FINBAR Patrick McGuigan – aka Barry; The Clones Cyclone – has been around boxing long enough to know that the sport has a nasty habit of ensuring that even the best laid plans gang aft agley.
Consequently, the Irish ring legend accepts that there is risk involved in shackling the talents of an emerging force. But when it comes to Josh Taylor, the former world featherweight champion believes he is wise to tread carefully.
Taylor, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, has made remarkable progress since turning pro in the wake of Glasgow 2014, winning all eight of his paid bouts with considerable style.
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Indeed, McGuigan and several astute judges of note have been "blown away" by what they have witnessed, to the extent that the 26-year-old Prestonpans boxer has already been hallmarked as a future world champion.
McGuigan even went as far as to opine yesterday that Taylor would beat Ricky Burns, the current WBA super-lightweight champion, were they to cross swords in the near future.
However, he also sounded a note of caution on the basis that his fighter has nowhere near the level of experience Burns has accrued over 16 years and 47 fights at the sharp end of the business.
"Josh is where I want him to be and he's ready for some big fights," said McGuigan, following the announcement in Edinburgh that Taylor will defend his Commonwealth super-lightweight belt against South African Warren Joubert at Meadowbank Arena on March 24.
The 35-year-old challenger is by all accounts a tough individual who will come to fight and may even take the champion the distance. Indeed it could well turn out to be Taylor's toughest test to date.
But McGuigan has much bigger plans. "I’m really looking at Burns," he added. "That’s the fight for us in the future and it would be stupid not to talk about it as it's the elephant in the room, so you can’t ignore it.
"But I need Josh to get experience before I chuck him in to a world title fight because I can’t go back and get him experience later. So I have to take him along at the right pace.
"Ultimately, I’m subordinate to Shane, his coach. He makes the decisions – and he wants to put the brakes on a little bit. I genuinely believe that Josh could beat Burns right now, but I still want him to get experience, because let’s say we win a world title, every fight after that is a tough one. You can’t pick and choose.
"But at the same time, I don’t want him to miss the boat and it will be a tough fight for Ricky against Julius Indongo. I also believe Ricky is in the twilight of his career and I don’t know how much longer he’s going to be around.
"So while I don’t want to rush Josh, I also I don’t want him to miss the perfect opportunity. But I think Josh is probably still three fights away from a world title bout, maybe even a handful."
Taylor has already made a big impression in the States, where he has fought three times, most recently last month when he earned a unanimous decision against American Alfonso Olvera on his Las Vegas debut.
"That guy had been in with two Olympians and dropped one of them twice," said McGuigan "so he was durable. But Josh had him in trouble on a couple of occasions.
"He was under big pressure. It was his first fight on Showtime in front of 10,000 people and it was scary for him. But performing under pressure is part of the journey to the very top."