Lewis Taylor has vowed to return “better and stronger” after his Commonwealth title defeat to Tommy Langford, on Saturday.
The Dronfield man was outpointed in a gruelling 12-rounder, but earned the respect of his opponent and promoter Frank Warren.
There was little difference between the two tall 26-year-olds in most rounds. But the Devon-born Langford tended to unleash more combinations, which led to a 118-110, 118-111, 118-111 verdict, a wider win than the Derbyshire camp could reasonably have expected.
Taylor, sporting in defeat, was quick to make a statement about his future. “I want to thank everyone that travelled to Liverpool to watch my title fight and for everyone that supported me through and have sent good luck messages and kind messages afterward” he said.
“It means a great deal to have people like you. It’s drives me to do better. I will be back, better and stronger and I will be winning a title in the not to distant future. Mark my words!”
Certainly, as Langford is steered towards a world title, Taylor can console himself that he is very much at home in the company of the middleweight elite.
Langford admitted the Dronfield man was “better than we’d expected...he will come again.” Warren applauded Taylor too: “he came to fight” he said.
Taylor, moving behind his trademark high guard, was seemingly hurt only once, a body shot in the ninth.
Yet a round later he came out of the corner with a flurry of shots which put his rival under intense pressure.
It was the same in the 11th round, testament to his fitness and will-power.
But while he occasionally caught Birmingha-based Langford, he could never follow up his advantage.