FORMER world champion Miguel Vazquez posed Josh Taylor plenty of problems at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh on Saturday.

Taylor got sucked into brawling on the inside, where the Mexican wanted him. Vazquez flew in head first, catching Taylor’s forehead with the butt. It opened up a bad cut on Taylor’s eyebrow. Angered, Taylor looked to unleash combinations, reaching for Vazquez with his punches. The Mexican came back at him, catching him with particularly effective uppercuts.

Round by round Taylor recovered his composure and sank vicious hooks into the Mexican’s body. Vazquez resisted stubbornly.

Taylor broke through in the eighth round, finding space to crack in hard long shots from range and force Vazquez on to the back foot. Now he placed lovely left hands after suffering frustrations in the first half of the fight.

He repeated right hooks, slung his left over and hammered Vazquez down in the ninth round. A cruel right hook to the liver left Vazquez on his knees. Referee Victor Loughlin counted him out at 2-20.

“He was very experienced, he was tough, he was game. Weird, awkward angles,” Taylor said. “I started breaking him down. He didn’t like the body shots.

“I knew to start working close inside and started catching him clean.”

Josh Taylor

The Scotsman becomes the first fighter to halt Miguel Vazquez, who is vastly experienced at lightweight and has fought the likes of Canelo Alvarez in the distant past.

Taylor, who has only had 11 professional contests, retained his WBC Silver super-lightweight strap and certainly looks on course for a world title shot.

For the full ringside report don’t miss next week’s issue of Boxing News magazine