Undefeated Josh Taylor claimed the biggest scalp of his professional career last night with a ninth-round stoppage of former world lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh.
A capacity 4,000 crowd witnessed another breathtaking performance from the 26-year-old Scot, who not only registered his 11th consecutive victory but became the first boxer in 44 attempts to stop Mexican Vazquez.
The Prestonpans fighter retained his WBC Silver super lightweight belt and has now put himself within touching distance of a first shot at a world title.
On paper, this was a fairly even-matched contest but in truth, there was only one winner from the very first bell.
Taylor, who recovered from a cut eye early in the encounter, carefully dismantled his opponent round by round, the Mexican on the end of some damaging blows, particularly in the fifth round.
Just as though it looked like it might go the distance, Taylor finally caught his man in the ninth with a brutal blow to the left side of the body that not only ended the fight but left Vazquez requiring oxygen from the ringside paramedics.
Taylor said: “It was very tough. He took some good shots. I’m over the moon.
“I want to thank everybody that came out . . . best fans in the world.”
Meanwhile, Jason Easton made a successful first defence of his IBO Inter-Continental super lightweight title against the very tough and durable Josef Zahradnik of the Czech Republic.
The capital fighter, whose record now stands at 11-0, was always on the front foot, picking off his opponent at freewill. That said, Zahradnik showed his mental toughness as time again his resilience kept him off the canvas, Easton, in the end, having to settle for a 12-round unanimous win.
The 26-year-old did, however, suffer a nasty gash just above his left eye following a clash of heads in the fifth round but that did little to put the Craigmillar boxer off his stride.
Edinburgh bantamweight Lee McGregor marked his professional debut with a first-round stoppage against Bulgaria’s Stefan Sashov.
The reigning British and Scottish 56kg amateur champion, 20, had the victory sewn up inside the opening three minutes, the referee bringing the contest to a halt with just seven seconds remaining of the first round.