Taylor camp floored by decision
JEFF Taylor’s dream of competing in the next Commonwealth Games have been shattered, after a points decision went against him in the crucial bout.
Taylor shaped up against Alexi Mukhin in Canberra on Sunday afternoon in a super-heavyweight bout, and lost the fight 5-1, a result that left him and his coach Mick Daly gutted.
In what may be described as a dubious end to Taylor’s quest to join the ranks of the Australian boxing team to take part in the next Commonwealth Games, the scoreline, according to the Mick Daly Gym boxing coach, was not indicative of the way the fight unfolded.
“I was very happy with the way he fought, and very disappointed in the score,” Daly said. “Jeff did everything I asked of him, he kept him the centre and followed the plan to the letter.”
For the first two-and-a-half rounds, Taylor had the better of his opponent, and was the more-attacking fighter.
“In my opinion, he should have been three-one up after two rounds,” Daly said.
The most controversial part of the fight came halfway through the last round, when an “absolute bottler of a punch”, according to Daly, netted a point for Mukhin.
“Jeff hit him with a straight right hand to the jaw, and the judges gave the point to the other fighter,” Daly said.
At this point, the coach knew Taylor was in strife, and the boxer had no choice, but to open up in an attempt to claim the win.
“Then they scored two body punches to Mukhin, and hadn’t for the whole fight up until that point,” a flabbergasted Daly said.
“Jeff would have landed 20 body blows and not one of them received a point.”
Daly said Taylor was shattered.
“I was gutted at the result, but very proud of the way he fought,” he said. “It’s pretty hard to wear when he did so well.
“I voiced my opinion to the judges about what I thought of the result.”
Mukhin approached Daly after the fight sporting a big black eye and had a few words.
The coach recalled his conversation with the devastated Taylor.
“He told me I’d trained him to win the fight,” Daly said. “We didn’t come here to lose, I told him.”
Taylor had overcome niggling injuries and got himself in top condition during the past month training with Daly.
At 21, Taylor had plenty of time to make a name for himself in the ring, said Daly, and had already been asked to spar with the Australian team during their preparation for the Games.
“There’s a chance for him to go to Russia with the Queensland team and he needs to get as much experience as he can,” Daly said.
“The National coach said after the fight it was a big turnaround from the last fight in Cuba (when Taylor fought Mukhin),” Daly said.
“The Olympics is only two years away. I really feel for him and hope he’s big enough to put it behind him and he gets to London.”