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Boxing: Taylor eager to deliver and silence his doubters

We are only halfway through 2022 and Scotland's Josh Taylor has barely had a moment's peace, despite only stepping into the ring on one occasion.

To outsiders the 31-year-old has the world at his feet as an unbeaten world champion, but the past six months have been tough for "The Tartan Tornado".

Taylor kept his unbeaten record intact when he beat Jack Catterall in February, but the manner of his victory tarnished his success and he has since spent the last few months fighting back against his critics.

The Scot promised his partner he would return to the ring after his delayed wedding day and, after lapping up the attention last weekend, Taylor seems ready to settle the score before the year is out.

One of Britain's best still to get his reward

Unlike some of his predecessors, Taylor has spent the majority of his career trying to earn the respect he believes he deserves.

During his seven-year spell as a professional, Taylor has achieved more than most fighters could dream of, but he still finds himself trying to justify his skills despite sitting at the top of his division.

There are nine active British world champions, or eight if you believe Tyson Fury will remain inactive in the near future.

And, while the likes of Lawrence Okolie, Josh Warrington and Sunny Edwards have yet to be as successful as Taylor, there's the feeling they get more attention, something Taylor hopes will soon change.

A new BBC documentary will shine a light on Taylor's life in and out of the ring and he will hope he can win back some of the fans he lost after his controversial win over Catterall.

Taylor blamed for BBBofC's failings

Taylor's win over Catterall in February should have been one of the highlights of his career, but he managed to lose plenty of supporters following the bout at Glasgow's Hydro Arena.

The southpaw struggled to get going throughout the bout in his home country, but he was still awarded the victory as he defended his WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles.

Catterall appeared to have done enough after a career-best display, but he was still punished despite flooring Taylor in the eighth round.

The scoring of the fight caught many by surprise at ringside, and the British Boxing Board of Control decided to downgrade judge Ian John-Lewis after his 114-111 scorecard in favour of Taylor, but that does little for Catterall, who could have changed his life if his hand had been raised in Glasgow.

In the build-up to their bout, Taylor was more than happy to discuss his weight issues and even though he struggled in camp, the Prestonpans fighter is determined to put himself through it all again in order to set the record straight.

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Rematch now Taylor's sole focus

Taylor's decision to put his marriage first meant he had to relinquish his WBA light-welterweight title, but he still plans to defend the rest of his belts this year.

He was due to fight Alberto Puello but, after promoters failed to thrash out the terms, Taylor has decided to put himself under the spotlight and try to prove he can beat Catterall without question before the end of the year.

As a proud Scot, Taylor refused to suggest Catterall did enough to win the fight, but he has changed his stance, admitting he would not have been shocked if he had lost.

While Taylor is known for his nasty streak inside the ring, he needs to remain composed if he is to agree to terms for a rematch.

Taylor has spent the majority of his career trying to prove he belongs at the top; now, he faces a fight to prove he is still Britain's best at light-welterweight.

While a step up to welterweight seems inevitable at some point, Taylor appears ready to put it all on the line once again.

Taylor has to take Catterall seriously

His all-action style will always help him attract admirers, but Taylor needs to let his fists do the talking and, more importantly, he cannot overlook Catterall - something he was guilty of before their first meeting.

The build-up to a potential rematch will be explosive and, if Taylor can avoid any weight issues ahead of a second bout, then fans could be in for a treat before the turn of the year.

Taylor has discussed numerous options since his win in February, but there's only one route for him to go if he wants to prove he is the real deal.

Despite holding all the aces, Taylor will again need to justify himself, but that could be just the tonic he needs to get back to his very best.

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