By Shaun Brown

FLORIAN MARKU has called on Josh Taylor to accept a fight against him.

Taylor is yet to announce his next move after losing to Teofimo Lopez in June. Having squeaked past Jack Catterall in February 2022, the former super-lightweight champion talked afterwards of moving to welterweight but returned to 140lbs to face Lopez.

With a jump to 147lbs on the cards, the names of David Avanesyan and Florian Marku have been floating around the rumour mill as potential opponents. The latter spoke to Boxing News this week and said an offer has been made to Taylor to face the Albanian but…

“He hasn’t accepted it,” Marku said. “I don’t know how the situation is right now. I think they are still negotiating. I would love to fight Josh Taylor. He’s a great fighter, he made history, he was undisputed super-lightweight champion, he won all the belts [so] that’s a great fight for me. I would love to fight in Scotland. I know we can fill whatever stadium there, me and him. That’s a big fight that the people want to see.”

Wherever Marku, 13-0-1 (8), fights the unbeaten welterweight brings him with a lively and large support who have followed their man around the UK from York Hall to Newcastle.

“When I fought Chris Jenkins in Newcastle there was 3,000 there,” Marku said.

Last month Marku’s fanbase watched as he wasted little time getting rid of the well-travelled Dylan Moran in Manchester. With barely any punches thrown after 40 seconds of the opening round, Marku burst into life landing a straight left which Moran never fully recovered from. Having moved his Irish opponent from right to left, Marku finished the job with thudding shots that left Moran defenceless on the ropes forcing referee Mark Lyson to step in, preventing further punishment.

“It was good,” Marku said of the win. “It was a nice stoppage. I was really prepared. It happens like this. I was working on this thing, and I stopped the fight. I wanted more rounds and I want to be active one more time this year.”

Marku’s record to date does not contain on it anyone of the calibre of Josh Taylor, 19-1 (13). His progression and entertainment value mark the 31-year-old ‘Albanian King’ down as one to watch for the future.

At the other end of the spectrum Taylor is a former world champion who holds wins over Ohara Davies, Viktor Postol, Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis. However, after a career which saw him matched tough early on, there are those who believe Taylor may have seen better days, particularly after his performances against Catterall and Lopez.

“It doesn’t matter which version of Josh Taylor is in front of me,” Marku said. “I’m coming to win. It doesn’t matter. He can be the superman in the ring, or he can be the weakest, I’m coming to fight. My mindset is still the same. I don’t underestimate no-one; I respect him for what he has done but I’m coming to win, and I know I can win. If he thinks I’m an easy fight, let’s make it happen.”