IT MAY not have been the most exciting of bouts so far at the Olympics but GB boxing coach Lee Pullen maintains Lochend lightweight Josh Taylor’s opening round victory was a masterclass of amateur boxing.
Brazil’s Robson Conceicao, a former sparring partner of the Scot’s, proved a tricky opponent on Sunday and would later claim he was robbed by the judges scoring the bout 13-9 to Taylor.
But while the Brazilian certainly threw far more punches, Taylor covered up well and expertly picked off a front-foot fighter on the counter. And ahead of tonight’s showdown with Italy’s Domenico Valentino – a former world champion who has announced he is turning professional after the Olympics – Pullen was delighted with Taylor’s start to his London 2012 campaign.
“We knew he was a strong kid because we had sparred with him in Sheffield,” he said.
“So the plan was not to stand in front of him and take him on, but to be mobile – two or three shots and then move his feet staying away from the ropes.
“He executed that perfectly and going into the last round he was three up and did what he had to do. “If you look at the shots that landed, which boxing is scored on, then he (Conceicao)did not land that much.”
Taylor tangled with Domenico Valentino at last year’s European Championships and finished on the wrong side of a two-point defeated.
But Taylor was then still adapting to the division having moved down from light welterweight and Pullen believes he will be a very different proposition, especially with the backing of a raucous crowd.
“We boxed the Italian at the Europeans,” Pullen added. “We will give him respect, but Josh is a much better boxer than a year ago.”