LAS VEGAS – Josh Taylor responded appropriately when asked late Saturday night how he felt he would defeat Terence Crawford.
“Oh, I ain’t gonna tell you that, am I?,” a laughing Taylor said while speaking to a small group of reporters. “I ain’t gonna tell you that. Come on! Nah, nah, come on now. I’m not telling you that. You have to wait and see. You have to wait and see.”
Taylor hopes he gets the opportunity to challenge Crawford in what would be the second fight of 2022 for the Scottish southpaw. He first must get past Jack Catterall, the mandatory challenger for Taylor’s WBO junior welterweight title, on February 26 at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs), who became a promotional free agent after he stopped Shawn Porter in the 10th round Saturday night, has repeatedly expressed interest in battling Taylor. Their fight, which would pit the two undisputed 140-pound champions in boxing history against one another, seemingly will be easier to make than Crawford-Errol Spence Jr.
The 34-year-old Crawford could align himself with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions to try to secure a long-elusive showdown with Spence (27-0, 21 KOs). The 30-year-old Taylor, however, is represented by Crawford’s former promoter, Bob Arum, which would make negotiations less complicated.
Regardless, Taylor feels Crawford’s performance against Porter proved what Taylor has been saying about the three-division champion all along, that he is boxing’s best welterweight.
“I believe Crawford’s the best,” Taylor said. “I’ve said it for a long time. I believe he’s the best in the division, so yeah, and he proved that [Saturday night].”
Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) dropped Porter twice during the 10th round, when Porter’s father and head trainer, Kenny Porter, waved a white towel to stop their fight for Crawford’s WBO 147-pound crown. Porter (31-4-1, 17 KOs), a native of Akron, Ohio, lost by knockout or technical knockout for the first time in 13 years as a pro.
Arum claimed after Crawford defeated Porter at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena that he believes Crawford-Taylor would be a more lucrative event than Crawford-Spence because it would do huge business in the United Kingdom. The 89-year-old Arum suggested that Crawford-Taylor could draw a crowd of 70,000 at a stadium somewhere in the UK.
“Massive fight,” Taylor said. “It’s a huge fight. You know, it’s a blockbuster fight. Two pound-for-pound fighters dashing it out. So yeah, it would be great, man. I would love to have him in Scotland, back in Scotland again. Or maybe even back here. You know, since the last one was a bit restricted, so I never got to enjoy the full Vegas environment, traveling fans and all that stuff [against Jose Ramirez on May 22]. So yeah, either way, it’s a great fight. But that was a brilliant performance [Saturday night].”
Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) is training in Las Vegas, where he also has received treatment for a knee injury that caused a two-month postponement of his fight with Catterall, from December 19 to February 26. The IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 140-pound champion emphasized that he isn’t overlooking Catterall (26-0, 13 KOs), who is a big underdog in advance of their 12-round fight.
“I’m not thinking about that at the minute,” Taylor said in reference to possibly boxing Crawford. “I’m thinking about my own fight, and all yous guys keep pushing this fight and stuff. You know, I’m thinking about Jack Catterall. That’s all I’m thinking about right now. So, we’ll see how the fight goes. I believe I’m gonna win the fight. And then we’ll talk all these discussions afterwards.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.