World champion boxer Josh Taylor could be handed the Freedom of East Lothian under plans going before councillors this week.
Taylor, who grew up in Prestonpans, became the first British fighter to become an undisputed world champion in the four-belt era after defeating José Ramírez last month and returned to a hero’s welcome in the town.
The 30-year-old boxer would join a select group of people to be made freemen of East Lothian by the council, including Port Seton artist John Bellany, golfer Catriona Matthew, The Royal Scots Borderers, and the Lothians and Border Yeomanry.
A report to a virtual meeting of East Lothian Council on Tuesday reveals provost John McMillan has nominated Taylor for the honour and was seconded by the leader of the council, councillor Willie Innes.
It asks councillors to approve the nomination and “present the award of the Freedom of East Lothian to honour the sporting achievements of Josh Taylor, undisputed light-welterweight champion of the world”.
And it calls on them to instruct officials to arrange a presentation ceremony as soon as it is practical to do so.
Listing the achievements of Taylor, the report adds: “He has held the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and Ring magazine titles since 2019 and the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organisation titles since May 2021.”
The report also references the boxer’s successful amateur career, which saw him win a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 while still a teenager, and a gold medal at the Games in Glasgow four years later.
It adds: “Josh Taylor is now only the second Scotsman to be an undisputed champion after Ken Buchanan and is the first British fighter to become an undisputed world champion in the ‘four-belt era’ and only the fifth man in the world to achieve this status.”
A parade to mark Taylor’s win is being held this weekend in Prestonpans after it was given the go-ahead, with Covid safety precautions in place.
By local democracy reporter Marie Sharp