Livescore Sunday, May 19

Former world champion Josh Taylor says boxing “will be a duller place” without Willie Limond, who has died aged 45.

Ex-British and Commonwealth light-welterweight champion Limond won 42 of his 48 professional fights from 1999 to 2023 – and 13 by knockout – although only three bouts took place after 2016.

Four of his losses were to fighters who won world titles – Amir Khan, Anthony Crolla, Erik Morales and Ricky Burns.

“It’s a terrible day for Scottish sport,” Taylor told BBC Scotland.

“The man in general was a larger-than-life character. He was always funny. He was one of life’s good guys.

“It’s such a tragic, tragic loss. Scotland’s lost one of its favourite sons, especially in boxing. It’s a huge loss.”

Limond was originally a footballer, playing five times for Albion Rovers in the late 1990s.

In his distinguished boxing career he held the British super-featherweight, light-welterweight and lightweight titles as well as the Commonwealth light-welterweight, WBU lightweight and IBO Inter-Continental lightweight crowns.

In a post on social media, his son Jake said his “dad passed away in the early hours of the morning”.

“He fought on for near enough 10 days. Warrior,” he added on Instagram.

Limond fought countryman Burns in September, with the referee stopping the fight at the end of the eighth round because of excessive blood from his nose.

He announced his retirement from the sport afterwards but was set to face Joe Laws at Emirates Arena in Glasgow on 3 May.

Laws posted on Instagram: “I’m absolutely devastated. Willie just wanted to make a better life for his family.

“Willie my old son, wait for me at the pearly gates – we can get it on. Legends never die.”

Limond was found in an unresponsive state in a car in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, on 6 April and was taken to Monklands Hospital, where he died. Police Scotland say there are no suspicious circumstances.

One of Limond’s most famous bouts was a Commonwealth lightweight title meeting in 2007 against Khan, when the Athens Olympics silver medallist was an unbeaten rising star.

Limond gave Khan – who went into the fight with nine knockouts from his then 12 fights – the toughest test of his early professional career, knocking the 20-year-old down before losing by stoppage.

He knocked Khan to the canvas in the sixth round but was denied what he felt was a knockout by a significant delay before the count began.

The Bolton fighter then took control, with Limond forced to retire from the fight because of a broken jaw before the start of the ninth round.

Limond won a WBU title and in 2010 took on four-weight world champion Morales in a title fight in Mexico, going down three times in the sixth.

He lost to Crolla on points in his next British title fight at light-welterweight level before three successful Commonwealth title fights, the latter also securing him the British title with victory over Curtis Woodhouse in 2014.

Former world champion Crolla posted a ‘heartbroken’ emoji on X and, along with a recent photo of himself and Limond, wrote: “Not just in boxing but in life as well. One of the best men I ever met.”

Woodhouse, who was beaten by Limond at Braehead Arena in 2014, also paid tribute to the fighter on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Absolutely devastated to hear the news of the passing of Willie Limond, a great fighter and a great man,” the Englishman wrote.

“We stayed in touch after our fight and always had a laugh together. Absolutely gutted. Rest in peace champ.”

St Andrew’s Sporting Club – who were scheduled to stage Limond’s fight with Laws – posted on social media: “Everyone at St Andrew’s Sporting Club are shocked and deeply saddened at the loss of our friend, Willie Limond.

“Willie was not only a legend of the sport, but an infectious character who will be greatly missed by us all.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Jake, Drew, Macy and the rest of the Limond family at this time.”

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