Josh Taylor admits the late call-off by Mexican Humberto Soto has been far from ideal, however he insists his top amateur pedigree has prepared him well for this kind of scenario.
The Edinburgh puncher is aiming to rubber stamp a second successful defence of his WBC Silver belt in front of his legion of fans at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow tonight – his first appearance at the venue since he won 64kg gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
However, it will be the gloves of Nicaragua’s Winston Campos he will have to try to combat and not Soto if he is to secure the 12th win of his professional career in a fight that will be broadcast exclusively live on Channel 5.
Veteran Soto informed the Taylor camp last week of his decision to withdraw from the contest having sustained a nasty cut during a sparring session. And although Taylor, 27, admits the past six weeks in the gym had all been geared towards keeping his undefeated record intact against the Mexican, the former Lochend amateur isn’t going to allow a change in opponent knock him off track, having been tipped to challenge for a world title later this year.
“I just have to revert back to my amateur days when you didn’t know who you were fighting until the day before,” Taylor explained. “That’s the mentality I need. Yes, it’s late, but back then you had 24 hours to get the gameplan. I’ve had all week so I don’t have any worries.
“My mindset is exactly the same. There’s no chance I won’t be up for it with 5,000 people at the Hydro – although it might be five with the weather! All I care about is winning the fight and making it another good night.
“Obviously, I had nearly a full camp preparing for a different fighter in Humberto Soto, but I feel confident I’ll be able to adapt to Winston Campos. He’s taller, he’s a southpaw and he’s dangerous, but I’m feeling great and there’s only one winner. It might take me a couple of rounds to adjust to his style, but I think the stoppage will come. The fact that he’s a southpaw probably suits me being a southpaw as well. It’s an easier style to match as there will be clearer lines with us both leading from the left.”
Meanwhile, Jason Easton is ready to show opponent Glenn Foot why he is the higher-ranked boxer in Britain when the duo compete for the vacant Commonwealth super lightweight title.
Englishman Foot has been less than complimentary about the IBO Intercontinental and Celtic champion in the build-up to this weekend’s duel, despite the undefeated capital fighter being ranked six places ahead of the Sunderland man in sixth.
That has irked Easton and the 26-year-old is not only ready to add a third belt to his collection, he also wants to put Foot back in his place.
“On paper it looks a cracking fight. We’ve both been in some really tough fights,” Easton said. “But he seems to think he’s going to steamroller me as he’s been saying he’ll walk through me in ten seconds.
“We’ll see how that goes. He talks about being in with top class fighters like Sam Eggington and Josh Leather. Yeah, he has been in with those guys but he seems to be forgetting he lost to them both. He might have been in the same ring with good fighters but he couldn’t beat them. He’s never been in the ring with Jason Easton.
“I’ve shown I can go to war but I go into my fights looking to box smart. I seem to end up in a scrap but I enjoy that side. If that’s what it takes then fair enough. I am confident in my boxing ability and I’ll be looking to showcase my skills. But I also know I can tough it out. No one enjoys getting hit but it doesn’t worry me. The adrenalin takes care of the pain.”
Edinburgh bantamweight Lee McGregor and 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Charlie Flynn are also on the bill with the latter boxing Ryan Collins for the vacant Celtic lightweight title.