Sheffield/Dronfield boxer's admission: I need a more ruthless streak
There will be no more Mr Nice Guy, from Lewis Taylor, in the future.
The middleweight has lacked a ruthless instinct in his career so far, despite a decent W19, L3, D1 record and an English title to his name.
That fact was drilled home recently when he was outpointed in an eight-rounder to Irish rival Luke Keeler, at the National Stadium, Dublin.
The scorecard showed Taylor lost every round, although the Derbyshire man protests that is far from the truth.
Yet defeat got him thinking.
Taylor, 27, regards himself as a “typical Dronfield lad” - raised in a nice area but is in need of injecting a merciless streak into his boxing.
“It is hard to explain, I’ve never gone into sparring or matches just to hurt someone. In sparring I let other people take the p*** I know they are trying to bang me out” he says.
“I need to put more spite into my shots. In the past I’ve hurt someone and then left them off the hook. I know I have to be more ruthless both in fights and in training. It is part of the job to finish people off and this is make-or-break time for me now. If that is not an incentive for me then I shouldn’t be in this game.”
Taylor was annoyed the Dublin 80-72 points defeat appeared to be “a whitewash.”
He said: “It sounds like I got hammered when actually a lot of people think I won it! I’m kicking myself now about the performance. While it was a good contest I should have stepped it up when I needed to, when I knew I’d hurt him.
“If I’d listened more to advice I’d have followed up more on the back end of my jab. I was only performing at six or seven out of 10.
“If I don’t do what I have to now, (become more remorseless) I am not going anywhere.
“I have to go back to the drawing board and learn from my mistakes. I have to impose 100% authority in every fight and start hurting opponents.”
Taylor wants to secure future fights against the high profile names at middleweight, despite slipping down the pecking order.
“Opponents who are always on TV and in the public eye are what I want - the bigger names.
“I can’t be ‘too nice’ when I am up against the likes of them!
“Being the underdog like I was against Eamonn O’Kane in Northern Ireland and Tommy Langford in Liverpool can bring out the best in me.”
Taylor’s manager Dave Coldwell told him that the margin of his defeat in Ireland might yet work in his favour.
“Dave said that while it was hardly ideal losing there, people might see the 80-72 scorecard and think I will be an easy fight...and that might draw in some of the names I am looking for.”
Taylor reiterated his desire to fight Sheffield’s Adam Etches.
“Lots of people in Dronfield and Sheffield have said they want to see that, I still want that to happen.”
‘Bomber’ Etches has previously said the fight would not be worth his time.
In the ‘Boxrec’ ratings, (a website publishing records of pro boxers) Taylor is ranked at number 16 in the British middleweight division, one place
higher than Stairfoot’s Matthew Mallin. Sheffield’s Sam Sheedy is eight places higher. Another Barnsley fighter Ben Davies is rated number 30.
Boxrec predict a Taylor v Etches contest would be a 50/50 showdown.
At super middleweight, Sheffield’s Liam Cameron is rated at number 12 and Adam Etches at 19.