Josh Taylor climbs to top of junior welterweight tree with impressive win over Regis Prograis

Anthony Cocks

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Scotland’s Josh ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor 16-0 (12) unified the IBF and WBA junior welterweight championships with a majority decision win over previously undefeated American Regis ‘Rougarou’ Prograis 24-1 (20) in the final of the World Boxing Super Series at London’s O2 Arena in Saturday night.

The thrilling contest exceeded all expectations with the southpaw duo fighting at a frenetic pace throughout the 12-round contest.

When the final bell rang judge Benoit Roussel scored the fight even 114-114, while judges Matteo Montella and Alfredo Polanco both had the bout for Taylor by scores of 117-112 and 115-113 respectively.

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“What a fight, Regis is a great champion, but the best man won,” Taylor told Sky Sports.

“He was very good, very strong and had good timing, but I knew I could get to him inside. He lived up to his name and he is a great fighter.

“I knew I could beat him with the jab alone, but he had me himself so respect to him.”

Taylor had to battle through a swollen right eye that was almost completely shut by the late rounds and a subsequently cut above the same eye.

After a competitive opening four rounds Taylor began to find his range with his jab, landing some big blows in the sixth and seventh rounds.

But Prograis, 30, came roaring back in the eighth and closed out the fight strongly in the championship rounds.

Prograis was magnanimous in defeat.

“The better man won on the night. No excuses, but I will be back. I am pretty sure Josh enjoyed it, hopefully we can do part two,” he said.

The Edinburgh fighter now holds the WBA and IBF titles along with the Ring Magazine belt and World Boxing Super Series Muhammad Ali Trophy.

After the fight the 28-year-old champion called out undefeated WBC and WBO 140-pound champion Jose Ramirez 25-0 (17).

“Jose Ramirez, where you at? Let’s do it,” Taylor said.

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