Lochend boxer Josh Taylor turned in a classy performance to ease himself into the quarter-finals of the 64kg competition at the SECC Precinct.
The Capital fighter was a cut above his opponent Richarno Colin of Mauritius yesterday as the 2010 silver medallist secured his place in tomorrow evening’s last-eight bout with Wales’ Zack Davies via a unanimous decision.
Taylor had earned yesterday’s showdown with Colin by powering past Kagiso Bagwasi of Botswana in Saturday’s session and was pleased to have performed better than he did in his debut clash at the Glasgow Games.
“That was a much better performance than Saturday,” the 23-year-old said after the defeat of Colin. “I felt more nervous for this fight as I knew he was a better opponent. He went to the Olympics in 2008 and went to the last (Commonwealth) Games in Delhi and got beat by Bradley Saunders, the Englishman, who is a really good boxer, so I was expecting a really tough fight.
“I wasn’t looking for any knockout punches and was just letting my boxing do the talking. It’s better when I relax as I think in Saturday’s fight I was trying that bit too hard. I feel more relaxed as the tournament goes on and the better opponent I get, the better I am going to get.”
As with all the Scottish boxers, Taylor received a raucous reception as he emerged to face an opponent who won bronze four years ago when Taylor was fighting then at 60kg, but appeared very much the underdog.
The first round was cagey, however, and it took time for Taylor to connect with Colin, a terrific left hook being the highlight. However, in the second three-minute round, Taylor really grasped the initiative and sent out a stern message to his rivals.
Starting off with some firm shots to the body, he then caught Colin with a terrific left uppercut before utilising the jab to great effect. The Mauritian tried to respond, but left himself vulnerable and Taylor capitalised to send his opponent on to the back foot with a powerful left punch.
The southpaw was determined to finish the job off there and then.
He said: “I wanted to finish it and that’s why I laughed when the bell went because I was definitely going to finish him.”
Indeed, the bell did at least delay the inevitable for another three minutes. Taylor knew his work was done for the day, fully aware he had the beating of a boxer who is not short of experience but simply couldn’t respond to the Edinburgh star’s superiority.
Taylor jumped with joy after another routine final round set up an all-Celtic quarter-final with orthodox Davies – an opponent Taylor has never had to face in a competitive fight.
“I want to win this so much and I am going to get better with every fight,” he added. “It’s going to be another tough fight, but again I think I can come out on top. I’ve never fought him, but I’ve sparred with him plenty, so I pretty much know what to do against him, although I am not going to say what.”