At a time when our national sporting life is quiet – a football team incapable of reaching a tournament and a tennis star injured near the end of his career – it’s important that the whole of Scotland backs Josh Taylor. He’s exceptional, and this is where it gets really interesting.
There’s only some occasions when you get that feeling you’re watching something truly special, and I certainly did on Saturday. Loma was the experienced matador stepping out of range seamlessly in the first five rounds of the fight. It was hard not to be impressed by the way he came roaring back from his knockdown with a devastating body-shot to finish Linares in the 10th.
Tony Bellew is a divisive figure in boxing. That’s probably a polite way of saying lots of people think he’s a pr*ck. The Liverpudlian can be brash, self-righteous and hypocritical. He’s been the archetypal loud mouth shouting obscenities at press conferences.
But there’s more to him than this caricature. Bellew is one of the most underrated, physically and mentally, in the sport. And he may have Haye’s number again.
Real boxing takes place in community halls and sports centres. It’s protagonists are not millionaires seeking astronomical rewards. Their broken bones and cuts aren’t compensated by huge purses and sponsorship money. Brave men and women fight because they love the game, testing their skills and entertaining their communities. We had the pleasure of attending one of these shows, On The Ropes’ Elimination.
Mixed night for Scottish boxing as a brave Jason Easton is outgunned by the rugged Glenn Foot. Flynn’s impressive start cut short as heads clash again. Kerr picks up Scottish title as Chantelle Cameron stands out. All the round up of action from the Hydro.
It would be easy to dismiss victory as a forgone conclusion, but late replacements can unsettle heavily-favoured fighters. Ask AJ or Callum Smith. No such difficulty for Taylor who possessed too much quality and intelligence.