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On Thursday 15th of September it was Prizefighter night for the light middleweights. For those who do not know, Prizefighter is a boxing tournament that starts with eight fighters and aims to whittle them down to one Prizefighter boxing champion, all in the space of an evening.

 Looking at the available fighters, there were only two opponents whose name stuck out; one of them being former WBU Welter champion Mehrdad Takalobigashi, commonly known as Takaloo. The other however wasn’t famous for his boxing skills; his fame came from being a former Big Brother house contestant. He is JJ Bird and while he was in the Big Brother house he got to the final but failed to win, something which he had hoped to have fixed come Prizefighter night. 

However, Bird failed to even fight on the night. A few hours before the fights began, Bird fainted and was pulled out of the tournament, something you can’t help but feel sorry for because the beauty of Prizefighter is anyone can win it and from their you can go on to get a shot at the world title.

Robert Lloyd Taylor Prizefighter Super Sub

If proof were needed that being a tournament favorite doesn’t mean much in Prizefighter, the bookies second choice for winner Takaloo provided it when he was outpointed in three rounds by JJ bird’s replacement Robert Lloyd Taylor.

Robert Lloyd Taylor (18-7  5KOs) then went onto win his semi -final against the pre-tournament favorite Peter Vaughn in a TKO which was probably stopped too early; with there only being 20 seconds left in the final round the referee could have let Vaughn at least keep his pride by surviving to the final bell. Before the stoppage, Robert Lloyd Taylor did put Vaughn on the canvas from an uppercut when both fighters were fighting on the inside.

Robert Lloyd Taylor Wins Prizefighter

In the final Lloyd Taylor faced Nick Quigley (9-1  0KOs), who was hot off a very entertaining semi-final slugfest with Kris-Agyei-Dua. This battle appeared to take away any energy that Quigley could have used in the final. After nine tiring minutes, Taylor won the bout on points.

Unlike some of the early stages, the final itself was an average match. Carl Froch, who was a pundit for prizefighter, summed it up nicely by saying “It was a very technical boxing match in the final, but very watchable.” Even though it wasn’t the bar room brawl of a final that everyone wants to watch, we saw that RLT has some good skills and now has the confidence to go far.

Taylor’s former trainer was Adam Booth – most famous for being a trainer/manager to David Haye and George Groves. Booth believes the prizefighter winner Lloyd Taylor has always had the skills to go far, but his self-belief was the only issue. if getting a win over the two bookie’s favorites including getting a TKO over one of them isn’t enough boost his confidence, then I don’t know what is.

What’s next for Robert Lloyd Taylor?
As you know, winning prizefighter can do a lot for a fighter, a classic example of this is when Audley Harrison entered the tournament. It seemed the Olympic gold meddalist's career was completely dead and buried, but he went onto stop Coleman Barret in the final and get a shot at a European and World title.

The same setup might be on the horizon for Taylor. After the final Eddie Hearn gave an interview and was asked what his plans might be for the prizefighter winner. He replied by saying; “Well he’s [RLT] a natural welterweight so we are gonna think about getting him a shot at the British Welterweight title against Nathan Graham.”

So a win against Graham may be very likely as Graham himself was a prizefighter contestant in June 2011 and was outpointed by Junior Witter in the quarter final. After his early tournament exit, Graham fought Adil Anwar for the International master’s Welterweight title and was stopped in the 10th round, after already being knocked down four times in the fight.

If he gets the title fight against Graham it should be a comfortable win and add a good title to his name. Following this Lloyd Taylor should go for a European belt, but who against? We don’t know yet as the vacant EBU belt currently has no holder. A win over a fighter at European level would get him more attention in the division and with enough higher-level wins, a title fight could come Lloyd Taylor's way.

A good opponent to establish titlist credibility against would be Jan Zavec, the ex-IBF champion who recently lost his belt to Andre Berto (read the report here). A win over Zavec would defiantly earn him a world title shot, so that would be a good route for Taylor to travel. He has a massive amount of work to do though, and right now he doesn't look like someone who can hit these heights. He surprised us with his Prizefighter win though, so who knows what he can do?

Was the Light Middleweight Prizefighter a Success?

This prizefighter tournament had it all – two firsts for a prizefighter tournament (all three judges scored one of the quarter finals a draw, and a reserve fighter winning the tournament.) Upsets, pre-tournament favorites losing, unbeaten records, last minute replacements and a tournament’s underdog winning the prizefighter final. For those who have never seen prizefighter before I would recommend you watch the next one, because if it comes close to matching this one it will be a very entertaining evening.

Written by Jake Wallwork (@WallworkJake on Twitter)