Peter Wells of Boxing News and Views returns this weekend to give his official Josh Taylor vs Miguel Vazquez prediction.
The exodus of Terence Crawford to the Welterweight division has seen a large and relieved group of fighters in the Light Welterweight division.
Four belts are now up for grabs, and one of those fighters in the mix is ex-amateur star, Josh Taylor.
The Scotsman has flown through his first 10 tests as a professional, emphatically dispatching the likes of Dave Ryan and Ohara Davies along the way.
But now he faces a fighter known on the world stage.
Miguel Vazquez is no stranger himself to quick tests in his career, having lost twice to Canelo Alvarez and once to Timothy Bradley in the adolescent stages of a career that has seemingly benefited from facing those challenges early on.
He went on to become a long-time holder of the IBF Lightweight title, using his excellent long reach and constant side wards movement to frustrate many challengers before losing that title to Mickey Bey.
It was an uninspiring defeat in a poor fight, and it was only a year later when he was on the wrong end of another decision loss to Argenis Mendez. Vazquez 39-5(15KO’s) has not fought anyone of the same calibre since, but has looked dominant in pushing himself towards another title shot in a new weight class.
The Mexican still holds a reach advantage, but he does not hold such an advantage in size, as he did during his prime at Lightweight.
Taylor 10-0(9KO’s) has boxed wonderfully since turning over in the paid ranks.
His judging of distance is sublime and without comparing him to one of boxing’s best, his foot work can set up angles similarly to the masterful artwork of Vasyl Lomachenko.
Taylor has everything to go all the way in boxing, and tomorrow night will be a large step in the right direction when he takes on Vasquez.
For all his experience though, Miguel looks the perfect opponent for Taylor to make his name known to the entire 140lbs division as well as looking impressive in doing so. Only becoming the first man to stop the Mexican can make this night any better.
Live on Channel 5, Taylor can shine yet again, bamboozling a Vazquez that became so used to doing that to his own opponents.
A stoppage would be the statement that Taylor would really want, to put fear into the rest of the division, but it is unlikely to come against a man who spends much of his time at long range.
Taylor can close the gap, but not for long enough periods to dispose of this experienced world class operator. Leaving the final verdict to three judges who all score widely in favour of the home favourite.