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Sitting Down with World Champion & Buffalo Native Joe Taylor

By Cassie Kamens

Joe Taylor is a Buffalo boxer who emulates what it really means to be a Buffalonian. I was fortunate to sit down with him for a short interview. I am honored to be able to tell you some parts of his story.

Taylor's gloves from his fight at Madison Square Garden.

Joe Taylor was born and raised in Lockport, NY. When your father is Johnny Taylor (another famous boxer), you start to box as soon as you start walking or at least Joe did. Some years later, Joe is a very decorated and well-respected boxer, kick boxer, and MMA fighter. When Joe started trying to come up with names for himself, he mentioned that he also briefly considered “Bad Boy Joe Taylor” but did not want the bad boy image. One of his managers then suggested the nickname is “Son of the Legend” which pays tribute to his father’s boxing career. Joe said that his favorite fight was the one in which he was able to avenge a loss his father had. Joe’s father, Johnny, fought at Madison Square Garden and after him three other boxers from the Lockport area also fought there and all lost. Joe Taylor was the fifth boxer from Lockport to fight at Madison Square Garden and he was able to win the fight. Joe said that he felt this win was revenge for his father and the other boxers from Lockport who had lost.

Joe Taylor is a winner which is evident from all of the trophies, belts and medals that he has won. Here is a list of accomplishments thus far in his career:

· 2x Golden Glove Champion

· 2 Gold Medals for Team USA in Benidorm, Spain

· National Title

· WKA North Eastern Title

· IKF World Classic Title

· Amateur MMA TNT Title

As mentioned above, Joe was able to represent Team USA in 2015. Joe traveled to Spain and was able to win fights against very tough competitors to collect two Gold Medals for the United States.

Another incredible honor for Joe Taylor was when he was presented keys to the city and awarded a day in his honor for his heroic actions. When Joe tells this story, he highlights how this event was symbolic for him. When Joe was growing up, he was a troublemaker which landed him in and out of jail and almost had a felony on his record. However, he decided to change his life for the better. He started training and attending school. One day on his way to an apprenticeship, a requirement from his school, he was at a traffic light which was broken. When it was his time to make a turn, a car on the other side of the intersection burst into flames. Joe watched as a police officer on the scene tried to open the car’s door without any luck. Joe sprung into action and helped open the car door and remove the man from the car to safety. His fast rection that day saved at least one life and probably more. Joe said that he felt that the City of Lockport forgave him for all of his wrong doings when he was younger that day. He was awarded Joe Taylor Day, which is October 1, and was also given keys to the city.

Joe Taylor is a man who loves to give back to his community. He owns JT’s Mixed Martial Arts where he trains fighters like him. He offers different class options and memberships. He also mentioned that if someone is unable to pay for the gym, he works with them and will train people for free if necessary. Joe is someone who turned his life around and loves to give back to his community.

Make sure to check out JT’s gym and the full interview which can be viewed on the discover716_sports Instagram page through IGTV.

Go Team Taylor!!

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