Barry McGuigan, the trainer of WBA, IBF junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor, has no interest in a potential fight with Lewis Ritson.
Ritson’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, proposed the idea of a fight with Taylor. He believes the fight would draw a sell-out crowd of 60,000 fans at St James’ Park.
In the last two years, Taylor has fought and beat some of top fighters in his division – like Viktor Postol, Ryan Martin and Ivan Baranchyk – and on Saturday night he won the entire World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight tournament with a twelve round unanimous decision over Regis Prograis in the finale, which took place at the O2 Arena in London.
The top target on the list of Taylor, is a unification with WBC, WBO champion Jose Ramirez.
Ramirez will first have to get through a mandatory defense against Viktor Postol.
Taylor and McGuigan will be fixated on the outcome of that fight – and view Ritson as a step backwards.
“With the greatest respect, Eddie [Hearn] would love the Ritson fight because he has his own fighter there,” said McGuigan to The Evening Times.
“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.”