Edinburgh’s Josh Taylor last night delivered his fourth consecutive knockout as a professional boxer with a devastating display against Frenchman Lyes Chaibi in Manchester.
Boxing on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s unified IBF and WBA world super bantamweight title showdown with Scott Quigg, Taylor produced a masterclass in front of the TV cameras, delivering a scintillating left hook at the start of the second round which dropped his opponent to the canvas.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist was a cut above from the opening bell and used the jab to great effect, but it was a big left hand just seconds into round two that left St Etienne’s Chaibi flat on his back as the contest was brought to an abrupt halt.
Taylor, 25, has adjusted to the paid ranks like a duck to water since teaming up with Cyclone Promotions and former world super featherweight champion Barry McGuigan last summer.
The light welterweight made his debut in El Paso, Texas, last July, defeating Liberian Archie Weah with a second-round stoppage before his bout with Hungarian Adam Mate at Meadowbank in October failed to go beyond the first round.
Romania’s Daniel Cosmin Minescu also proved no match for the Scot in Belfast in November as once again Taylor stopped his opponent inside the first round. But Chaibi, who has 14 wins to his name, was predicted to be his toughest test to date at the Manchester Arena.
“It was strictly business,” Taylor said. “I train so hard in the gym and dedicate my life to the sport. It was just another day at the office so it’s on to the next one now.
“I just take one fight at a time and let my team decide the road for me. I just try and improve myself every day in the gym. Hopefully I’ll be pushing on the door by the end of this year for a domestic title.”
Trainer Shane McGuigan was also full of plaudits for a boxer whose stock continues to rise.
“He’s adjusting fantastically,” he said. “We can’t get people to give him rounds. He [Chaibi] has only been stopped once before and in his last fight he lost on a decision over 12 rounds so it just shows how quickly Josh is progressing. The pro ranks suit him so we’ve got a real star on our hands.”