Josh Taylor left Glasgow’s SSE Hydro with the smell of a world title in his nostrils after his no-nonsense WBC Silver super-lightweight title win over Winston Campos.
The Nicaraguan was a late replacement for veteran Humberto Soto, who was injured while sparring but that change was irrelevant to the man from Prestonpans.
In the venue where he won his Commonwealth gold medal in 2014, Taylor felled Campos twice in the second round before referee Victor Loughlin called a halt in the third when the tentative and nervy challenger went down again. The 27-year-old Scot extended his winning record to 12 fights, 11 by stoppage, and he senses that he is on the way to the very top.
He said: “I always believed, even when I pulled on the gloves at the Commonwealth Games, that I was going to become a world champion. I can smell it now. My dream is so close to becoming a reality.
“The bigger fights are coming at me rapidly now. I couldn’t have imagined that. I am going to get the head down and work hard until it does become a reality.”
Manager and promoter Barry McGuigan spoke of Taylor being “on the cusp of a world title fight”.
The former world champion said: “We’re looking at Jose Ramirez and Amir Imam, who are fighting on St Patrick’s Day, the 17th. We want to go down the WBC route but aren’t closing the door to any other organisation.
“I believe he will be in there at number one or two in the division. So we are close to something very exciting. He’s one of the best fighters this country has produced in a while.”
There were distressing scenes earlier when Edinburgh’s Jason Easton lost for the first time in 12 bouts in his Commonwealth super-lightweight title fight with Glenn Foot.
Easton, 26, was stopped in the 11th round of a brutal fight by the Englishman and required medical attention and oxygen in the corner before appearing to sob as he left the ring. Easton was taken to hospital.
Remarkably, Charlie Flynn’s rematch with Ryan Collins for the vacant Celtic lightweight title was declared a technical draw for the second time following another clash of heads.
The first meeting between the two Scottish boxers last April was halted when Flynn sustained a cut in the third round which required 25 stitches with the contest declared a draw.
The rematch at the same venue moved into the fourth round before being halted after a clash of heads left Flynn with another gash above the same eye, with Collins also bloodied on his forehead and again a technical draw declared.