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Scotland’s Finest: Josh Taylor Faces Campos in Snowy Glasgow

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Late replacement Winston Campos (30-3-5, 18KOs) must’ve felt like he was visiting a different planet when his plane touched down in Glasgow earlier this week. The native of Managua, Nicaragua, who has never boxed outside of Central America, arrived in Scotland just before the worst snow storm seen in these parts for over 30 years hit.

Unfriendly weather should be the least of his worries. Campos is here to face Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor (11-0-0, 10KOs) on Saturday night.

Taylor had been due to face the vastly experienced Humberto Soto of Mexico until it was announced on February 24 that the Mexican had sustained a cut in training. Campos was available and willing to step in to challenge for Taylor’s WBC Silver 140lb title. The Taylor vs. Campos bout will top a Cyclone Promotions card titled “Scotland’s Finest” which will unfold at The Hydro in Glasgow. Terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5 will broadcast to the UK audience; viewers further afield will need to seek out a stream.

Taylor is currently ranked number five in the WBC’s light-welterweight rankings. All of the men ranked above him will also be boxing this month so the picture in the division should be clearer by the time the clocks spring forward. On March 9 Regis Prograis will face off against former unified 140lb title holder Julius Indongo in a world title eliminator. March 17 will see number one ranked Amir Imam take on Jose Carlos Ramirez for the title. The plan would be for the March 9 and 17 winners to then meet possibly in early summer with the winner of that perhaps making a mandatory defence before the end of the year. If Taylor keeps winning then he could be the end of year mandatory.

Of course in boxing there is no point in looking too far ahead but with the way Taylor has begun his professional campaign there has been an expectation that a world title shot would be imminent. I have been guilty of this assumption too so hopefully the above paragraph outlines a sensible path to a shot at the WBC belt for Taylor. We must remember that Taylor has only had 11 fights so far. The other fighters mentioned above have all had upwards of 20 contests.

But back to immediate matters. Can Campos produce an upset that would send Taylor’s ranking tumbling down like an avalanche? Anything can happen in boxing, as we know, but the short answer is no. Having watched some limited YouTube footage of the southpaw challenger I can’t see any logical way he can beat the always improving Taylor.

The first thing that stands out about Campos is his undisciplined defence. His guard may begin high but his right hand is soon creeping down towards his mid-section. His footwork is unconventional in that he bounces in and out of attacks. I think this could lead to some balance issues. He is also in a rush to uncork his left hand. There is no subtle setup or trap setting from the Nicaraguan. Most worrying for him going in against Taylor is the fact that he looks easy to dominate and hit on the inside. In Taylor’s last few contests he has really utilised his strength and skill up close.

The only positives I can see in Campos’ favour are that up until late last week Taylor was preparing for an orthodox fighter and, at 25, he will be hungry for success and should have a much better engine than the veteran Soto would’ve brought to Glasgow. Campos is vastly more experienced in professional boxing having turned pro in 2010 and he was very active in 2017, fighting five bouts. Sadly for Campos, experience, a high activity rate, presenting a different stance and an immense fitness level won’t be enough to outsmart Taylor.

The one previous time Campos stepped up in class was in 2013 against Ismael Barroso – he was knocked out in the fourth round.

A similar fate may await him in Glasgow. Scotsman Taylor really does look like a fighter worth getting excited about. The home fighter has adapted well to professional boxing since his debut in 2015. He has been fast-tracked by his handlers and his stoppage victories last year over, then undefeated, Ohara Davies and tricky Mexican Miguel Vasquez showed he is learning at a high rate and deserves to be mixing it with the other elite 140lb fighters before too much longer. Poise, marvellous shot selection and a developing ability for ferocious fighting inside are all staples of Taylor’s game. He has also improved defensively recently and now poses quite a problem for whoever is facing him.

Before we see Taylor and Campos in the ring there are a few more fights on the “Scotland’s Finest” card worth mentioning. Fast rising Scottish prospect Jason Easton (11-0-0, 6KOs) faces off against Englishman Glenn Foot (21-3-0, 6KOs) for Taylor’s old Commonwealth light-welterweight title. This could be the fight of the night due to the style of boxing both men employ. Expect a toe-to-toe battle.

An all Scottish battle will take place between Charlie Flynn (10-0-1, 1KO) and Ryan Collins (13-2-1, 2KOs) for a regional title in the 135lb division. The draw on both of their records came when they faced each other last year. This is an interesting, hard to call rematch.

We will also get to see local talents Gary Rae (5-0), Joe Ham (13-0) and Lee McGregor (2-0) hopefully take the next successful steps on their respective professional journeys.

Most of the national and international interest will be on Taylor’s latest fight though. Campos’ professionalism should be applauded as he, along with Taylor, weighed-in at 139lbs so there are no weight issues to worry about heading into fight night. The man from Nicaragua answered a late call to fight for a title in Scotland. Unfortunately for him he will get stopped amidst a blizzard of Taylor punches before the halfway point of the contest has been reached. Campos, along with the stubborn lying snow, is about to get blown away by a natural Tornado at The Hydro.

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Check back on Sunday for a full ringside write up on “Scotland’s Finest.”
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A boxing fan since his teenage years, Morrison began writing about the sport in July 2016. He appreciates all styles of boxing and has nothing but respect for those who get in the ring for our entertainment. Morrison is from Scotland and can be found on Twitter @Morrie1981.

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