Hibs manager Neil Lennon admits he is gutted he is going to miss Josh Taylor’s fight against Miguel Vazquez on Saturday night.
Lennon welcomed the Hibs supporter to the Premiership club’s East Mains training base in August and told the 26-year-old that he can use the facilities anytime he likes.
Unbeaten WBC Silver super lightweight champion Taylor appreciates the offer and has said that ‘Neil Lennon has been brilliant with me’.
Prestonpans boxer Taylor, who has won his first ten fights, face his toughest test to date against the Mexican at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh this weekend and Lennon admits he is disappointed that his media commitments clash with the bout.
He said: “I was going to go but I’ve got a media commitment that I can’t get out of.
“I had a ringside seat for it as well.
“I was really looking forward to it and I would love to have gone as I’m a big fan.
“He’s still young and he’s progressing the right way so I’m sorry I am going to miss it.
“He came in to the training centre, so he can use the facility any time he likes.
“He came in for a look around so we showed him the gym, the physio gym and what we have here.
“We just said to him he can use it ahead of any fights, as long as I get ringside tickets.
“He’s a big Hibs fan so it’s always nice to have that sort of profile for the club.
“He’s a very talented boy and it’s the toughest sport out there.
“His last fight he was sensational against Ohara Davies as that one was supposed to be evenly matched and he dismantled him after seven rounds.”
Taylor’s promoter is Irish boxing icon Barry McGuigan, whose son Shane trains the 26-year-old and Lennon reckons the pair are doing wonders for the fighter.
He added: “He’s been managed the right way, he’s been to America and fought, he’s already won a Commonwealth belt after seven or eight fights so he’s a huge prospect and we wish him well.
“I’ve spoken on the phone (to Barry) so hopefully we’ll catch up someday.
“I think Barry uses more energy up watching Josh than he did than any of his fights. He’s like a cat in a hot tin roof when he’s fighting.
“It’s interesting to see him and his son going into the other side of it now after having such a great career himself.
“He did great with (Carl) Frampton and we’re hoping he does the same with Josh.”
Asked if he would like to see Taylor fight at Easter Road, Lennon replied: “That would be amazing – as long as he doesn’t damage the pitch.
“It would be amazing, I think he’s still a few fights off that but I just hope he keeps progressing the way he does.
“He seems a very levelheaded boy and he’s in great condition so I’m just sorry I’m going to miss it now.”