Robert Lloyd-Taylor scored perhaps the greatest upset win in Prizefighter history today, coming in just an hour or so before the tournament as a replacement for JJ Bird, winning three fights to claim the trophy and the prize money at York Hall.
"I'm ecstatic. It feels great. The last couple of times I was on Sky, I didn't perform too well," said Lloyd-Taylor.
He certainly performed well tonight. In the first round, Lloyd-Taylor topped Mehrdud Takaloo (SD-3), and followed that with a stoppage win over Peter Vaughan (TKO-3). While that stoppage was a bit questionable on referee Mark Green's behalf, as there were just second remaining in the fight and Vaughan didn't appear badly hurt, the fight was Taylor's to lose thanks to a third round knockdown.
And in the final, Lloyd-Taylor outpointed Nick Quigley on scores of 29-28 across the board.
Lloyd-Taylor, who has been trained in the past by Adam Booth, had boxed just once since 2007 until this year, and came into 2011 on a three-fight losing streak. In June, he defeated Tommy Broadbent (PTS-4), and signed up for this Prizefighter as an alternate. He left the building as Prizefighter champion.
Also remarkable was that Lloyd-Taylor didn't even have a corner team for the evening. In his first fight, British cutman extraordinaire Mick Williamson served as his chief second, after which Johnny Eames took over as the lead man. I mean, it's really a minor Cinderella story. No, this won't be remembered forever, but it's quite remarkable the way this all came together for the 31-year-old fighter.
Lloyd-Taylor's record is now 18-7 (5 KO), and he led the charge for a very fun tournament that kicked off a busy and big weekend for boxing.
Full results after the jump.
Robert Lloyd-Taylor SD-3 Mehrdud Takaloo (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
A good start for Lloyd-Taylor, who deserved the W over veteran Takaloo. Takaloo never quite got into rhythm and Lloyd-Taylor showed early his ability to keep range and work off of his jab.
Peter Vaughan SD-3 Wayne Goddard (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Vaughan showed his reckless determination, but was also peppered by Goddard's counters frequently. I scored this one 29-28 for Goddard, but the three-round format can result in some questionable scoring pretty easily. Ask MMA fans.
Kris Agyei-Dua PTS-3 Jeff Thomas (Majority Draw from judges, 29-28 from referee)
Agyei-Dua dominated this fight, but was knocked down hard in the first round by Thomas. In the end, I believe two judges had it 28-28 (same as my score), and one had it 29-28 for Agyei-Dua, so with the draw, the referee became the tiebreaker, and Terry O'Connor had it 29-28 for Agyei-Dua, choosing to give Thomas a 10-9 first round instead of 10-8, which was defensible. A very good fight, this one.
Nick Quigley SD-3 Steve Harkin (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Scored this one 30-27 for Quigley, and felt there was no way to see it for Harkin.
Robert Lloyd-Taylor TKO-3 Peter Vaughan
With Vaughan being picked apart, referee Mark Green made a bold and bad decision to stop the fight with about 15 seconds remaining. Yes, Vaughan was being hit, and likely was going to lose thanks to a good third round knockdown by Lloyd-Taylor, but Vaughan was in no danger, was fighting his guts out, and didn't deserve to be stopped.
Nick Quigley UD-3 Kris Agyei-Dua (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Absolutely the fight of the night, and worth tracking down for those who love a good short fight brawl. Quigley and Agyei-Dua let it all hang out in this one, trading hard shots. If Quigley had power, he would have stopped the defensively challenged Agyei-Dua, who to be fair also showed some nice offensive abilities with his combination punching and straight right hand.
Robert Lloyd-Taylor UD-3 Nick Quigley (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Bad Left Hook scored it 30-27 for Lloyd-Taylor, but the first and third rounds were close. Quigley gave all he had, but he was exhausted following the Harkin fight, which Harkin made him earn, and the Agyei-Dua war. Lloyd-Taylor boxed smart and confidently, and won the tournament.