A CERTAIN serendipity has led Josh Taylor to Ricky Hatton’s door and the timing could not have been better.

The most pressing challenge for the unified world champion is a defence of his WBA and IBF belts against Thai mandatory challenger Apinun Khonsong at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on May 2.

Beyond that, however, the Prestonpans fighter has his sights set on America, and in particular a date with Jose Ramirez for the chance to become undisputed world champion of the super-lightweight division.

And who better to speak to about conquering the United States than the Hitman himself who took a legion of British fans with him across the pond for mega fights against the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

A recent change of trainer from Shane McGuigan to Ben Davison has seen Taylor take up residence at Hatton’s gym in Manchester and the Scot has not been slow to tap into his knowledge.

“Ricky has been there, done it and worn the T-shirt,” said Taylor. “He was one of my heroes when I was a kid. I had DVDs and videos of him fighting. When I first started boxing I based my style on him and Joe Calzaghe. And then when I was older I discovered Pacquaio too.

“But Ricky is good to have in the gym. I’ve seen him once or twice since I went in there as he’s been busy with his own fighters.

“Given everything Ricky achieved, especially in America, he’s someone I can lean heavily on for advice. He’s been in massive fights and probably taken the biggest travelling support ever to the States.

“So he’s the best man to ask what to do over there, what to watch out for and all the rest. I believe I’m in the perfect gym for that.

“It would be amazing if I could take an army of mad Scottish fans over to Las Vegas too one day for one of my fights! I’m sure whenever I get to America I’ll take a good travelling support. But all in good time.”

First, though, he must take care of Khongsong, an undefeated fighter known locally as the Thai Pacquaio. And Taylor won’t be taken anything for granted.

“He’s got something about him. It’s hard to judge him without knowing the level of opposition he’s been in with. But he stands tall, punches through the target and can bang.

“He’s knocking opponents all over the place so he’s obviously doing something right. I need to take care of the job.”

Taylor may need to do so without his new trainer with him at ringside. Davison also trains Billy Joe Saunders who is being teed up for a crack at Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, also on May 2.

In that scenario, Taylor will turn to his old Lochend Boxing coach Terry McCormack.

“It’s a bit of a blow with this being our first fight together. But you just have to get on with it. We’ll prepare well and Terry will know what we’re working on and how we want to fight. So it’s not that big a deal. It’s not like I’m going to be working with strangers. I’ve known Terry since I was 16 years old.

If that fight comes off for Billy Joe I’ll still do my training with Ben in Manchester until they head out and then I’ll bring Terry down to finish off my sparring. He’s coming down in the next couple of weeks anyway. Terry is a huge part of my team so that’s the answer it that situation arises.”