Bellator’s Anthony ‘Pretty Boy’ Taylor: ‘I had no meaning in life’
This week California’s Anthony ‘Pretty Boy’ Taylor was in Dublin promoting his upcoming featherweight bout with SBG’s James Gallagher in the 3Arena on December 16.
At the Bellator 169 / BAMMA 27 press conference, Taylor made himself the story.
Loud, cocky and bold, the American attempted to irritate Gallagher throughout.
Even towards the end of the press conference, when I asked him would he share a beer with Gallagher after the contest, he remained in character and suggested that Gallagher would be the one buying drinks for him and his coaches.
But minutes later, Fightstore Media talked to Taylor one on one. After enquiring about where his confidence came from, and whether he was always this way, a more humble and sensitive Taylor emerged.
“It’s definitely something you develop overtime, I grew up with 17 brothers and sisters, the majority of them boys, you develop that confidence because they take you through rigorous trainings and you see things and have to grow up. It’s a blessing that I’m here even though I’ve only been fighting for about two years. It shows how much I’ve grown as a fighter and I know my ability and trust my coaches.”
That candid response inspired me to learn more about his past. What was he doing before he took up fighting?
“Nothing,” he answered immediately. “I was pretty much running the streets, living house to house, we never really had nowhere to live. Sleeping in my friend’s car, sleeping here and there. I never really had direction, no father figure to help me. I had no meaning in life.”
Taylor now has plenty to live for, as he explained below.
“Fighting is my life now. It’s a huge career change for me. It’s a blessing because not a lot of people get this opportunity. So many people fight for so many years just to try get a shot at Bellator and the fact Scott [Coker, CEO Bellator] is choosing me for one of the biggest events and being apart of the roster is a huge blessing. I’m very thankful to him and I also thank God.”
He continued: “I have the opportunity to change my life and my family’s life and my surroundings. Even after my fighting career I want to invest into homeless shelters, give to the kids, I want to definitely give more to the youth especially boys who are growing up without father figures and maybe try change their future. I definitely want to give back to the community after my fighting career is over.”
At 27 and with a professional record of 1-1, Taylor has a lot of fighting still to do. Why did he adopt the name ‘Pretty Boy’?
“I don’t really tell a lot of people this but one of my great ancestors, his name was Pretty Boy Floyd, he was an American gangster back in the 1920’s. I liked the name and I like the fact Mayweather was cocky and he didn’t get hit. So when I had a couple of fights people were saying ‘hey you’re a little pretty boy going in there, looking good and showing off to the ladies, you should start calling yourself pretty boy.’”
Is Floyd Mayweather therefore somebody Taylor looks up to?
“Definitely, I like the fact he self-promotes his fights. He doesn’t sugar coat, he’s very honest and the style in which he self-promotes is what I take from him. A lot of great fighters all came from Muhammad Ali, that passed down to Floyd Mayweather and now Conor McGregor self-promotes his fights, that’s why he gains so many attractions. I wanna be able to showcase my skills in the cage but also talking on the mic.”
How long before Taylor believes he will be crowned a Bellator world champion?
“At the end of the day it’s all about money. Money talks. As long as I’m a superstar and I can make money. Ay, I don’t need the titles as long as I’m making just as much money or more than the title holder. Because that’s what it’s all about. Money talks.”
Fightstore Media will soon release interviews with Taylor’s upcoming opponent, James Gallagher as well as CEO of Bellator, Scott Coker.
Image Source: Jerry McCarthy (KO Media)