Barry McGuigan: Josh Taylor stepping up to face Miguel Vazquez

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Barry McGuigan admits pitting Josh Taylor against Mexican boxer Miguel Vazquez is “a very risky fight” for the Scot.

The 26-year-old from Prestopans is to fight the more experienced pro at super lightweight in Edinburgh on Saturday night in just his 11th professional bout.

Cyclone Promotions chief McGuigan admits they have taken a risk in lining up a fight with the former IBF lightweight holder, but is keen to challenge Taylor on what he believes is his route to a world title.

“He’s (Vazquez) a real dangerous guy, only 30 years old and he’s very confident,” he told Press Association Sport. “He’s not coming over here to make up the numbers, this guy has a lot of ambition.

“This is a very risky fight for him (Taylor) and we know that, but we like that touch of jeopardy and you have to take that (risk) because you see it too often where you know guys are going to win.

“This is a fight where he is going to be tested, it is genuinely 50-50 but it’s a mark of the faith we have in Taylor to put him in with a guy of this calibre at embryonic stage of his career.

“I genuinely think it will be a great fight.”

Taylor showed his calibre with a seventh-round knockout of Ohara Davies in July, but will be making a substantial step-up in class against Vazquez, who has a record of 39 wins and five losses in 44 fights and has twice taken Canelo Alvarez 12 rounds.

“It is a big step up,” McGuigan admitted. “This guy was a world champion for four years, and only lost his title on a close decision.

“He’s never been knocked down, he’s fought some of the toughest in the world.

“It’s a mark of the respect for him (Taylor) and the potential he has that we have taken this fight in his 11th fight. It’s a tough challenge for him but he needs to get experience of going the distance.

“We need a very good challenge and that’s what we’ve got. Potential fight of the year with this guy.”

However the promoter admitted an all-Scottish clash between Taylor and Ricky Burns now appears unlikely after the latter moved to the lightweight division to take on, and lose to, Anthony Crolla.

He said: “(Despite) the fact we offered the fight to him and made him a tremendous offer, he wanted to go down the line of the Crolla fight and thought he could be more forceful there.

“The fight doesn’t mean as much to us now and I don’t know that he is that keen to fight Josh in any case, but we are looking at the light welterweight division and looking at big things.”

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