Josh Taylor is without a doubt one of the most talented boxers to come out of Scotland and the UK in last 10 years and by unifying two world title belts so far along with earning the Ring Magazine belt he is now widely consider pound for pound one of the best in the world currently.
Having seen Josh Taylor fight myself, you can tell he is special fighter and for that reason in this boxing style analysis blog, I will be looking at his background accomplishments, what makes him so effective in the ring.
I have meant to do this since I announced him as my Fighter of the year 2019, so hopefully you enjoy and learn something from this exceptional fighter!
Who Is Josh Taylor?
First and foremost, Josh Taylor is originally from Scotland and grew up in a small fishing town Prestonpans, a town east of Scotland’s capital Edinburgh.
Before Taylor started boxing, he was in fact a taekwondo champion from a young age before turning to take up boxing in his teenage years. Slowly but surely Taylor became an extremely talented amateur as he progressed in the British boxing system.
The Scotsman talent was definitely recognised as he went to the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in India winning Silver in the lightweight division. Taylor would then go onto to represent Scotland in the 2010 Delhi commonwealth games, Britain at the London 2012 Olympics and Scotland in 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth games finishing off his amateur career with Gold in his home country.
After his successful finish to his amateur career, Taylor turned professional teaming up and signing with Barry McGuigan‘s Cyclone Promotions training under his Son Shane McGuigan. The Scotsman progressed quickly as he won the Commonwealth belt over Dave Ryan, but he really came to the limelight after a dominating display over domestic rival Ohara Davies.
The Tartan Tornado was proving he was ready for world level as he went onto defeat two former world champions in Miguel Vázquez and Viktor Postol. These displays helped him get a call up to World Boxing Super Series and gain the opportunity of winning world titles. After a convincing opening win over Ryan Martin, Taylor went onto fight the hard and agressive Baranchyk for his first world title victory where he did disappoint his home fans.
This led to the Scotsman’s facing highly talented WBA (Super) light-welterweight champion American Regis Prograis in the WBSS Final. An enthralling contest saw arguably two of the best in the division go toe to toe for 12 rounds with Taylor winning by majority decision.
Taylor’s career is still relatively young to date and it’s exciting to think what he could achieve. The fight we all want to see right now is with unification fight with Jose Ramirez to become undisputed light-welterweight champion.
Here are list of Josh Taylor Accomplishments to date in the professionals and amateur system:
IBF welterweight Title
WBA (super) light-welterweight title
The Ring Magazine light-welterweight title
WBC (Silver) light-welterweight title
Commonwealth light-welterweight title
2008 – Silver at Pune Commonwealth Youth Games – lightweight
2010 – Silver at Delhi Commonwealth Games – lightweight
2014 – Gold at Glasgow Commonwealth Games – light-welterweight
Josh Taylor’s ‘Tornado’ Boxing Style.
Josh Taylor’s boxing style is so effective due to the intensity he applies on his opponent, while working pressure on both the outside and inside. Another bonus which helps the Scot is his Southpaw stance which he has truly mastered fighting against orthodox fighters using variety of powerful hooks and uppercuts to keep his opposition guessing.
The only time I have seen him truly matched was against fellow Southpaw Regis Prograis in the WBSS final, but even here Taylor’s amateur pedigree and fighter spirit came through to win the bout!
Setting up the Left and Counters
Starting off with probably Taylor’s most underrated area and that is his powerful left hand. The reason why he probably hasn’t managed to use this as effectively in his career so far to date is due to that distance created from southpaw and orthodox fighters which he has come up against in the pros. Taylor will instead try to set this punch up with a probing jab which follows up with straight left to body or up top when he spots and opening – similar to how Errol Spence Jr does this too (a fellow southpaw).
The Scotsman will instead try to get up on the inside which I will explain more detail below to utilise these punches, however it’s worth watching his fight against South Afrian Joubert, where we see his left hand in full action:
Inside Fighting and Body Work
Josh’s fighting spirit really starts to show when he is fighting on the inside and every opponent he has come up against really seems to struggle in my opinion. Taylor will mix it up on the inside by using short powerful hooks and uppercuts to keep his opponent guessing and forcing them to tighten their guard up. He will tend not to smother his opponent that much as Taylor likes to give himself enough space to throw these power shots.
The Scotsman body punching is also up there with best as he is relentless with targeting the body, especially on the inside. The punch I’ve noticed Taylor likes to set up is the right hook to the body, which he will target when he gets the opposition to tighten up their guard on the inside.
A prime example of Taylor’s inside and body work came against former world champion Miguel Vázquez in 2017. On this night in Edinburgh he continually mixed up his inside game, forcing the Mexican to be on the back foot and try to hold his ground. His relentless and changeable hooks and uppercut results in brilliant finish from the ‘Tartan Tornado’ (Watch below and have set this from 3:10 – 5:18).
Switching Stances and Creating Angles
Now all the above the points do have a big impact in how Taylor switches stances and potentially this may also come from his taekwondo background which requires you change stances more often than not due kicking. Either way these techniques definitely helps Taylor to catch his opponents off guard, to create more punching opportunities at different angles or help create distance on the outside (if against another southpaw).
Here in the clip below is Taylor against Ohara Davies, who you can really tell struggles to adapt and defend himself due to Scotsman intelligently switching back and forth from his natural southpaw stance to orthodox. Watch from:
Josh Taylor in my opinion is one of the most exciting fighters to come out of Scotland ever and with him still fairly young in his pro career I can only go see him getting better over the next few years. It will be interesting to see how he will adapt if he moves up to welterweight division.
If you are looking for ways to fight on the inside properly I highly recommend you watch Taylor’s fight so you learn how to apply pressure correctly while setting up angles for your punches
Hope you enjoyed this boxing style review and make sure to let me know if there are any more boxing styles you would like me to feature in the comments below.
Check out my other boxing style features below: