Scots boxing hero Josh Taylor won’t be the only one in his household on half rations for Christmas dinner.
Fiancee Danielle Murphy has revealed that undisputed world champ Josh will be keeping trim to keep in top condition for his massive upcoming world title fight.
And Danielle is determined to keep to track for fitting into her wedding dress for their forthcoming nuptials.
Danielle said: “Josh has been away down south, training hard in camp and by this time he’s in great shape, which will only get better and better.
“I’m looking forward to him coming up for Christmas but there will be no mad partying.
“We’ll have a proper Christmas dinner. He’s got some appetite when he’s not in training but he’s got to watch his weight for the fight.
“I’m in the same boat because I’ve got a wedding dress I need to fit into in a few months. The wedding isn’t until June but I’m definitely in that mindset at the moment.”
Danielle, a hairdresser by trade, is currently up to her eyes sorting out tickets for a huge contingent of friends and family heading to see Josh fight in Glasgow.
She admits that during fights she is ducking, diving and throwing virtual punches every minute while he’s fighting for glory.
Danielle said: “When I’ve watched back Josh’s fights I can see that the TV picks me out from time to time and it’s a bit of a cringe because I’m not exactly putting on my nicest face. I’m screaming at Josh in the ring and I’m rolling with the punches like I’m in there with him.
“And then I’ll see the other girls at ringside at fights, all keeping really calm and collected, not saying a word and I’ll always be thinking ‘I’ve got to be a bit more like them’.
“I’ve spoken to Josh about it and we’ve had a laugh and he just says I’m emotionally involved and I have to do whatever comes naturally. I personally don’t know how other partners can do it without showing their emotions.
“I suppose I have a wee bit of the mentalness in me as well.”
Danielle said the big fight will be tinged with sadness, as her dad Jimmy, who was close to Josh, passed away in 2019, just before he won his first world title fight. Her uncle Michael also passed away ten months ago.
She said: “The family has been through a lot and Josh knows that and he will be thinking of that when he gets in the ring.
“But it will be some occasion on February 26.
“I’m looking forward to everything, to be honest – the ring walk and appearing in front of the crowd and the compere shouting Josh’s name.
“Josh will totally revel in that, everybody shouting his name. I’m getting goosebumps even thinking about it myself.
“We’re obviously trusting the fight will be able to go ahead with a full crowd.
“The last two fights Josh had in America would have been amazing but it was impossible for there to be any fans at the first one and the second one came when there were travel restrictions.
“There were a few saltires there and some Scottish ex-Pats got along and Josh just loved that and he even managed to party with some Scottish fans after they fight, which he loved.
“But the next one in Scotland is a different matter altogether and I can’t tell you excited he is to get there as a unified world champion.”
She added: “It’s a proper homecoming fights and he is so up for it and he will be in the best condition ever, so he is full of confidence.”
“The whole Taylor posse, all the family and friends and fans from Prestonpans and Edinburgh and everywhere else will be there and he will be really pumped up because of that.”
Danielle has the same worries of any wife or girlfriend over Josh being seriously hurt of even killed in the ring.
She said: “I watched the big fight he had with Regis Prograis, when Josh got terrible swelling over his eye and couldn’t really see out of it for two or three rounds.
“I have to say I was panicking over that, seeing him hurt like that, even if he was winning the fight.
“Josh was fine about it, he quite liked the swelling as a badge of honour but it went down after a few days. I was just relieved that he was ok.
“Essentially, I just want him to come out of the ring in pretty much the same shape he went in.
“It only takes one punch in boxing for things to go sour, to be a disaster, and the more people Josh has beaten the tougher the opponents have got.
“So you do panic about that but he’s a wee tough cookie and, touch wood, we’ll be ok.”
Josh was hotly tipped to make the final six in the BBC’s Sports personality of the Year but he never made the list.
That prompted him to tell the BBC to stick SPOTY ‘right up their a***’.
But Danielle said his priority is winning in the ring after arguably already being the most successful boxer in Scottish ring history, holding all belts in the light welterweight category.
She said: “Josh isn’t really bothered with stuff like that but he’s loving his success, loving the fact that people appreciate what he’s done for Scotland.
“Josh has got time for everyone. When we’ve gone out, people have come up and asked for pictures. He’ll do the lot and he’ll sign all the autograph, he’ll sit and chat to them. He appreciates that.”
Danielle fully expects Josh to win his fight in February, which will enable them to get on with normal life, Omicron permitting.
She said: “I am looking forward to doing what ordinary couples do, like going for nice meals, date nights, catching up with friends and normal stuff.
“But after the fight we have a wedding to prepare for, so I’ll definitely be pretty focused on that.
“The fight isn’t too long before the wedding, so we might just have a few days up north and think about the details of a honeymoon later on.”