Josh Taylor v Ryan Martin Saturday, 21:00 Live on ITV
Josh on the defence
Josh Taylor defends his WBC Silver super lightweight title on Saturday night before an adoring home crowd at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, with unbeaten American Ryan Martin providing the Scotsman's latest challenge.
This bout also doubles as a first round in the latest offering from the exciting World Boxing Super Series format and the home hero will see winning the tournament outright as a short-cut to the big time.
The Tartan Tornado hasn't put a foot wrong since trading a trophy-laden amateur career for the paid ranks in 2015 and is hot-favourite to record win number 14, despite facing an opponent unbeaten in 22 previous starts. Will Taylor live up to expectations? The betting certainly believes so.
Taylor and Mcguigan a winning team
Following Commonwealth Games success at Glasgow 2014, adding gold to the silver medal he had won in Delhi four years previous, Josh Taylor decided the time was right to drop the vest and sign professional terms with Barry McGuigan, fighting under the Cyclone Promotions banner. He got the ball rolling with a second round TKO win over American Archie Weah in El Paso before returning home to dominate.
Winning the Commonwealth strap in only his seventh outing - fifth round TKO over Dave Ryan in October 2016 - 5ft 10inch southpaw Taylor improved to bank a grudge match with unbeaten Londoner Ohara Davies less than a year later, adding the WBC Silver to his list of achievements. Despite his opponent bringing a proud 15-0-0 record, Josh impressed en route to a seventh-round stoppage that had Davies down twice before being pulled by referee Howard Foster.
The Edinburgh born fighter was last seen scoring a convincing points win over Ukrainian Viktor Postol at this venue in June, returning scores of 117-110, 118-110, 119-108 to claim what was a fascinating fight. The fact The Iceman had lost only once before, to Terence Crawford, proves the value of that result.
Punters aren't in a rush to oppose the local and there's currently no better than 1.13available on the Betfair Exchange. The Sportsbook has another points win at 2/1, while a 12th career KO/TKO will attract attention at 8/15.
Martin beat Prescott last time out
Opponent Ryan Martin has been treated like winning isn't an option by traders and the majority of British boxing fans, but the American will set-out from his Ohio base confident in his ability to cause a major upset and bag a place in the next round. The 25-year-old brings an impressive 22-0-0 record and has some eye-catching names on his CV already.
Blue Chip was last seen collecting an eight-round points victory over Breidis Prescott, a fighter UK followers will remember as the man who inflicted that stunning first round knockout on Amir Khan way back in 2008. The Colombian has lived off it ever since, even parading the nickname Khanqueror, but he was in over his head when matched with Martin and dropped a 79-71, 79-71, 77-73 decision. That result means the visitor has won three of his last four on the scorecards.
The pick of that purple patch came down at lightweight when winning WBA Inter-Continental and WBC Continental Americas gongs last summer with a split decision vs Mexican Francisco Rojo. There was very little in it, the cards reading 95-94, 96-93 and, somehow, 91-98. Martin claiming a 23rd career win is thought to be unlikely, 10.00 available on the Exchange, a points upset carrying a weighty 9/1 price tag.
Taylor a deserving favourite
Ryan Martin may be an unbeaten fighter with titles in his cabinet but there's little doubt this is a step back for Josh Taylor from the Viktor Postol fight, certainly on paper anyway. We can't pick holes in the favourite's performances to date and it would be a big ask to build a strong case against him. He's short price jolly because he deserves to be, and punters would be advised to work on predicting how Josh wins, rather than if.
The bulk of Martin's best work has come down at lightweight and when stepping up a division to face a fighter of Taylor's talent, you've got to fear the worst for the American. Back another victorious night for the Scottish crowd with their man capturing another inside-the-distance result.