IBF/WBA junor welterweight champion Josh Taylor insists the lack of crowd will have no impact on his performance when he puts his two titles on the line against Apinun Khongsong later this month. Taylor (16-2 including the World Series of Boxing) defends against Thailand's Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs) on September 26th, live on ESPN+ in the USA and BT Sport in the UK. Taylor and his trainer Ben Davison attended the BT Sport event this past Saturday to get a feel of what their fight night will be like, and the Edinburgh star is now confident that the unique venue won’t prevent him from producing a dazzling display.
Taylor said: “This is what I live for. The big nights and the big stage is what I dreamed of and there is no way I’ll let the pandemic and no crowd let it slip and have an impact on my performance. I’m going to take this opportunity with both hand and keep hold of my belts, and then we’ll move onto bigger and better things. I was at the show on Saturday and thought it would be quite weird but it’s still impressive. It’s got the razzle dazzle with the big screen and the lights, so it’s still got that fight night feel. That’s the last box ticked off that I was concerned about, so there are no worries now. The time me and Ben have spent together has been brilliant, and it’s been good getting to know each other personally. We’re on the same page and have been flying in the gym. Khongsong is a good fighter who punches right through the target and has power in both hands, but we’ve studied him a lot and we think we can expose things on fight night.”
Trainer Ben Davison added: “It was good to go to the venue and get an idea of what to expect. This isn’t going to be a fight where Josh needed the backing of the crowd, as we want him to have a smart approach. Josh has come off a fantastic win, and it’s not about overlooking information. There are just a little bit of adjustments and fine tuning to make. Things are starting to come together at the right time and it’s all about peaking on the night.”