Tay­lor star turn de­spite try­ing to put on show

Scot wins unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion but ad­mits he tried too hard on Ve­gas de­but

The Herald - Herald Sport - - BOXING - DAR­REN JOHN­STONE

JOSH TAY­LOR, the Com­mon­wealth su­per light­weight cham­pion, ad­mits he needs to learn to re­lax af­ter con­ced­ing that he was too keen to put on a show in his unan­i­mous points vic­tory over Al­fonso Olvera in Las Ve­gas.

The Ed­in­burgh fighter main­tained his flaw­less record with an eighth straight win in the eight-round bout at MGM Grand – with the judges scor­ing the clash 79-72, 78-73 and 78-73.

Tay­lor’s suc­cess early yes­ter­day morn­ing came just hours be­fore sta­ble­mate Carl Framp­ton lost his WBA crown in a re­match with Leo Santa Cruz.

Olvera proved a durable op­po­nent for Tay­lor, who was taken to eight rounds for the first time in his ca­reer, but the 26-year-old ad­mits that it was not a vin­tage per­for­mance.

He said: “I wasn’t both­ered about get­ting the knock-out, I was just a bit ap­pre­hen­sive, too ex­cited to put on a good show to im­press on the big stage. It wasn’t my best per­for­mance.

“I just need to learn to re­lax a lit­tle bit but all-in-all it was a good per­for­mance. I got the eight rounds and I felt com­fort­able in there. I didn’t re­ally get out of sec­ond gear. It was good, a good eight rounds. He was very awk­ward. He left him­self open but he was very awk­ward and he had a long range.

“He came at me with awk­ward shots at awk­ward an­gles but it was a de­cent per­for­mance and it was good to get the eight rounds un­der my belt. On to the next one.”

The Tar­tan Tor­nado had a point de­ducted in the sixth round for a low shot but Tay­lor’s vic­tory was never in doubt af­ter catch­ing Olvera with a series of blows through­out the fight.

Tay­lor spent four weeks in Ve­gas prepar­ing for the bout along­side Framp­ton and ad­mits it has been an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence.

Tay­lor, who beat Dave Ryan in his home city last Oc­to­ber to claim the Com­mon­wealth ti­tle, added: “It’s been bril­liant, I’ve loved ev­ery minute of it. I’ve lapped it up and en­joyed ev­ery sec­ond. I can’t wait to come back and do it all again.”

Framp­ton, mean­while, has called on Santa Cruz to com­plete the tril­ogy with a fi­nal show­down in Belfast af­ter he was beaten for the first time in his ca­reer on a ma­jor­ity points de­ci­sion at the MGM Grand as Santa Cruz re­gained the belt he lost to the North­ern Ir­ish­man in July.

Santa Cruz is open to the idea of a de­cider and Framp­ton wants the fight in his back­yard.

“I hope so, I hope he is a man of his word and we can do it in Belfast,” he said. “I have come to the States twice. We could do it four, five, six times. I hope we do it again. I am deeply dis­ap­pointed but let’s have a tril­ogy.”

One judge scored the con­test at 114-114, but the other two gave it 115-113 in Santa Cruz’s favour and the Mex­i­can took a de­served vic­tory.

It was a smart per­for­mance by Santa Cruz, who im­proved im­mea­sur­ably from the first bout in New York last sum­mer, and his tac­tics shocked Framp­ton.

“I think it was the right de­ci­sion, I thought it was close,” the North­ern Ir­ish­man added. “He frus­trated me at times, I didn’t ex­pect that game plan, the boxer got out-boxed by the brawler. I thought it was the right de­ci­sion.”

Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

JOB DONE: Josh Tay­lor is de­clared the unan­i­mous win­ner.

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