Miguel Vazquez wants Josh Taylor’s belt for a souvenir

Hundreds of locals turned up at Prestonpans Community Centre to see Josh Taylor weigh in at 9st 13lbs 2oz. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Hundreds of locals turned up at Prestonpans Community Centre to see Josh Taylor weigh in at 9st 13lbs 2oz. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Mexico’s Miguel Vazquez insists it will be he and not Josh Taylor that will be crowned king of the Castle tonight.

The Scot defends his WBC Silver super lightweight title at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh – Alex Arthur was the last to fight there in October 2004 – and former IBF world lightweight champion Vazquez, who has won 39 of his 44 professional bouts and has never been stopped, believes he has the beating of one of the sport’s most talked about boxers.

“Of course I’ve come here to win. But, even though Josh Taylor is only having his 11th fight, I would never underestimate him,” the 30-year-old Vazquez, pictured, said. “I know he’s a good fighter but I have the leverage on experience. Taylor is taller and at the beginning he is going to try to use his reach to keep me away.

“But I am going to try to put pressure on him and wear him down. With all due respect to Josh, I’m confident in my training. I have prepared myself 100 per cent. I have been active recently and got my last win in September. So my camp for this fight has been seven or eight weeks.

“My country has produced a lot of great boxers and I plan to keep that tradition alive. But I don’t want to fall into the category of the plain old Mexican fighter who receives one punch and responds with three or four and goes crazy toe-to-toe. I also base my boxing on the styles of Cuban fighters who keep their distance and use the art of boxing.”

Having been limited to very little downtime since his arrival in the capital earlier this week, Vazquez plans to explore the city tomorrow at his leisure. He admitted, though, he doesn’t intend to leave Scotland on a sour note having suffered a sixth defeat of his career.

“I have been here for half a week but I have not been able to enjoy Scotland, just the cold weather,” the Mexican explained. “But hopefully after I win I will have the chance to tour around and return in the future to visit again, not for a fight but just to tour. But my biggest dream is to be king of the castle tonight!”

Taylor weighed in slightly heavier at Prestonpans Community Centre yesterday, the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist’s hometown, tipping the scales at 9 stone 13lbs 2oz compared to Vazquez at 9 stone 12 lbs 2oz. The Edinburgh super lightweight admitted he was blown away by the hundreds who turned up to catch a glimpse of the pre-fight action.

“That was just phenomenal,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting that sort of crowd to turn up. But it was great to see I’ve got so many people behind me and I really don’t want to disappoint them. I’m ready to go tonight and I’m telling you this belt is staying in Scotland, make no mistake about it.”

Edinburgh’s Jason Easton
is the main support bout tonight when the 26-year-old former Craigmillar amateur makes the first defence of his IBO Inter-Continental super lightweight title against Czech champion Josef Zahradnik.

Similarly to Taylor, Easton is undefeated in ten pro bouts and feels he can get the better of his Eastern European 
opponent. “He [Zahradnik] is fit and seems in good shape so he’ll give me the rounds. I think he is going to be a hard cookie to crack but I’m feeling great and am really confident,” Easton said.