Josh Taylor produced another masterclass as he successfully defended his Commonwealth super lightweight title with a sixth-round stoppage of Warren Joubert at Meadowbank last night.
Joubert, known as the ‘Warrior’ in his homeland, insisted he was here for a fight and that was apparent in the early stages – the duo suffering a head clash in the first round with the Scot sustaining a nasty cut just above his left eye.
However, Taylor found his rhythm and used his power to finally breach the Joubert defence in rounds two and three as the crowd sensed another knock down was imminent.
The 35-year-old South African’s legs began to wobble towards the end of the fifth but he was spared by the bell just as the Prestonpans southpaw was going in for the kill.
Nonetheless, Taylor rolled up and landed a sumptuous left hook that finally ended Joubert’s night and his hopes of taking the Commonwealth belt back to the southern hemisphere as his corner threw in the towel.
“It was a great shot to end, a cracking shot,” the Prestonpans star, 26, told the Evening News. “I saw it on the replay on the TV after and I caught him a beauty, a real peach. 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. The crowd was again unbelievable and the support I have is just overwhelming. I was meant to be out in May again but that won’t be happening now having suffered the cut to my eye.”
Celtic super lightweight champion Jason Easton showed he is destined for the top with a scintillating second-round stoppage of the very durable Zoltan Szaba.
Szaba came flying out the traps and caught the Craigmillar star with a couple of shots early on but Easton, 25, upped his game and produced the round of his life to leave his opponent shellshocked – a devastating left hook signalling the start of the end for the Eastern European. Easton grasped the opportunity, pinning him in the corner before the referee was forced to step in.
“He’s [Szabo] very good, I knew how tough he could be so respect to Zoltan,” Easton said. “I kept relaxed and knew he would leave an opening. I caught him with a left hook and jumped on the opportunity to stop him.
“It took Robbie Davies Jnr (ranked fifth in the world WBA) until the tenth round to stop him and O’Hara Davies until the seventh. I’ve stopped him in the second. I’ve been working a lot on planting my feet and building up my strength and it’s paying off.”
Easton’s trainer Billy Nelson revealed post-fight his boxer will have another title shot in May but wouldn’t be drawn on the details.
Taylor’s stablemate Conrad Cummings provided the first stoppage of the evening to become the new WBO European middleweight champion, his bout with Gogi Knezevic cut short in the third round. In truth, a lot more was expected from his Austrian opponent who lacked appetite from the off. However, Northern Irishman Cummings made up for the disappointment of November’s IBF Inter-Continental title loss to Ronny Mittag.
Haddington middleweight Iain Trotter kept his undefeated record intact with a first-round stoppage of Sandor Jozsa. Trotter, who made his professional debut just a fortnight ago stopping Glasgow’s Alireza Alimohammadi in the fourth round, overpowered the incompetent Hungarian.
Meanwhile, Fife’s Connor Law’s defeated France’s Francis Tchoffo 80-73 and Nick Webb was victorious 60-54 over Andre Bunga.