Cut head likely to deny Josh Taylor a ring return in May

Edinburgh's Josh Taylor successfully defended his Commonwealth title at Meadowbank. Picture: Andy O'Brien
Edinburgh's Josh Taylor successfully defended his Commonwealth title at Meadowbank. Picture: Andy O'Brien
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Edinburgh’s Josh Taylor is confident the big fights will continue to come his way having successfully defended his Commonwealth super lightweight title at Meadowbank.

The 26-year-old Scot made it eight knock outs in just his ninth professional fight as his duel with the industrious South African Warren Joubert was brought to a halt in the sixth round on Friday night.

It was the first successful defence for the former Lochend amateur who won the belt – his first title as a paid boxer – with a fifth-round stoppage of Derby’s former champion Dave Ryan in October.The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist is now ranked sixth in Britain in the super lightweight division and has expressed a desire to go down the traditional route of challenging for a British title before moving on to European and world honours.

Taylor, though, had to overcome a nasty gash to his left eye following a clash of heads in the very first round which is likely to have scuppered his chances of returning to the ring in May.

“I’m sure the big fights will continue to come my way but who knows what they’ll be,” he said. “I’ve always said I’d like to go down the traditional route of fighting for a British title but we’ll just need to wait and see. I was meant to be boxing again in May but I can’t see that happening now due to the cut. We’ll see how it goes but I need a proper camp If I am to fight which isn’t likely.”

The Prestonpans fighter required six stitches to close the wound but was pleased he managed to maintain a cool head against his more experienced opponent.

“It’s the first cut I’ve suffered as pro but I overcame it and it didn’t change my approach. I could feel the blood dripping down my face but I was able to stay calm so I learnt a lot about myself. I took my time the first couple of rounds as I didn’t know much about him at all and then I started to find my rhythm. The shot that got him down was a peach!

“I’ve watched the replay on the TV and I caught him a beauty. He was tough, though, and hit me with some good shots. He was slow in the way he drops his head and comes forward. I hit him clean a few times so I just decided to get back to my boxing as I knew I wasn’t going to get him out of there with one shot.”

Taylor added: “I’ve been working on my defence a lot with Shane [McGuigan, his trainer] in the gym. I’m always making sure once I’m jabbing I’m getting my hands back and rolling the head. It’s always something I like to work on as you need to have a good defence as much as you are able to attack. The crowd was again unbelievable and the support I have is just overwhelming.”