Josh Taylor continued his rapid ascension up the light welterweight ranks with another punch-perfect display on Saturday night, dominating American Ryan Martin en route to a stoppage victory in the seventh round of their World Boxing Super Series quarter final bout.
The win sees the tournament’s second seed progress to the semi finals, where he’ll meet recently-crowned IBF champion Ivan Baranchyk.
In another performance that belies the fact he’s had less than fifteen fights in the professional ranks, the Scot dictated for the duration of the bout, controlling from range as well as bullying his opponent when he chose to step inside.
One could be forgiven for assuming Martin’s game plan was merely to be patient in the opening two rounds, as he stalked Taylor without much offensive output. However the 27-year old Tartan Tornado proved that he was simply levels above his tentative opponent, whose occasional success with right hands primarily served to ensure Taylor avoided complacency rather than provide Martin with any kind of encouragement.
As the rounds passed so too seemingly did Martin’s belief in his chances, with trainer Abel Sanchez making passionate pleas to his charge in between stanzas to show that he “wanted it”. Although these appeals seemed to have influence on his charge initially, as Martin came out energetically for the sixth and seventh rounds, he was quickly swatted back into timidity as Taylor punctuated his fluid movement by unleashing clean combinations and stinging body shots.
The writing was on the wall as the stoppage came at the tail end of the seventh, albeit probably prematurely as referee Victor Loughlin signaled an end to proceedings after Martin intimated he was hit on the back of the head by a left hand before collapsing to the canvas. A meek protest from the American ensued as celebration erupted all around him, but Sanchez’s reaction of acceptance perhaps told the story of how the fight only would have ended up regardless, as Taylor progresses to 14-0 with five stoppage wins in his last six contests.