DRONFIELD’S Lewis Taylor is hoping youth will overcome age and experience when he gets his first taste of title action against 36-year-old Michael Monaghan, a week on Saturday.
The unbeaten fighter will take on veteran Monaghan over eight rounds for the International Masters junior middleweight title at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium, on March 2.
At 23, Taylor is 13 years his opponent’s junior, but is adamant he will give the Lincoln fighter the runaround when they face each other - despite the fact Monaghan has faced the likes of Carl Froch, Gary Lockett and Matthew Macklin.
“I expect he’ll want to try and mess me up, but I’ll be looking to use my youth and speed to my advantage.” He won’t be able to keep up with me.”
Monaghan’s record leaves much to be desired. He has won only one of his last nine fights; his last win against Barnsley’s Jason Smith in 2009.
Taylor’s form has been impressive, he’s triumphed in all seven fights since turning professional in October 2011.
Despite boasting a record that is much more impressive than that of his opponent, Taylor doesn’t underestimate Monaghan.
“He has had a fair few fights against the likes of Froch, (the Nottingham man knocked him out in three rounds in 2003) and Macklin, so he’s got a lot of experience - much more than me.
“But I am very confident I will get a good win.
“Fighting for a title is a massive step up for me and I have had to deal with a few nerves, but my training has been going well and I am more than ready.”
Away from the ring, Taylor could hardly be more different from your average boxer.
In a sport where competitors are rarely known for academic prowess, Taylor very much bucks the trend: “I have a degree in accounting from Sheffield Hallam University and now work in the city.
“I really enjoyed studying for my degree and it could not have turned out any better for me job-wise.
“It also gives me something to fall back on if my boxing career doesn’t work out for whatever reason.”
When it comes to his sporting career, however, Taylor admits he is ambitious.
Having dealt with every fighter he has faced in his professional career so far, he is keen to continue his rise up the boxing ladder in 2013.
He is also full of praise for his promoter Dennis Hobson, who Taylor says has done an excellent job of guiding his career since he turned pro.
“All being well, I’ll be fighting for an area title sometime this year.”
“Dennis is doing a really great job of getting me the right fights at the right times.”
“Things are going really well and I’m very confident of a successful year.”