JOSH Taylor’s right eye was a dark shade of purple and swollen to the point of being fully closed when he addressed the travelling media deep inside the 02 arena in the wee hours of Sunday morning. His good left eye was watering too, particularly when he described how he had battled his emotions over the recent passing of his girlfriend Danielle’s father James Murphy as much as his doughty opponent Regis Prograis of the USA to become Scotland’s first unified world champion since his sometime mentor Ken Buchanan almost half a century ago.

Seeing Taylor fight like a man possessed as he earned a well-deserved majority points decision over his previously undefeated American opponent to become only the third man in history to claim the Muhammad Ali trophy only emphasised how powerful an emotion grief can be.

The valedictory sense to this famous Scottish sporting night was only added to by another tragedy which struck during this camp, with his promoter Barry McGuigan losing a daughter, and his trainer Shane a sister, when Danika lost a short battle with cancer in July.

“I just wanted to give my family a hug and a kiss,” said Taylor, who dropped to his knees when the judge’s verdict came in.

“I don’t want to sound emotional but I’ve not been able to grieve properly. It’s been hard as I haven’t been able to be there properly for Danielle and the family as much as I’d like to have been

“But I used it as motivation,” he added. “Especially in those last two rounds when I couldn’t see [due to the eye injury]. It was pure determination and heart and I was thinking of James, well, I called him Jimmy.

“I was just thinking about doing it for him. Everything went out of the window but there was no way I was getting beat. That was my drive and I was thinking about him. I knew he was with me.”

Greenwich on the very morning the clocks went back seemed as appropriate a time and place as any for Taylor to re-write the record books of Scottish boxing, with a massive travelling Tartan Army in a highly-charged crowd in excess of 16,000 along for the ride too.

Okay so he had acquired a nasty blood bruise on his eyelid for the trouble, but that seemed like a bargain considering he also walked off into the night with Prograis’ WBA belt, the Ring Magazine belt and the whopping Ali trophy. Taylor now stands just one fight away from becoming the undisputed master of the Super Lightweight division. And all this after just 16 professional fights, a rate of progress that is up there with any other fighter on this planet.

As it happens, he and Danielle have recently bought a house together, which currently lies unfurnished. It may be wise for him to start considering the merits of investing in a mantlepiece.

“We’ve got the house but we’ve not got a bed or any furniture,” said Taylor. “We will be sitting in the living room with no couch or chairs but we’ll have a couple of deck chairs and the Ali Trophy to look at! We haven’t even got a mantlepiece to put them all on yet!”

A student of the sport, next on Taylor’s to-do list is a visit to his old stomping ground of Lochend Boxing Club in the shadow of Easter Road to show his belts off to Buchanan.

“I can’t wait to get back and go see Kenny,” said Taylor. “I’ve not seen him for a wee while but he comes into my old amateur gym at Lochend quite often. I will be able to go back and see him, give him these belts and say: “Look, I’ve done this for you – I’m just like you, champ.”

The fight itself was a classic, two men of immense skill and bravery battling it out without any quarter given through 12 tense rounds. BBC pundits agreed with the judge who called it a draw, but I agreed with Taylor when he said he felt he was never behind in the fight. “I thought I was slightly ahead,” he said. “But you never know how the judges are going to see it. When they said ‘the fighting pride of Scotland …’ the house came crashing down on me.”

It said it all, mind you, that even the winner should be sporting such an unsightly look on his right eye as he posed for the PR photos. While he was medically cleared to leave the venue without any hospital treatment, he can look forward to a month or so off to allow it to heal up.

Caused as much by a clash of heads than any clean shot, Saturday’s fight might have been different indeed had the swelling developed earlier than the 11th round.

“I didn’t think it was that bad,” said Taylor. “I thought it was a graze but it closed up. You should see my good side!”

Considering the combined records of his last four opponents, there is a school of thought that the Scot should consider padding his bank balance with a couple of money-spinning outings against more mediocre opponents.

“The last four fights I’ve been involved in have been world class,” said Taylor. “Viktor Postal, Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk and then this. Out of the four of them they had been in 94 fights and one defeat – and that was to Terence Crawford!

“So I’ve done that in 16 months so I think I’m due a wee break – maybe I should fight a few of Prograis’ binmen next!”

It was put to the Scot that this eye injury may now precipitate him wearing sunglasses, even indoors, something he took issue with Prograis doing at Wednesday’s final press conference.

“I’m not wearing sunglasses!” said Taylor. “I’ll walk about like this, I don’t care! I’ll wear it proudly. In fact, I’ll be walking around with these belts on for weeks no matter what anyone says!”