By: Ste Rowen
London may not have been the natural setting for two world champions admired in New Orleans and Scotland but the O2 arena was the place for super-lightweights WBA titlist, Regis Prograis and IBF holder, Josh Taylor to face off in their World Boxing Super Series final, which saw the ‘Tartan Tornado’ Taylor take a majority decision over twelve rounds.
Both unbeaten and both southpaws, the two men predictably did their best to exhibit their boxing prowess in the early rounds other than the slug-a-thon the crowd was baying for. After five rounds it was clear that the two best 140lb fighters had made their way into the final showdown. Taylor appeared the more active and effective boxer, but Prograis was landing the body shots that take effect in the later rounds.
Past the halfway mark, each man had established the respect of the other as the tit-for-tat punches rained free. As the fight stretched further into the ninth, despite being close, it was difficult to look beyond the ‘Tartan Tornado’ Taylor, having the edge on points. Regis was beginning to take more punches than he could seemingly deal with and Josh was fighting as the more confident man.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
The championship rounds came and went in a blur of tactile nous and slightly desperate power punching. Prograis finished stronger but it seemed that as the final bell rang, the Scot, Josh Taylor who came into tonight with a pro record of 15-0 (12KOs), was ready to sit on the 140lb throne. The final judges scorecards came back as, 114-114, 115-113, 117-112 in favour of Taylor.
Speaking post-fight, the swollen eyed, but newly crowned WBA, IBF, Ring and World Boxing Super Series super-lightweight champion dished out the credit and called out WBC champion Jose Ramirez,
‘‘What a fight, all respect to Regis, he’s a great champion and was very strong. I wish him a ll the best going on. I knew I could get to him. I don’t think he expected me to be able to switch it up so easily.
Jose Ramirez, where you at? Let’s do it!’’
Co-main for tonight that saw a matchup that would’ve been better off happening around six years ago, deliver exactly what most anticipated. British Dereck Chisora battered fellow countryman, David Price around the ring for almost four rounds to score a stoppage victory and claim the WBO Inter-Continental belt.
Chisora was the aggressor once the first bell rang, swinging from the hip, aiming to land that one shot that could and has dropped Price on so many occasions. Price was saved by the bell at the end of the third as Chisora rifled hooks off the Liverpudlian’s temple, and with just over a minute, Price hit the canvas, but despite rising to his feet, the taller man was finished, and his corner threw the towel in.
Dereck, now 32-9 (23KOs),
‘‘I came to seek and destroy, and I knew once I caught him, it was done…He buzzed me, caught me with an uppercut but I recovered.
If we can get Joseph Parker then let’s get it done ASAP. Hopefully he doesn’t get a spider bite this time.’’