JOSH TAY­LOR V MIGUEL VAZQUEZ Tay­lor shows he’s not josh­ing around with world-class show

BOX­ING

Evening Times - - SPORT - By SU­SAN EGELSTAFF

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

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