Bronze in Pune; Silver in Delhi…Josh Taylor is ready to box clever and complete his Commonwealth medal collection with gold in Glasgow.
The light welterweight from Prestonpans was 17 when he stepped onto the Pune podium at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008.
Two years later and Taylor made it all the way to the Delhi 2010 final only to be halted at the final hurdle by England’s Thomas Stalker.
Now 22 and with a home Olympics also under his belt, Taylor is determined to deliver the top prize at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“All I want is to be on top of the podium and hear Flower of Scotland ringing out,” said Taylor. “Looking back on Delhi, it was a great achievement and I’m very proud of coming back with a silver medal, but at the time – and even now – I’m still a little disappointed as I wanted the gold. I’ve learned from the experience and improved ten-fold since then so I’m really confident of bringing the gold back this time.”
Taylor took up boxing after watching Scottish boxing legend Alex Arthur, the 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
Himself a former Taekwondo British champion, Taylor is aiming to be selected in the Light Welterweight 64kg category and is putting in the hours to earn his place on Team Scotland.
Week days are spent in Sheffield training with the Great British boxing squad before returning to Lochend ABC for weekend sparring under the watchful eye of his coach Terry McCormack.
He added: “I used to go down to Meadowbank while I was on holiday at school and watch Alex Arthur train. My mum works there and she told me about a boxing class so I went down to try it once and that was me addicted.
“I had only been training for six weeks and had my first fight ten days after my 16th birthday. It was a draw and the judge’s decision went against me, but I won the next 20 in a row after that.
“I love the fact that in boxing anything can happen. You can have all the game plans and strategies you want, but once you jump in the ring one punch can change the whole fight.”
Defeat at both the European Championships and at the World Championships to the eventual winners has only served to bolster Taylor’s belief in his prospects for Glasgow 2014 and memories of past Games keep him hungry for more.
He said: “I loved the experience of being part of Team Scotland, being in the village with all the other athletes from other sports and from all the different countries. Everyone is mixing and having a good laugh with each other – swapping tops and badges, it was brilliant.”
“My form is good and I will continue to improve my work rate and fitness, but I’m there or thereabouts. I am confident I am up there with the best and just falling a little bit short of getting the results I am capable of, but I have a lot of confidence I can do it.”
You can follow Josh on Twitter @JoshTaylorBoxing
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