chance to compete for Haney’s WBC title. This is both spineless and chuckleheaded.
Of course Taylor is in for a bout to name an Undisputed champion at junior welterweight May 22, so he is doing a little more than talking. But as it pertains to Taylor’s fire towards other fighters, are these situations equivalent?
LEVEL UP OR KICK ROCKS!
In a recent interview with TalkSport Taylor was questioned about his feelings on regular WBA lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and WBA super, WBO and IBF lightweight champion Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez. The pair of fighters have each voiced their desire to lock horns with Taylor. Yet the Tartan Tornado didn’t mince words in saying that neither were on his radar as viable opposition.
“I’m not interested in Gervonta Davis, I’m really not interested. I’m not thinking about him at all. For his belt, for his Mickey Mouse belt, I’m not interested, I’ll come around to whatever happens next but I am not thinking about Gervonta Davis.”
He was no more titillated by the notion of testing his might against Lopez either.
“He’s saying he is undisputed champion, but he is not, he’s got another belt to win. He’s got to beat Devin Haney for the other belt. So he’s got unfinished business at lightweight to do. Do I think that he is a good fighter, absolutely! I think he is an outstanding fighter, I think he is a great fighter.
“Did he do well to beat Lomachenko, absolutely, I think he did brilliant. But he did it against a small lightweight. He is a massive lightweight and Lomachenko is a very small lightweight. I think he is a great fighter but like I said he’s got unfinished business to do so I am not thinking about him.”
TRAIL BY FIRE
Both Tank and Lopez are indeed top tier fighters and well known marketable opposition. So how is it different when Taylor says he doesn’t care to fight them from KingRy avoiding Haney? First and foremost Taylor does not compete in the same division as Lopez or Davis. So it’s hard to say that you are ducking when you’d have to go out of your way to face them in the first place.
Also, specifically in Tank’s case, he does hold a secondary WBA title whereas Taylor owns the more esteemed version in his division. With this being the case he is rather justified in snubbing the lesser, “Mickey Mouse” title. Even worse, one of the more consistent knocks against Tank is he largely does not take on meaningful opposition himself. In the opinion of many, his toughest outing was his very last bout against Leo Santa Cruz. Even in that prizefight he was being thoroughly out-boxed until his crushing sixth round knockout.
Yet, the biggest feather in Taylor’s cap is the fact that he is consistently taking on tough super lightweight fights. Three fights ago he took on Ivan Baranchynk and relieved him of his IBF strap. In his very next fight he unified titles after beating then undefeated WBA champ Regis Prograis. Now, on April 22 he plans to fight undefeated WBC and WBO world super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez to determine the undisputed champion of the division.
Therefore, one would have to be ignorant to the sport, sleep deprived or recently kicked in the head to think that Taylor is avoiding top competition.
Rather than take on lesser boxers, The Tartan Tornado is consistently running to the fire. In this day of privileged fighters who love their own sound bites, Taylor should be held up as an example of how to carry oneself. Let’s just hope that more fighters take note and pen fights accordingly. Sadly though, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on this to happen!
By: Bakari Simpson