Josh Taylor kept his undefeated record in tact with a unanimous points victory over Mexican Alfonso Olvera at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Boxing on the undercard as Cyclone Promotions stable-mate Carl Frampton relinquished his WBA super-featherweight title to Leo Santa Cruz on Saturday night, the Commonwealth super-lightweight champion from Prestonpans sealed the eighth win of his professional career – although it was the first occasion he’s been forced to go the distance having stopped his previous seven opponents.
The 26-year-old hadn’t been challenged beyond five rounds prior to his latest triumph so welcomed some much-needed ring time with open arms.
“It was good, a good eight rounds but he was very awkward,” Taylor said. “He left himself open at times and very long range. But, all in all, it was a decent performance and good to get the eight rounds in so we’ll move on to the next one.
“I wasn’t bothered about getting the knockout but I was quite anxious to put on a good show to impress on the big stage.
“I just need to learn to relax a little bit. I felt comfortable in there and didn’t really get out of second gear.”
Taylor was deducted a point for a series of low punches but the final judges’ scorecards more than reflected the Scot’s superiority with the bout scored at 79-72, 78-73, 78-73.
Although Olvera, who suffered the third defeat of his pro career, was deemed a threat to Taylor’s unblemished record, the former Lochend amateur never really looked in any real danger against the awkward orthodox.
Taylor was the first to admit it wasn’t his most eye-catching performance of his short career but his variety of shots were still enough to impress the likes of former IBF and WBA world super-middleweight champion Carl Froch, who was co-commentating on the fight for Sky Sports.
What manager Barry McGuigan has in store for Taylor now remains to be seen, although talk of a first defence of his Commonwealth title is a possibility.
Taylor is due to fly home later this week having spent the best part of a month in Vegas preparing for his MGM Grand debut – an experience he is looking to replicate in the not too distant future.
“It’s been absolutely brilliant out here,” he said. “I’ve loved every minute of it, lapped it all up with the atmosphere and everything so I can’t wait to come back and do it again.”