BARRY McGuigan insisted last night that Eddie Hearn’s idea of Josh Taylor taking on Lewis Ritson in front of 60,000 fans at a sell-out St James’ Park would be a step back for Scotland’s first unified world champion in almost 50 years. Having battled his way past Viktor Postol, Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis in the last two years – four fighters who went into the ring with just one defeat amongst them, and even that was against the illustrious Terence Crawford – there is a school of thought that now is the time for Taylor to take care of his bank balance rather than his trophy cabinet and Hearn could make that happen.

But the man who masterminded the Scot’s progress to unified world champion in just 16 pro fights is adamant that the only policy is to continue aggressively taking on world class opponents. Assuming Jose Ramirez takes care of Postol in February, that means a showdown with the American – either in Edinburgh or at Madison Square Garden – this time next year.

With the greatest respect, Eddie [Hearn] would love the Ritson fight because he has his own fighter there,” said McGuigan. “Eddie is great and we want to work with Eddie but we want the winner of Ramirez and Postol. Give Josh two or three months to recover and get his eye back again, keep training the whole way through then hit the ground running after that.

“I don’t want to be arrogant but for us that [Ritson] is a step back, it isn’t a step forward. We have always made the right decisions. We’ve matched him aggressively. We’ve pushed him hard and got the right results. We’re not going to turn back at this stage. He wins the unified title, then we might consider that kind of thing.

“We want him to be one of the greatest British fighters of all time. And he won’t achieve that fighting these fights. With respect to Lewis Ritson, he is not in Josh Taylor’s league. Ramirez should beat Postol but there are no guarantees. I want him to beat Postol then come to Edinburgh Castle or Madison Square Garden. Because Josh can fight anywhere. That is the one we are interested in. And that is the one he is interested in.”