Josh Taylor: No doubt I won unification bout but I feared judges would rob me
Undisputed world champion Josh Taylor has admitted he feared the worst when the referee read out the judges' scorecards at the Virgin Hotels resort in Las Vegas.
Despite a unanimous points victory over Mexican-American Jose Ramirez, the 30-year-old says he was left disgusted at the scoring from a duel he thought he'd won at least eight of the 12 rounds.
The final tally of 114-112 in favour of the Tartan Tornado saw the southpaw become the first Briton to sweep up any division in the four-belt era.
However, a brief moment of panic set in for the Scot, who felt that despite knocking his opponent to the canvas in rounds six and seven, his undisputed dreams were about to be shattered.
"In recent times people have been slating UK judges but, my god, I thought that verdict was astonishing," the super lightweight king explained. "When I heard 114 my heart sank. I thought these guys are going to rob me here or score it a draw. It was unanimous as well.
"But I was in no doubt that I had won that fight. You saw the mannerisms after the fight and the way I was acting. There was no question I was the winner. Having watched it back twice, I feel I lost three maybe four rounds at most. I was in control of the fight and they scored it 114-112. If I hadn’t had the two knockdowns I would have lost that fight.
"I was happy with the performance and the way I boxed but I do feel I can box 100 per cent better than that even at that top elite level I’m now at. I could have made it easier, I was in third gear the whole fight. I could probably have got him out there.
"I did think I’d smashed my hand to bits in one of the rounds – round eight or nine – when I hit him with a left hook when I was against the ropes. So, my hand was in agony for the rest of the fight. But I really do believe I can box better than that which is a scary thought at this level. I’ve got more gears to go through.”
As for what's next, Taylor has earned the right to defend his belts on Scottish soil, his ideal venue being up at Edinburgh Castle or the home of his favourite football team Hibs' Easter Road.
However, having won his first world title at the SSE Hydro, in Glasgow, in May 2019, not to mention Commonwealth gold five years previously, Taylor still can't get his head around why there isn't a similar venue within his home city.
"I’m absolutely astonished Edinburgh is pumping so much money into student accommodation all over the place instead of investing in the people and the city," he said.
"Look at Meadowbank Sports Centre. The ground it’s got around it has the potential to be a 15,000-seated indoor arena for music, concert, sport events, conventions. But they decided to sell off that site where the car park was and build more student flats when there are even more student flats half a mile up the road here.
"You’re the capital city of Scotland, invest in the city and the people but they don’t do it. It’s a conversation for another day."