Barry McGuigan admits he wants to line-up a mouth-watering all-Scottish showdown between WBA super-lightweight champion Ricky Burns and rising star Josh Taylor within a year.
East Lothian fighter Taylor took the first notable step in his career on Friday evening after putting on an impressive display in a fifth round stoppage of the battle-hardened Dave Ryan to get his hands on the Commonwealth belt.
Boxing legend McGuigan, who promotes the 25-year-old, is adamant that Taylor is a world champion in the making and believes a fight against 33-year-old Burns would underline his fighter’s credentials.
Taylor could next fight on the undercard of George Groves’ WBA international super-middleweight title defence against Eduard Gutknecht at Wembley Arena on November 18 but McGuigan has Burns on his radar.
McGuigan said: “There is Ricky Burns at super lightweight and we have great respect for Ricky Burns.
“We’ve got great respect for him but at the rate this guy is making progress, we are not afraid to lock horns with Ricky Burns in nine months to a year – absolutely.
“Ricky Burns is the target, he is somebody we’re looking at and he is the world super lightweight champion.
“It couldn’t be a better set of circumstances. With the greatest respect in the world to Ricky, he is a great fighter but I don’t think he’s the fighter that he was. I think he’s fading a little bit and this kid is making unbelievable improvement.”
Taylor had won his first previous six fights inside two rounds prior to the Ryan victory and McGuigan’s son Shane, who trains the Commonwealth Games gold medalist, believes they are already struggling to identify opponents that can test their man.
Shane said: “He will blow all of these domestic guys out of the water so we have to be selective with opponents.
“I don’t think he’s going to get tested until world level.
“He will get one or two fights at this level. The problem is at the domestic and European stage, they’re all at the same level, then you’re at world level and it’s a massive gulf in class so we have to be very selective of who we pick.
“He will be in the gym everyday and it’s holding the reins back because he wants to run.”