Talking Boxing

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January 29, 2017

Taylor goes the distance

Josh Taylor, Shane McGuigan, Cyclone Promotions

Image courtesy of Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

by Shaun Brown

Commonwealth super lightweight champion Josh Taylor (8-0, 7 KOs) was taken the distance for the first time in his professional career after making his debut in Las Vegas earlier tonight.

As part of the undercard to stablemate Carl Frampton's WBA Featherweight title rematch against Leo Santa Cruz, the Scot was given a good night's work by Mexico's Alfonso Olvera (8-3-1, 3 KOs) over eight rounds.

Taylor had never been beyond the fifth round in his previous seven fights and was looking to make a statement against Olvera early on.

The speed and power were to the Scot's advantage, but instead of making greater use of his superior boxing abilities, he looked to give the fans a proper Vegas fight by engaging on the inside with the Mexican. The plan worked but Olvera gave as good as he got, although rarely troubling 'The Tartan Tornado' but firing enough shots back for the fight to gain interest from the watching public.

And the Vegas faifthul will no doubt welcome Taylor back with open arms again after a fighting display that will go down well with American TV and the American viewers.

From the first round Taylor, 26, looked to work Olvera's body, in an attempt to break down any threat fom his 27-year-old opponent. Taylor would be given two warnings by referee Vic Drakulich for low blows, however, in rounds one and two before having a point deducted in round six.

At times Taylor would make a subtle movement to his right before throwing what is becoming a trademark left hook that had Olvera wobbled in the fourth round. Two massive left hooks from Taylor in the seventh would have put many a 140lbs fighter down on the deck, but Olvera was resolute and showed a remarkable to chin to not only take them, but absorb them and fire back with shots of his own.

Taylor showed no signs of fading towards the end, instead in the 8th round he put himself on his toes to land a classy 1-2 combination not long after hurting Olvera again, this time with a right hand. After eight rounds of action Taylor was given the nod by the judges with scores of 79-72 and 78-73 (twice) in his favour.

Speaking to Sky Sports afterwards, Taylor said: "It was a good eight rounds. He was very awkward and left himself open. He came back with awkward shots but all in all a decent performance and good to get the eight rounds. On to the next one."

Having been asked by Sky Sport's Adam Smith if he had been too eager to get his eighth consecutive knockout, Taylor answered saying, "I wasn't too bothered about getting the knockout. I was a bit too excited to put on a good show to impress on the big stage. I just need to learn to relax a little."