Josh Taylor defeats Regis Prograis to unify IBF and WBA world titles
Josh Taylor made Scottish boxing history after becoming a double world champion at London’s O2 Arena.
The 28-year-old defeated the previously unbeaten American Regis Prograis by a majority decision, winning the Ring Magazine belt and World Boxing Super Series’ Muhammad Ali Trophy in the process.
The Prestonpans puncher now holds the IBF and WBA super lightweight titles and is the first Scot to do so since the great Ken Buchanan in 1971.
It was a quite scintillating and nerve-jangling 12 rounds with both boxers throwing everything could muster from their bloodied bodies.
After a cagey opening couple of rounds, the shots started to land in the third, although the New Orleans fighter’s punches possibly carried more weight.
However, Prograis’ defence was really tested in the fifth as Taylor started to break down his resistance.
Both fighters exchanged ferocious blows in the seventh but Taylor signalled to the crowd that he was in the ascendancy. And those in attendance responded.
Taylor’s inside work in the ninth and tenth was exemplary as time again he kept his shots low to both sides of Prograis’ body.
The American was clearly feeling the effects but somehow found a second wind in the 11th as he chased the win.
But Taylor, who was sporting a huge cut to his right eye, had done enough to earn his place at the sport’s top table.
“What a fight, great respect to Regis Prograis but the best man won,” Taylor said. “He was very strong and he lives up his reputation with his power. I wish him all the best in the future.
“I want all four belts in the division so let’s do it. The atmosphere was incredible so I can’t thank the fans enough for coming out.”
Prograis said: “It was a close fight but the better man won. I thought it was pretty even but I’ll be back.”
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