Josh Taylor’s confidence in winning a boxing gold medal is sky high after he stormed into the 64kg semi-finals with a resounding victory over Welshman Zack Davies at the SECC Precinct last night.
Taylor has made a statement in Glasgow so far with his prowess in the ring and remains on course to go one better than the silver he won in his debut Games in Delhi in 2010 when competing in the 60kg weight category.
The 23-year-old southpaw, from Prestonpans, had said in the aftermath of his last-16 triumph over Mauritian Richarno Colin on Sunday that as the competition progresses, his ability improves with it. So far, it has been hard to disagree.
Taylor will face England’s Samuel Maxwell in Friday’s semi-final and should he progress to Saturday’s final at the SSE Hydro, Namibia’s Junias Jonas or Sean Duffy of Northern Ireland will stand in the way of a gold medal.
“I’m getting more and more relaxed as I go on,” he said after the defeat of Davies. “The first one is always the hardest but I am confident of winning on Friday, without a doubt.
“I knew it was going to be a hard fight as he (Davies) used to be in the GB Development squad so we’ve sparred a few rounds together a couple of years back. He still has a similar style but it was more aggressive and sharper than I was expecting, but I think I had the fight under control.”
Asked for his thoughts on being paired with Maxwell in the last four, Taylor added: “It will be a great fight and will be a very hard and technical fight. We both know each other and we’re good friends as well. But this is the business end of the tournament now so I am going to beat him and I’m 100 per cent confident I can.”
“The crowd really does lift you that 10 per cent but it would be the same if it was in England. The noise and atmosphere is just incredible.”
Taylor simply embraces the Scottish supporters inside the 3000-seated arena and it’s clear he is a firm fans’ favourite. He is confident, and rightly so, with the way he moves around the canvas looking to pick off his opponent, often having to be patient before making inroads.
The first 60 seconds of the first round failed to produce much in the way of any big hits but Taylor always seemed to be in control, using his experience and biding his time before, towards the closing stages, landing a big left hook which seemed to unnerve Davies as he went down on one knee. The Capital fighter then dished out a combination of punches, apologising for his final blow though as it sounded a fraction after the bell.
Taylor’s use of the jab in the second round, however, was exemplary and he threatened to leave Finnish referee Allan Roos with no choice but to bring the bout to a halt as he went in search of the KO.
However, a tired-looking Davies recovered enough to make a go of it in the third and final round with the little stamina he had left. However, Taylor once again had his opponent in trouble and sent him tumbling to the floor in what was becoming a classier performance by the second.
The signs are good as Taylor’s arm was raised to signify a third consecutive unanimous win of the Games and he is certainly looking a stick-on to surpass his achievements of four years ago.