Josh Taylor admits he lost focus after becoming undisputed world champion but insists he will be back to his best when he fights Teofimo Lopez next month.
The title defence against Lopez in New York will be the Scot’s first time in the ring since he won against Jack Catterall by split decision in February of last year.
That victory was highly controversial, with many pundits believing Catterall was the better fighter and should have relieved Taylor of his belts.
Prior to that night at Glasgow’s Hydro, Taylor’s star had been on the rise, from Commonwealth Games success through a flawless professional career as he rose to unify the super lightweight decision and join the short list of boxers to become undisputed world champion in the four-belt era.
The 32-year-old told STV that it was an inability to properly draw a line under that unprecedented success that led to him failing to show his best against Catterall.
“It’s evidently clear that since 2014, look at the performances I’ve put on,” Taylor said. “It’s been nothing but a sharp steep climb up to the top of Mt Everest, becoming an undisputed champion.
“I’m the first person in the UK to do it and still the only person in the UK to do it. It’s a massive historical event that had taken place and then I sort of lost sight of what I was doing.
“I wanted to come home and celebrate with my friends and family but I couldn’t because we still had lockdown, so I never really saw the inside of a boxing gym and was still in celebration mode.
“I lost focus in what I was doing and complacency crept in.”
Taylor is now deep into his preparations to take on Lopez, the 25-year-old from New York who has suffered only one defeat in 19 fights.
Having accepted that he didn’t show what he was capable last time out, Taylor has vowed that he’ll show he’s taken that lesson on board when he steps into the ring at Madison Square Garden on June 10.
For my last fight there, there was a lack of discipline with my training camp, my diet and stuff,” he said. “I really struggled to make the weight because I never did it right and had focus.
“That’s the lesson that I’ve learned and it’s a valuable lesson that I’ve learned.
“I won’t be making that mistake again.
“It’s the only bad performance I’ve put in in 10 years and I plan on it being my only bad performance of my career. It’s one to put behind me and one to learn from as well.”