Josh Taylor may be on the verge of national stardom but he insists he would rather not end up playing the fame game as he chases a world title.
Victory over ultra-tough Ukrainian Viktor Postol at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro tomorrow night will put the powerful Prestonpans puncher within touching distance of his first global crown.
The match-up is a final eliminator for Jose Ramirez’s WBC world super lightweight strap and, if Taylor can extend his unbeaten run as a professional to a 13th straight win, he is certain to find himself at the forefront of national consciousness.
Yet that is a position which leaves the laid-back former Commonwealth Games gold medal winner uncomfortable.
Taylor knows other big-name compatriots such as Ricky Burns and Andy Murray have found themselves carrying not only their own ambitions but the hopes of Scotland on their backs.
But the 27-year-old says right now he can only afford to look out for number one.
“When I’m out and about I see more people noticing me and coming up to me in the street but it doesn’t bother me,” he said. “It’s a nice feeling having folk come up and wish me well, but I’m not in this game for that. I’m doing this because I want to be world champion.
“I’m not bothered about being famous – I’m just a wee lad from Prestonpans trying to be the best I can be.
“I’m not thinking about becoming the next Scottish hero, but if those sort of things get said about me because I’m doing well then great, that’s what comes with the job I suppose.
“I’m just out to be world champion and become the best I can be. Yeah I’d like to fly the flag for Scotland and put Prestonpans and Edinburgh on the map but I’d rather not put the pressure on myself by thinking I’ve got the hopes of a nation on my shoulders.”
Taylor will certainly have enough to worry about as he stares down former world champion Postol this weekend.
The only man who has escaped a meeting with the 34-year-old without suffering defeat is the mighty Terrence Crawford, and Postol has arrived for his first fight on UK soil looking to regain the belt he lost in that 2016 showdown.
But while Postol’s chin has otherwise proved granite-like, Taylor is convinced he has the power to cause an upset.
“I think I will rattle him,” he declared. “When I catch him I think he’s going to be shocked by how hard I hit and the speed of my punches.
“Terrence Crawford is obviously the best on the planet, but I believe I’m a good fighter as well.
“I will catch him and when I do I will hurt him – and that’s when I’m going to jump on him.
“I will be patient though. I learned from my mistake against Miguel Vazquez last year when I tried to catch him with too many big shots. I didn’t respect his power and got caught with some silly shots.
“The most important thing is to get the result. You do like to entertain along the way, but if it ends up being something out of a Rocky film with us both on the canvas, getting up and we’re all blood, guts and gore, that might be a great night’s entertainment, but not so great for me.”