JOSH TAYLOR V MIGUEL VAZQUEZ Taylor shows he’s not joshing around with world-class show
IF there was any doubt about the potential Josh Taylor has to become a superstar in the world of boxing, it was dispelled at a packed Royal Highland Centre on Saturday night.
Taylor, in his first defence of his WBC Silver Super Lightweight title, was up against a boxer of considerable reputation in Miguel Vazquez and the general consensus ahead of the bout was that it would be a tight affair.
The Mexican had held the IBF World Lightweight title for four years and in 44 professional fights prior to taking on the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, the 30 year-old had never been stopped.
Taylor changed all that. While there was nothing to split the fighters in the opening few rounds, Taylor grew in confidence and began finding his range with i mpressive effectiveness.
A ferocious combination ending with a right hand shot to the body left Vazquez on the canvas. He did not recover.
The Scot knew he had been in a battle – he was bloodied and bruised having suffered a cut to the head following a clash of heads in round two and a hand injury mid-way through the contest but despite the battle scars, Taylor could not hide his delight at extending his unbeaten record to 11-0, and doing it in such style.
“I’m over the moon with that, it was a good performance,” he said. “He was really tough and it was definitely the hardest test of my career so far.
“People were saying that he’s
not a puncher, but he’s definitely more heavyhanded than people give him credit for.
“He was very awkward and hard to hit clean.”
Taylor struggled to make any significant headway in the early rounds, with Vazquez using all his experience to defend himself effectively ensuring that the 26 year-old was not doing any significant damage.
Taylor has not been up against anyone in the pro game so far who has negated his skills quite so proficiently and he admits that he got a touch impatient and only when he relaxed did he begin to make significant headway.
“I was getting a little bit frustrated with myself at times but once I relaxed and stopping try so hard then I started getting the shots off,” he said.
“I was hitting him clean with some decent shots but he was recovering well really quickly. I knew I had to start going downstairs to slow him down a bit and that’s what I started doing.
“I always knew I could take him out but I think I was trying a bit too hard early on but once I started relaxing, I started flowing and starting hitting him with better shots. That’s been the best fight I’ve had so far and I’ve learned a lot.”
THERE has been much talk of a world title fight for Taylor but his first plan of attack was to disappear into the Edinburgh night for a couple of pints and a pizza. He has his sights on taking a European title before any world title fights and he is certain that he wants to return to his home city.
“That was brilliant, the crowds are getting bigger and bigger and the atmosphere was brilliant, it lifts you that extra 10 percent,” he said.
“I’m enjoying every minute of the ride and I hope I can keep bringing big nights back to Edinburgh. I’m confident in my own ability that I’m going to win a world title.” led the race at half distance due to a different strategy, had third-placed Kimi Raikkonen in his sights in the closing stages.
But Hamilton’s fine charge ran out of steam and he fell just short – less than one second in fact – of capping a remarkable drive by passing the Ferrari man for the final spot on the podium.
“I messed up in qualifying and put myself in the worst possible position,” Hamilton said. “I was quick enough to win the race from pole to flag. I didn’t do that, so I made my job a lot harder.
“Waking up this morning my goal was just to redeem myself after the mistake, do the team proud, and try and get the points back.
“I tried for third, but I just ran out of tyres in the end. I have to be grateful to get fourth.
“I enjoyed the race, and I enjoyed the battle. It continues to show to me, and also to everyone else, that I still have a lot of fire in my heart, and I am still young at heart.”
Josh Taylor put on an impressive show in his defeat of Miguel Vazquez on Saturday night to win the WBC title