ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – Marquis Taylor justified the supreme confidence he exuded before his fight versus Yoelvis Gomez on Saturday night.
The determined underdog upset Gomez by unanimous decision in a 10-round middleweight match Showtime televised from Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Theater. Taylor dropped Gomez in the second round of Taylor’s middleweight debut, fought through a cut around his right eye for nine-plus rounds, worked well to the body on the inside with the supposedly stronger Gomez and defeated the favored Cuban southpaw on all three scorecards.
Judges Ron McNair (96-93) and Paul Wallace (96-93) scored six rounds apiece for Taylor. Judge Robin Taylor credited Taylor with a much wider win (99-90).
The 29-year-old Taylor (15-1-2, 1 KO, 1 NC), of Galena Park, Texas, has now beaten five undefeated fighters and is 7-0 against southpaws. He entered the ring as the undeniably “B” side, but the “ShoBox” alum pulled off the most noteworthy win of his nine-year pro career.
The 25-year-old Gomez (6-1, 5 KOs), who was a highly regarded prospect from Havana, fought for the first time in 13 months. Gomez was consistently listed as a 5-1 favorite, but Taylor told BoxingScene.com before their fight that he would prove the touted Gomez was the fighter taking a step up in class, not him.
Gomez seemingly needed a knockout entering the 10th round, but he couldn’t hurt Taylor during those final three minutes. Gomez did crack Taylor with a right uppercut that connected with just over 1:05 on the clock in the 10th round.
Gomez backed Taylor into Gomez’s corner and landed a flush left with just under 1:20 remaining in the ninth round. Taylor took that shot well, however, and came forward.
Taylor made Gomez miss with a left hand and then landed two right hands with just over 20 seconds on the clock in the eighth round. Taylor and Gomez landed short shots on the inside throughout a competitive seventh round.
Gomez connected with a short right to the side of Taylor’s head with a little less than a minute to go in the sixth round. Taylor landed a hard right to Gomez’s body barely 45 seconds into the sixth round.
Taylor landed a right hand to the side of Gomez’s head with just over 30 seconds to go in the fifth round. Gomez oddly looked toward Dock after taking that shot.
Soon thereafter, Dock warned Gomez for hitting Taylor with a left hand when Dock called for a break.
Taylor and Gomez mostly traded hard body shots while they worked on the inside during the first half of the fifth round.
Taylor drilled Gomez with a straight right hand that landed with just under 40 seconds on the clock in the fourth round. Gomez went after Taylor’s body as they worked inside during the middle minute of the fourth round.
The third round was competitive, but Taylor’s awkwardness continued to trouble Gomez at times.
Taylor landed a looping right hand off a break, which sent Gomez to the canvas for the first time as a pro with 2:01 to go in the second round. Gomez got up pretty quickly, but Taylor landed several more right hands during the second round.
Gomez controlled the first round, when one of his punches opened a small cut around Taylor’s right eye.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.