Still Controversial 30 Years Later – Chavez-Taylor I
By: Sean Crose
Those of us who saw it live remember where we were at the time. Me, I was at a friends’ house in Springfield, Massachusetts that Saint Patrick’s night. My friends and I knew Julio Caesar Chavez was a big deal. We knew Meldrick Taylor wanted to be a big deal. We knew they were fighting at the Las Vegas Hilton to unify two of the major junior welterweight titles. What we didn’t know was how infamous their battle would become. Yet, thirty years to the day later, Chavez-Taylor I remains fresh in the collective memory of fight fans.
It was 1990. Mike Tyson had just been stunned by Buster Douglas a mere month earlier, and Chavez was currently considered the best fighter on the planet. Sixty-eight wins, some of them against top notch competition, and no defeats has a way of making a fighter well known in any era.
Being a young man, I had first been exposed to Chavez when he brutally broke down Edwin Rosario for Rosario’s lightweight title in November of 1987. What struck me at the time was that I had never before seen a fighter so deliberately destructive. Chavez was more than a terrific boxer. He was a frightening one, too.
Taylor, on the other hand, was an Olympic gold medalist, one with lightning fast fists and a dizzyingly high punch output. He had all the ingredients make things tough for the slower Chavez. And indeed, Taylor showed Chavez right away just how good he was. Perhaps Chavez’ mind was elsewhere (he was already speaking of facing Hector “Macho” Camacho before he stepped in the ring with Taylor). Perhaps Chavez had never met a fighter of Taylor’s unique skill set before. Whatever the reason, Taylor was the one making his mark early on in front of the sold out crowd of over 9,000 fans at the Las Vegas Hilton.
Chavez, though, was Chavez. As long as he could somehow land, he could start hurting you. It didn’t seem like Chavez’ shots were effective early on, but it would be worth noting that Taylor began to bleed from his mouth in the second. Although Taylor controlled the fight, the steady assault of Chavez began to slowly and surely take its toll (“He’s inflating, Julio” Chavez’ trainer eerily told him at one point in between rounds). Taylor, though, was a Philadelphia man, which meant he came from a fighting town whose boxers simply didn’t fold under pressure. Chavez may have been gaining ground, but Taylor buckled down and prepared to hold strong and earn a legitimate decision win.
The Philly fighter almost pulled it off.
All the way into the final minute of the fight, Taylor remained in control. Then, with a mere 16 seconds left, Chavez put his man down. Taylor got up, but when referee Richard Steele tried to communicate with him, Taylor appeared confused. It was said he was listening to his cornerman Lou Duva’s advice outside the ring. True or not, Steele subsequently stopped the bout, giving Chavez the victory with five seconds left until the final bell.
Taylor was stunned. The HBO broadcast team was stunned. My friends and I were stunned. No one, but no one, expected that kind of ending. While there was no doubt Chavez had won the fight, it was well worth wondering whether or not he had won the boxing match. This, after all, wasn’t a brawl, but a sporting event. Steele, a high quality referee, took an awful lot of heat for his decision – more than he should have.
Although the fight is still controversial (there were only five seconds left, after all), true boxing fans know the importance of erring on the side of caution. Yet knowing Taylor was so close to seeing his dream come true, only to be denied at the bitter end, can be a tough pill to swallow.
It may not have had the definitive conclusion fans craved, but Chavez-Taylor I certainly proved it wouldn’t be a match that was quickly forgotten. The fight was promoted as “Thunder and Lightning.” In a sense, the storm still rages on.
Josh Taylor Signs With Top Rank
By: Sean Crose
Undefeated junior welterweight titlist Josh Taylor made big news on Thursday when it was announced the 16-0 Scot was signing with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. The move is particularly significant for two reasons. First, Taylor can possibly become the undisputed junior welterweight champion of the world. Undisputed champions are far too rare in contemporary boxing. Taylor already holds the WBA and IBF divisional titles as it is. To make things even more mouthwatering, WBO and WBC junior welterweight titlist Jose Ramirez is a Top Rank fighter.
Perhaps equally important is the fact that Taylor might move up in weight and challenge Top Rank star Terence Crawford for Crawford’s WBO welterweight title. Crawford, one of the big talents in the business, has been unable to land a major bout due to promotional red tape. Now that Taylor is fighting under the same banner as Crawford, that all may change.
“Josh Taylor is one of the world’s best fighters,” said Arum, “and he is a fight fan’s fighter, a tough guy willing to fight anyone we put in front of him.” Arum made it clear that big fights might well be in his new acquisition’s future. “Whether it’s Jose Ramirez in a fight for the undisputed junior welterweight title or any of the welterweights out there,” Arum said, “he’s ready for the biggest challenges. I want to thank Josh’s advisors at MTK Global, who have the same goal as us, which is to make him an international star.”
Taylor took the opportunity to let it be known he has his sights set on the future. “A new year, a new decade with lots of new beginnings,” he claimed, “and I’m starting this new decade with a big bang.” The native of Scotland spoke of now having a strong team in place which can elevate his career. “2019 was a huge year for me, but 2020 looks set to be even bigger and I’m delighted to have signed a deal with Top Rank and ESPN and an advisory contract with MTK Global. I believe I am with the best team to take my career to the next level. I couldn’t ask for a better partnership, and I know the future looks bright with this team lighting the way.”
Being with Top Rank, Taylor will now likely have his fights aired on ESPN. His last fight was a decisive win over Regis Prograis last October in a highly publicized matchup. By besting Prograis, Taylor won the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight title. He also picked up the WBA title in the same bout. Things may not be as smooth as Taylor and Arum hope, however, as Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions has expressed displeasure at Thursday’s announcement. “Josh Taylor is under an exclusive worldwide promotional contract with Cyclone Promotions,” the company stated in a release. Aside from Prograis, Taylor, who is known as the “Tartan Tornado,” has defeated such notables as Viktor Postol, Miguel Vazquez, and Ohara Davis.
Gervonta Davis Wants Josh Taylor in 2020
By: Hans Themistode
Josh Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) did what many weren’t expecting him to do this past weekend. In front of his hometown crowd at the O2 Arena, Taylor won a close decision over Regis Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs). In the process, Taylor unified his IBF Super Lightweight title with Prograis WBA version. Not only did Taylor become a unified champion, but he also brung home the Muhammad Ali trophy as he won the final match of the World Boxing Super Series.
It was the biggest win for Taylor in a career that has already seen him win his fair share of big contest.
Taylor has always been regarded as an exceptional fighter, but his win over Prograis, who was deemed the best fighter in the division, was a real eye opener. An obvious matchup with the divisions other unified champion in Jose Ramirez would be one of the biggest fights out there.
Ramirez may seem like the clear target for Taylor, but another former world champion has made it known that he has his eyes set on a showdown with the Brit in the not so distant future.
Gervonta Davis, who has a December 28th, date with former multiple division champion Yuriorkis Gamboa, has expressed an interest in taking on Taylor who resides one division above his own.
A matchup between the two would be intriguing and quite possibly a very competitive one. However, Davis feels that the contest will be anything but competitive.
“After 135 I’ll move up to 140 and fight Josh Taylor,” said Davis via Twitter. “I will stop you. I promise you that, 7-8 rd to be exact.”
Taylor took the time to stop his victory celebration to respond to Davis on Twitter as well.
“Never make promises you can’t deliver. They don’t call me the hype job killer for nothing.”
Davis has never been known as the sort of fighter to call out an opponent. He must have seen something in Taylor in his contest against Prograis that has allowed him to speak with such confidence. If this contest was to take place, Davis would enter the ring with multiple disadvantages from a physical standpoint.
It’s true that Davis is one of the hardest hitting fighters in the sport, but so was Taylor’s last opponent in Regis Prograis. Taylor was able to nullify much of Prograis power shots. When the Brit was caught however, which did happen often, he responded liked well and did not seem to be in any major trouble throughout the contest.
A matchup between the two has never been thought of, but it would be one of the biggest in all of boxing. A win over a fighter such as Taylor would prove that Davis is in fact the super star that many have pegged him out to be.
First things first however, Davis must get pass Yuriorkis Gamboa on the 28th of December. If he is able to win that contest and capture another world title in the process, then a showdown with Taylor will be on the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Three Takeaways from the Weekend: Life Off for Josh Taylor
By: Jonah Dylan
When Anthony Joshua finally knocked out Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round of their 2017 fight of the year, everyone watching knew they were witnessing the birth of a superstar. The famous call from Adam Smith was “Lift off for AJ!”
It wasn’t a knockout, but it felt like a similar moment for Josh Taylor on Saturday in London.
Taylor and Regis Prograis put on a show in London. It was, as they say across the pond, brilliant. And it was a star-making performance for Taylor. Stateside in Reno, Shakur Stevenson just dominated Joet Gonzalez in a fight that didn’t exactly live up to the massive hype it had coming in. Still, we learned a lot about a ton of different fighters.
1. Josh Taylor is a superstar and should be getting pound-for-pound recognition
I’ll admit I thought Prograis would win this fight. This was obviously considered a 50-50 fight, but it seemed like the needle was leaning slightly toward Prograis. He’d just dominated everyone in front of him coming into this fight.
He wasn’t dominated in any way, but Taylor was just too good. Prograis fought a solid fight and has nothing to be ashamed of, but I think we just underestimated how good Taylor’s boxing is. He never really allowed Prograis to get on the inside, at least until the last few rounds when he already had the fight won on the cards. It felt like Prograis was fighting Taylor’s fight most of the night.
There had been some clamoring for Prograis to be on P4P lists before this fight, so it’s only fair we say the same for Taylor now, especially if you look at his resume. Three of his last four opponents have been former champions and he’s won convincingly against them all. I think it’s fair to slot him in around nine or 10.
As for what’s next: I’d favor Taylor ever-so-slightly against Jose Ramirez, but that’s clearly the fight to make. Ramirez will make at least one mandatory defense first, but Taylor-Ramirez is the fight to make for the back half of 2020.
2. Shakur Stevenson is the best featherweight in the world. Full stop.
Listen, I’m not saying you can’t argue for or Gary Russell Jr. or Josh Warrington or whoever (for what it’s worth, I don’t see the point of ranking Russell. He’s made it clear he won’t fight more than once a year and won’t fight anyone of consequence). I just think Stevenson is a level above.
People will say Joet Gonzalez isn’t the best opponent, but he was an undefeated prospect with a lot of hype behind him. Stevenson made him look silly, and the fight was really never in doubt. The 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist has elite movement, hand speed and defense. At 22, I say he beats anyone at 126 and anyone at 130 save for Miguel Berchelt. He’s already that good, and he’s only getting better.
I like the Stevenson-Josh Warrington fight a lot. Warrington would be the underdog in a world title fight yet again, but there would be a lot of high-level stuff here. The Warrington- Kid Galahad fight makes me think this might be an ugly battle, but Stevenson moves a lot more than Galahad.
Stevenson is headed to 130 sooner rather than later, but I’d like to see him stick around for one more fight against Warrington.
3. Dereck Chisora-Aleksandr Usyk would be a really interesting fight.
If I’m Usyk, I’m waiting for Joshua-Ruiz II and assuming the winner will vacate the WBO belt. That means Usyk would fight for a vacant title, though against who is a tricky proposition because the WBO rankings are messy after Usyk. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up being Usyk-Dillian Whyte for that belt.
Still, Chisora is a fun guy to watch no matter who he’s in with. Saturday’s fight against David Price wasn’t the most entertaining on Price’s part, but Chisora still made it into a good scrap, as they say. He’s gonna come forward and press the action no matter what, knowing full well he might get caught – like he did by Whyte in their rematch last December.
Against Usyk, Chisora wouldn’t have ot be too worried about the power coming back. Usyk would try to move and avoid Chisora’s onslaught early, probably waiting for the Brit to wear down. It would probably work, and I’d favor Usyk, but it would be a good test of where he’s at as a heavyweight. He’d have to show he could take shots from big punchers and prove he can use his speed and defense to avoid taking too much damage against bigger guys.
If Usyk wants to fight for a world title in his next fight, he can. If he doesn’t think he’s ready and wants to test himself against a legit heavyweight, Chisora is the perfect next opponent. Regardless, sign me up for Chisora against literally anyone.
Follow me on Twitter @TheJonahDylan.
What Went Wrong For Regis Prograis?
By: Hans Themistode
The World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) was over before it even began. When the field of 8 participants was first announced, it was one helluva field.
Champions such as Kiryl Relikh and Ivan Baranchyk brought plenty of attention to the tournament. While undefeated contenders in Josh Taylor and Anthony Yigit brought interesting value as well. Even the more unknown commodities such as Eduard Troyanovsky, Terry Flanagan and Ryan Martin brought their own flair to the table as well.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
A case could be made for each and everyone of them that they could walk away with the Muhammad Ali trophy in their possession at the end of this tournament.
None of those cases however, were as strong as the one for Regis Prograis.
At the commencement of this tournament, Prograis did not have a title to his name, unless you count the WBC interim championship which isn’t truly a title but more so a belt which signifies that you are the mandatory challenger for the champion. All Prograis had was an undefeated record, a ton of star power and other worldly stills in the ring.
There was a reason why even with a stacked field, that Prograis was chosen to be the last man standing.
Things were going according to plan at the beginning of this tournament. His first round contest against Terry Flanagan could barely be called one. Prograis dominated the action from start to finish. It was much of the same in his next round matchup as he dismantled Kiryl Relikh to the tune of a 6th round stoppage victory. In the process he would pick up his first world title as well.
His trip to the finals were booked and sealed. His opponent on the other side of the ring was Josh Taylor. A young, undefeated British fighter who was a champion in his own right. It was pegged to be a close fight, but one that Prograis would ultimately emerge victoriously from.
The two undefeated belt holders met in the ring this past Saturday night with everything on the line. It was a great contest. After watching it, many even felt as though it was the fight of the year. Following 12 rounds of non stop action, it was Taylor who emerged with the win. It was close, but the right decision was made.
“The better man won tonight,” said Prograis. “I’ll be back.”
The hype train of Prograis was a real thing. He was supposed to win the WBSS, then become the undisputed champion by defeating Jose Ramirez next year. From there, he would move up and make a ton of noise in the Welterweight division. This was the storyline for Prograis. Yet, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Let’s not lose sight of the talent that the now former champion has. At the age of 30, he is in the middle of his physical prime.
Josh Taylor is simply a better fighter than any of us gave him credit for.
Things didn’t go according to plan for Prograis, but if he can sit back and learn from this defeat, then he will reach the heights that we all expect from him.
Taylor Crowned WBSS and Ring Super-Light Champion
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.’’
Regis Prograis vs Josh Taylor: A Pound For Pound Spot Awaits The Winner
By: Hans Themistode
The pound for pound list is just about set in stone. Names such as Vasiliy Lomachenko, Canelo Alvarez, Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr, Oleksandr Usyk and a very select few currently occupy that list.
In order for a relatively new fighter to join these elite ranks, he needs to do something extraordinary. It isn’t simply enough to win a world title. Fighting and defeating elite competition, while also being known as either the best or second best in your division gives a fighter a chance to be mentioned amongst the best in the sport.
This Saturday night, in front of a packed crowd at the O2 arena in London, IBF Super Lightweight champion Josh Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs) and WBA belt holder Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) have a chance to make their mark.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
The two undefeated champions will collide in the World Boxing Super Series finale. Not only will the winner become a unified champion, but they will also walk away with the famed Muhammad Ali trophy as well.
If you ask just about anyone for a prediction on the outcome of this contest, you’ll be hard pressed to receive an answer. With all due respect to unified champion Jose Ramirez, but these are the consensus two best fighters in the Super Lightweight division.
Contests between the best fighters in any division often times lead to close outcomes. There is a reason why Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter was such a closely contested contest. The same applies for Deontay Wilder in his matchup against Tyson Fury. Prograis and Taylor will ultimately follow in the same footsteps as those aforementioned contest as well. Or at least it should it.
If you ask Prograis however, he is adamant that this will not be a close contest.
“It’s not a 50/50 fight,” said Prograis. “I’m a show y’all that this is not a 50/50 fight. I’m going to show you guys on fight night. I’m going to show how much more superior I am than him. I don’t understand how anyone can even see that this will be close.”
Prograis didn’t simply stop there. He made one more statement on how he expects this fight to play out.
“I’m going to beat the shit out of him tomorrow.”
Staying true to form, Taylor didn’t hold back his owns words when regarding the matchup.
“I believe I can knock him out,” said Taylor.
With just a few hours remaining before everything is settled, the anticipation is at an all-time high. For these fighters, the recognition as a unified champion, coupled with the Muhammad Ali trophy and a career high payday is mostly every fighters dream. But that is just the beginning.
The winner of this contest will have an argument to be mentioned amongst the best fighters in the world, regardless of weight classes.
Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor Battle for Supremacy in the Junior Welterweight Division
By Rich Lopez
This past weekend, we were treated with a great fight in the light heavyweight division between Artur Beterbiev and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. It was a battle between two undefeated champions at the prime of their careers and was almost a pick’em fight. Live on DAZN this Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, we will see another battle between two undefeated champions at the prime of their careers in the junior welterweight division. WBA champion Regis Prograis and IBF champion Josh Taylor will face off in a unification fight but there is a lot more in stake. This is the final for the Ali Trophy in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) but also for the lineal championship.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series
Regis “Rougarou” Prograis, 24-0, 20 KO’s, of New Orleans, LA, has been boxing professional for seven years. Prograis who was an outstanding amateur has gone from top prospect to world champion as a pro. The 30 year old has made huge statements in his career so far and he has stopped eight of his last nine opponents. Fans started to take notice of him with his stoppage victory over Julius Indongo and Juan Jose Velasco. This led him to compete in the WBSS with other top junior welterweights in the division. In his first fight of the tournament, he dominated former lightweight champion Terry Flanagan to win a unanimous decision in the quarterfinal bout. He then stopped Kiryl Relikh in the 6th round of the semi-finals to capture the WBA title. Now he is the favorite to win the Ali Trophy, but he will face his toughest fight against Taylor.
Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor, 15-0, 12 KO’s, of Scotland, has been boxing professional for five years. Taylor was also an outstanding amateur and a 2012 Olympian. Since turning pro in 2015, Taylor has climbed the rankings fast. The 28 year old has already stopped Ohara Davies and former champion Miguel Vazquez. Last year, he also defeated former junior welterweight champion Viktor Postol which led him to the WBSS tournament. Like Prograis, Taylor has been impressive in the tournament as well. In the quarter-final, he stopped the undefeated Ryan Martin in the 7th round. He then outclassed undefeated Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-final to obtain the IBF belt.
Now all eyes will be on Prograis vs Taylor for supremacy in the junior welterweight division. Both fighters are southpaw and are very fast. Taylor will have the edge with the height and reach, but so far Prograis has figured out how to beat all his opponents. For Prograis, he will face someone with the same skill level as him. Maybe this fight will come down to who can take the better punch? This is definitely a pick’em fight. Taylor will have hometown fans behind him, but that should not affect Prograis. I believe this fight will go to distance with both fighters having their moments. I will take Taylor by split decision in a very close fight.
Fight Card Preview: Prograis vs. Taylor
By: Oliver McManus
When the super lightweight draw for the World Boxing Super Series took place there was immediately one potential fight that piqued interest. Not an all-Belarusian clash between Ivan Baranchyk and Kiryl Relikh but Regis Prograis vs Josh Taylor; two of the hottest prospects in world boxing. Both men have worked their way to the final in superfluous fashion and picked up their first bona fide world title in the process. On Saturday night we’ll be treated to a mouthwatering fight with WBA, IBF and WBC ‘Diamond’ titles on the line.
The approaches to their careers have been noticeably different as both arrive with the full weight of momentum behind them. Prograis began his professional life boxing in local ‘convention centers’ in and around Texas and Houston as he looked to build on a solid, if unspectacular, amateur background. Having moved to Texas from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, he boxed out of Savannah A.B.C and went 87-7 before turning over in 2012.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series
Since then he has been developed incrementally with small steps along the way; there was no rush for Prograis, there was little in way of exterior expectation either. The 30 year old has taken on each challenge distinctly ‘over-prepared’ and has consistently looked a class above the opponents matched with him. From NABF junior to NABF and now as world champion, Prograis has been carefully, not cynically, maneuvered with great attention to detail.
Josh Taylor, on the other hand, has substantial amateur baggage following his every turn; a champion of the Commonwealth in 2014 and runner-up in 2010. As a result of the hype and hyperbole surrounding his career there has been a concerted effort from Cyclone Promotions to gatecrash the world scene as soon as possible. This plan was implemented with tough tests scattered across his 15 outings to date; Dave Ryan for the vacant Commonwealth title in his seventh bout; Ohara Davies in his tenth, to secure a world ranking and; Viktor Postol for his 13th fight.
Postol provided the gut check and Taylor emerged relatively unscathed. It was his first WBSS contest which stands out from a performance perspective. Ryan Martin stood in the opposite corner with a 22-0 record. He’d fought on big stages before, on Golovkin undercards, but was shrunk by the reception in Glasgow – Taylor could barely put a punch waywards. It was a schooling and The Tartan Tornado made Martin look like a pre-school tot.
In the ring they are both elite level combatants who are well-rounded in every respect. They can box from range, they can box in the pocket; they’re sturdy southpaws with strong technical knowledge and they can whack. Whoever wins will have fully deserved to lift The Ali Trophy in the knowledge that they took no shortcuts.
A healthy undercard sees Dereck Chisora take on David Price in what is officially labelled the ‘co-feature’. Price steps in as a late notice opponent after Joseph Parker withdrew due to a typically Kiwi downfall involving spiders. Whilst this contest is materialistically weaker it does pack intrigue. Indeed it’s one of those fights you wish had happened five, six years ago when the competitors were in full flourish rather than the final dawn of their career.
Chisora will be in his 41th contest and has recorded two victories in 2019 – a one paced shut-out over 10 against Senad Gashi and an explosive two-round trouncing over Artur Szpilka in July. Price’s last three victories, back to December 2018, have all been against fellow Brits with Tom Little, Kash Ali and Dave Allen failing to hear the final bell. The late-notice Liverpudlian will be a hearty underdog given his propensity to ‘get chinned’, as some would put it, and Chisora has the bit between his teeth. Price will, as he has always done, back himself to do the damage and get out before being dragged into warfire. There’s no guarantee how long the fight will last for but whilst it does it should be a slugger.
Ricky Burns and Lee Selby continue the all-British bouts with a scheduled 12 rounder in the lightweight division. Burns, a three weight world champion, defies his sporting seniority (aged 36) to churn out snappy performances on a regular basis. Since losing to Julius Indongo in 2017, a unification, he’s had three fights; a loss to Anthony Crolla and two sharp stoppages against Scott Cardle and Ivan Njegac.
Selby, four years younger, will be in his second contest at 140lbs after making the jump from super-feather at the beginning of the year. Against Omar Douglas, in February, the Welshman was dealt an awkward assignment with his American forcing Selby to adapt throughout the 12 rounds. He goes into the contest as a favourite but only just with Burns’ increasingly mature performances making him good value for the upset.
Continental success is on offer for Lawrence Okolie as he challenges EBU champion Yves Ngabu. Okolie, 13-0, has shaken off the ‘hugger’ reputation that precluded him in 2018 with three emphatic stoppage victories this year. Unlike stablemate Ted Cheeseman this European adventure comes after a significant period of domestic challenges; four victories over British fighters in title bouts. That extended experience should bode well and his awkward style will always pose questions.
He’ll be facing an experienced champion with Ngabu claiming the European title in 2017. His title reign has seen two stoppages – Tomas Lodi and Geoffrey Battelo the challengers – and a points win over Micki Nielson. For eight years Ngabu has been boxing professionally and his experience shows – he’s incredibly hard to bog down. There seems to always be a presumption when British fighters step up to European level that ‘they just will’ be successful; don’t count your chickens just yet.
Katie Taylor Moves Up in an Attempt to Become a Two Weight Champion
By: Hans Themistode
One of the very best women boxers in the world will return to the ring on November 2nd, at the O2 arena, in Manchester, England. She’ll be at the top of the billing on a card that will feature Joshua Buatsi, Anthony Crolla and a host of others.
The last time Taylor was seen in the ring, she was winning a hard fought but controversial decision against Delfine Persoon. It was a rougher than expected contest as Persoon had every reason to believe that she had done enough to win that contest.
Persoon successfully roughed Taylor up throughout the contest and made it as ugly as possible. Taylor seemed to have a difficult time adjusting to the physicality of Persoon. Still, Taylor managed to box her way to a decision.
The win for Taylor gave her the WBC Lightweight title which was the last belt at the weight class, making her an undisputed champion at the weight. Now that she has captured the last piece of the championship puzzle, she is looking for an even bigger challenge as she will be moving up in weight to take on WBO Super Lightweight champion Christina Linardatou.
“It’s a new challenge at a new weight and something I’m really excited about,” said Taylor. “I still feel like I have so much left to achieve in the sport and becoming a two-weight world champion is one of those goals.”
As for her opponent, Linardatou hasn’t lost a contest since 2016. Since then she has won four fights in a row and will be facing the biggest match of her career. Don’t expect the pressure of the moment to get to Linardatou.
“I plan on leaving England with my title,” said Taylor. “If I need to knock Katie Taylor out in order to retain the title, that’s what I’ll do.”
The move up in weight will have many fearing that a future contest against seven division champion Amanda Serrano is now unlikely. Taylor assured everyone that her plan isn’t to simply campaign at Super Lightweight.
“There are still so many huge fights out there for me like the Amanda Serrano fight, a rematch with Delfine Persoon and a fight with Cecilia Brækhus but the first goal is November 2 and winning another world title. I don’t have any issues making lightweight so I think I can move comfortably between the two weights. I always want to push myself and Christina is an excellent world champion, so it will be a big test for me.”
Taylor and Linardatou seem highly motivated to put on a show but it will be another fighter on the card who will receive most of the attention.
Former champion Anthony Crolla will step into the ring for one final time. It’s been a long and successful 13 year career for Crolla which first started in Manchester England. He has managed to win his fair of big fights including against Ismael Barroso, Ricky Burns and a championship winning effort against Darleys Perez. His career is now coming full circle as it will officially come to an end in the same place that it started 13 years ago.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Haney, Prograis, Taylor, Peltz, Fury, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 3rd to September 10th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
‘Time to Shine’ Prograis and Taylor Face-to-Face in London Ahead of Ali Trophy Final
USA’s Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) and Scotland’s Josh Taylor (15-0, 13 KOs) met on Monday in England’s capital at an intense kickoff press conference ahead of their highly anticipated WBSS Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final at The O2 in London on October 26, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.
“I am excited to come to London, most fighters don’t get this chance in a lifetime,” said Prograis, WBA World Champion & WBC Diamond Champion.
The New Orleans native known as the ‘Rougarou, a werewolf-like creature of Louisiana’s folklore, does not see the final as a 50-50 match-up.
“Everybody always says they are going to beat me. Everybody says it was going to be a 50/50 fight but I blow everyone up. He is taller than me, he is longer than me, but you can’t determine my heart on the tale of the tape. And you can’t determine my IQ, Not to be cocky, but I can’t see him beating me.”
The beast from the bayou is up against ‘The Tartan Tornado’ from Prestonpans who is at least as confident in his own abilities.
“I am full of confidence,” said Taylor, IBF World Champion & WBC Silver Champion.
“I think I am bigger than him, quicker than him, stronger than him, and I punch just as hard as him. If he walks onto a shot I can get him out of there or I can out-box him for the full 12 rounds.
“I am headlining the show down here, tapping into the British fans, so I can’t wait,” he added. “Right now, I believe myself and Regis are the best two in the division, we are the guys to beat. And we are going to prove it on October 26. This is my time to shine and I am super confident.”
“This is it, the Champions League of boxing,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “This is a super final, the super-lightweight final for the Ali Trophy and ‘the man to beat in the division’. It’s not often you see the best against the best and this is one of the best fights of the year.
“I have watched them both and studied them extensively. Regis likes to keep his distance and is very fast in and out whilst Josh will come right at you and those two styles blend well.
“I can’t predict who wins. It’s really a dream to have two undefeated champions, two huge personalities in the final and we are very much looking forward to it.”
Prograis and Taylor entered the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Ali Trophy as the two highest-seeded boxers in a loaded 140lb bracket.
No. 1 seed Prograis earned his spot in the final by outdoing Terry Flanagan on points last October, and then went on to stop Kiryl Relikh in round 6 and take the WBA World title in the semi in late April. Meanwhile, second seed Taylor stopped Ryan Martin in round 7 last November and then proceeded to decision Ivan Baranchyk to claim the IBF World title in May.
The WBSS Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final at The O2 in London on October 26 is shown live via Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.
DAZN, the world’s largest dedicated live sports streaming service, will exclusively bring U.S. fight fans the WBSS Season II Finals. To sign up for a one-month free trial, fans can visit DAZN.com or download the DAZN app to their preferred connected device.
Heavy: Fury vs. Schwarz Premieres on ESPN on September 12th
Tyson Fury walked to the ring for his Las Vegas debut June 15 dressed like Apollo Creed and flanked by showgirls. He was set to defend his lineal heavyweight title against Tom Schwarz, but first, the man who authored one of sport’s greatest comeback stories wanted to give the fans a show.
Two days before Fury returns to the ring to defend his crown against unbeaten contender Otto Wallin this Saturday, September 14 live and exclusively on ESPN+ (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT), director Peter Berg and Film 45 give viewers an intimate portrait of Fury and Schwarz in the days, and tense moments, leading up to their fight.
Produced and directed by renowned filmmaker Berg, the creator and executive producer of the multiple award-winning NBC drama series “Friday Night Lights” and several ESPN Films’ “30 for 30” installments, “HEAVY: Fury v Schwarz” features behind-the-scenes footage of Fury and his then-undefeated challenger as they prepared for their showdown. The documentary is executive produced by Matthew Goldberg, Brandon Carroll and Matthew Shattuck for Film 45, and it will premiere this Thursday, September 12 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on ESPN.
Fury won the lineal and unified heavyweight titles in November 2015 with a unanimous decision over longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko, but mental health and substance abuse issues nearly derailed his career. He returned to the ring in June 2018, and less than six months later, fought WBC world champion Deontay Wilder to a highly disputed draw in one of the sport’s most memorable heavyweight championship battles. Now a noted mental health advocate and motivational speaker, Fury is fighting for his boxing legacy and aiming to inspire those afflicted with mental illness.
“We are excited to provide a raw and intimate account of the Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz fight,” said Berg. “The documentary takes viewers into the minds and lives of the boxers as they navigate the pressures of the mentally and physically taxing sport.”
‘“HEAVY: Fury v Schwarz” is a terrific documentary and we are thrilled to be able to bring it to boxing fans on ESPN platforms, the home of combat sports,” Matt Kenny, vice president of programming at ESPN said. “Peter Berg is a master storyteller of exceptional credentials who has created an unforgettable portrait of Fury’s Las Vegas breakout moment.”
KSI and Logan Paul 2 Tickets On Pre-Sale Now
Presale tickets are now LIVE for the rematch between KSI and Logan Paul at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday November 9, live on DAZN in a fight presented by Eddie Hearn for Matchroom Boxing USA in association with OP Talent.
The YouTube rivals clashed in August 2018 at the sold-out Manchester Arena in Manchester, England and was watched by over 1 million live pay-per-view buyers on YouTube, with the fight ending in a majority draw with KSI edging the battle on one card with two judges unable to split them.
Now the pair meet once again to settle the score in the ring with Paul welcoming his rival to his LA backyard, and this time they do so as professional fighters having passed their relevant medicals last week, and they will come face-to-face for the first time since their fight at a launch press conference in Los Angeles on Saturday September 14, which is when tickets will go on
The larger-than-life internet stars with over 40 million YouTube subscribers between them have been itching to get their hands on each other once again, as have their loyal armies of fans, and now the countdown begins to their second night in the boxing spotlight.
Devin Haney Training Camp Quotes
Rising star and undefeated lightweight contender, Devin “The Dream” Haney (22-0, 14 KOs), has wrapped up training camp for his upcoming showdown with Zaur Abdullaev (11-0, 7 KOs).
Haney vs. Abdullaev, promoted by Matchroom Boxing and Devin Haney Promotions, will be a 12-round main event bout for the WBC interim lightweight championship on Friday September 13 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Haney, who will be making his first appearance at “The Mecca of Boxing” – Madison Square Garden, will look to make it a memorable one as he has plans to take over the lightweight division.
TICKETS START AT JUST $30 (PLUS FEES) AND ARE AVAILABLE FROM TICKETMASTER HERE
Here is what Haney had to say about the upcoming fight:
On his upcoming fight against Zaur Abdullaev:
“I know Abdullaev is focused, he’s been at the top of the rankings for a while now, so I know he’s ready to fight. He’s an undefeated fighter, who has beaten some quality opposition, so I take him very seriously. I’m just very excited to face Abdullaev because it will show the world my skills and why I am the new face of the sport.”
On his recent training camp:
“Training camp has been great. We started strength and conditioning with Coach Reggie at Phase 1. I really got stronger and I can feel the difference. I spent the next portion of camp at the SNAC System facility in the Bay Area working with Victor Conte. There I worked on my speed and explosiveness with well renowned track coach Remi Korchemny. I’ve had a world class training camp, with everything from strength and conditioning, to tremendous sparring, included with a lot of rest and recovery. This will be another memorable performance like my last fight on DAZN.”
On fighting for the WBC interim lightweight title:
“The WBC Interim World Championship means a lot to me. Some people kept labeling me a prospect when I knew I was so much more. Being able to fight for an Interim World Title means everything. This not only makes me the WBC mandatory for Vasiliy Lomacheno, but I’m able to do Interim Title defenses, until Loma is ready to fight. I believe the winner of Haney vs Abdullaev is in a really good position with the WBC.”
On headlining at Madison Square Garden on DAZN?
“This is something I’ve always dreamed about for sure. MSG is the most historic and iconic arena in all of sports. I’m headlining a card full of great fights. Heather Hardy (22-0) vs Amanda Serrano (36-1) for the WBO World Female Featherweight Title will be a very exciting fight. My good friend from Las Vegas, Michael Hunter (17-1) vs Sergey Kuzmin (15-0) will be a terrific fight as well. There are only two losses between all six of the fighters on the main card. This is my first time at the Hulu Theater, and I’m going to put on a helluva show. Everyone should get their tickets now, because it’s going to be a great night of boxing and entertainment.”
Padilla-Tomas Fight Headlines Peltz’ 50th Anniversary Card October 4th in Philadelphia
Junior welterweights Victor Padilla, of Berlin, NJ, and Romain Tomas, of Brooklyn, NY, will square off in the main event Friday evening, Oct. 4, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
The eight-bout card, labeled Blood, Sweat & 50 Years, will celebrate the Golden Anniversary of Peltz Boxing Promotions. The card is being promoted by Raging Babe (Michelle Rosado) with J Russell Peltz serving as the matchmaker. First bout 7:30 p.m.
Going old-school on this one, Peltz has scheduled the Padilla-Tomas fight for six rounds, harking back to the first two decades of the 20th century when all main events in Pennsylvania were limited to that distance.
The 20-year-old Padilla, originally from Vieques, Puerto Rico, is a southpaw with speed and power. He has won all five of his fights by first-round knockout. In fact, he has only been in the ring for a total of six minutes, 29 seconds, in those five contests. Although none of his five opponents had a winning record when he fought them—their combined mark was 17-29-1 at the time—Padilla still is considered one of the best young pros on the East Coast. He is promoted by Lou DiBella’s DiBella Entertainment.
The 30-year-old Tomas is originally from Emerainville in the Seine-et-Marne region of France, outside Paris. He brings an 8-2 record into the fight with Padilla. Tomas is coming off his biggest career win, a six-round decision over previously unbeaten (7-0) Omar Bordoy in Bordoy’s nearby backyard of Hampton, NH.
“Some of the greatest fighters of all-time appeared in hundreds of six-round main events during those 20 years at the turn of the last century,” said promoter J Russell Peltz. “In my 50 years in boxing, this marks the first time I have been involved with a six-round main event. When you’ve never done something before, often that is the best reason for doing it.
“Hall-of-Fame champions like Jack Johnson and Benny Leonard boxed six-round main events in Philadelphia during those years,” said Peltz. “How about Stanley Ketchell vs. Sam Langford or Joe Gans taking on Jack Blackburn? I would have loved to have seen those battles. Lew Tendler, Abe Attell, Terrible Terry McGovern, Rocky Kansas, Philadelphia Jack O’Brien. Philadelphia was the boxing capital of the country and six-round main events was the norm.
“I’m an old-school kind of guy so this is going to be fun for me. This represents the past and Padilla vs. Tomas will give us a peek into the future.”
The undercard is topped by three additional six-round rematches.
Junior middleweights Roque Zapata, of Culpeper, VA, and Isaiah Wise, of North Philadelphia, meet in a rematch of their 2016 at the 2300 Arena, won by Zapata via majority four-round decision, the first loss of Wise’ career.
Zapata (6-2-4) also defeated Fred Jenkins, Jr., early in 2017 over six rounds in the same ring. Wise (7-2-1, 4 K0s) last boxed 10 months ago when he knocked out Andy Gonzales, of Worcester, MA, at the 2300 Arena.
Junior welterweights Gerardo Martinez, of Coatesville, PA, and Osnel Charles, of Atlantic City, collide in the other six-round rematch.
Martinez (4-1, 1 K0) earned a four-round majority decision over Charles (13-19-1, 2 K0s) at the 2300 Arena. While Martinez has been idle since, Charles picked up a four-round points victory in June over Laquan Lewis, of Brooklyn, NY, at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA.
North Philadelphia welterweight Marcel Rivers (7-1, 4 K0s) will fight in a six round contest.
Four-rounders scheduled for Oct. 4 include: Shinard Bunch, of Trenton, NJ, vs. Rakym Dyer, of South Philadelphia, welterweights; Christopher Burgos, North Philadelphia, vs. Tyree Arnold, North Philadelphia, junior welterweights; Vinnie Denierio, Elmira, NY, vs. Seifullah Wise, North Philadelphia, lightweights.
Lightweight Shamar Fulton, of North Philadelphia, also will appear in a four-round contest.
Regis Prograis: “I’m Looking Forward To Fighting The Best Josh Taylor”
By: Sean Crose
“I’m very excited to get everything settled for this fight,” the 24-0 Regis Prograis says. “This is the fight I wanted the most and it’s the fight to prove who is the best in the division. My goal has always been the same and that’s to prove I’m the best 140lbs fighter in the world and to become undisputed.” Prograis will be facing the 15-0 Josh Taylor for the World Boxing Super Series’ Ali trophy for the super lightweight division. The bout will go down at London’s O2 arena on October 26th, and will be streamed live on DAZN.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
“It has always been a dream for me to fight in London,” says Prograis. “The boxing fans in the UK are some of the best in the world and I can’t wait to go and put on a show. I know once they see me fight they’ll be fans for life.” Although he has a well deserved hard hitting reputation, Prograis makes it clear he’s not going to take Taylor lightly. “Taylor is in my opinion is the 2nd 140lbs in the world after myself. He had two great performances leading into the finals and I’m looking forward to fighting the best Josh Taylor on October 26th.”
As for Scotland’s Taylor, the man is clearly eager to face New Orleans’ native Prograis. “I’m massively excited,” Taylor says. “I want to prove that I’m the best in the division by taking on the best fighters. Now it’s finally over the line I can concentrate on getting to work in the gym and going full steam ahead again.” Taylor goes on to say he feels he has the goods to beat his highly regarded American opponent. “I’m very confident that I can outbox him and outfight him as well,” he says. “I can’t see anything other than a Josh Taylor win on October 26. It will be a huge buzz to fight for the Muhammad Ali trophy in front of a huge crowd at The O2. I believe that I am the best fighter in the division and now it’s time to prove it.”
Per Matchroom Boxing: “Prograis and Taylor entered the WBSS and the quest for the Ali Trophy as the two highest-seeded boxers in a loaded Super-Lightweight bracket. No.1 seed Prograis earned his spot in the final by outdoing Terry Flanagan on points last October, and then went on to stop Kiryl Relikh in six rounds and take the WBA World title in the semi in late April. Meanwhile, No.2 seed Taylor stopped Ryan Martin in round 7 last November, and then proceeded to decision Ivan Baranchyk to claim the IBF World title in May.”
As things stand, Prograis, who is known as “Rougarou,” holds the WBA world and WBC diamond super lightweight titles while Taylor, who is known as “The TartanTornado,” holds the IBF word and WBC silver super lightweight titles. The October 26th card will also see the 31-9 heavyweight veteran Derek Chisora face off against the 26-2 Joseph Parker, who once held the WBO world heavyweight title. Both Prograis-Taylor and Chisora-Parker are scheduled for 12 rounds.
Katie Taylor on the Verge of History
By: Shane Willoughby
Whilst all eyes are on Anthony Joshua this Saturday who is defending his titles at Madison Square Gardens, Katie Taylor can make history on the undercard.
Katie Taylor (13-0) has the opportunity to become the first Irish undisputed champion – male or female, with a victory over Delfine Persoon (43-1).
Like AJ, Taylor is the IBF, WBO and WBA champion and will be facing the number 1 lightweight in the world for her WBC crown.
The Brit has an amazing career undefeated in 13 fights but will have a tough task trying to dethrone Persoon who has held the title since 2014 and has won 34 consecutive fights.
Either fighter will be making history with a victory, as there has never been a Lightweight in the sport to hold all four versions of a world title at the same time.
Female boxing is on the rise and 2019 has already seen Claressa Shields headline an event and become Undisputed champion at middleweight. The winner of Persoon and Taylor will be 1 of 3 undisputed champions currently in women’s boxing.
Maybe the men might need to take a leaf from the women. Boxing fans around the world having been begging for the best to fight the best but to no avail. Women’s boxing is absent of all the politics that has diseased and contaminated the men’s game.
Unfortunately, in any other world an undisputed fight will be mainstream media and getting a great deal of coverage. Britain’s first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis.
But when Anthony Joshua is fighting, it’s no surprise that the undercard fighters are left in the shadows, neglected and starving from any form of attention.
However, when AJ is expected to receive $30 million, DAZN and matchroom must not have much money left in the pot to promote anyone else.
Katie Taylor On Delfine Persoon: “May The Best Girl Win”
By: Sean Crose
Heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua won’t be the only fighter of note stepping in between the ropes at Madison Square Garden on June 1st. Although the British multi-titlist will be making his American debut that night against the entertaining Andy Ruiz, another acclaimed titlist will be fighting on the card, as well. For Ireland’s Katie Taylor will be facing Delfine Persoon for the undisputed women’s lightweight championship of the world. The 13-0 Taylor currently holds the WBO, IBF, and WBA titles, while Persoon has held the WBC belt for over five years. Their match is scheduled for ten rounds.
“It’s great,” says Taylor, “to have the opportunity to have the chance to become the undisputed champion…every day in camp has been 100% focused on the task at hand so I won’t sit back and think about it until I’ve actually achieved it as that’s what I am like.” Taylor is also excited to return to Madison Square Garden, where she last fought in December. “The chance to fight for the four World titles and the Ring Magazine belt at the Mecca of boxing, MSG,” says Taylor, “I don’t think you could write a better script, it’s an absolute dream. Persoon is recognized as one of the best in the world pound-for-pound and has been the WBC champ now for over five years so it’s the best against the best. This is huge for women’s boxing.”
In Persoon, Taylor is facing a 43-1 champion with one of the most impressive records in the sport. “I think it’s going to be a really hard fight,” Taylor claims. “I’ve watched clips of her and she’s very tall and awkward, she punches non-stop for the ten rounds and I think it’s going to be a very physical fight. It’s a huge challenge but the one that I’ve wanted. She’ll bring the best out of me as I have the utmost respect for her and we’re going to lay it all on the line and may the best girl win. The famous green belt and the Ring Magazine belts being on the line is just amazing.”
This will be Taylor’s fifth fight in a single year – an oddity in today’s fight boxing world, where top fighters rarely step into the ring more than once or twice. As for Persoon, it will be the Belgian titlist’s fourth fight – again, an oddity in today’s fight game.
Taylor Becomes IBF champ as Inoue Dismantles Rodriguez
By: Michael Kane
Josh Taylor is the new IBF Super Lightweight world champion after a dominant display against Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series in Glasgow.
In a night which saw Naoya Inoue put on a dazzling performance in his bantamweight semi-final bout against IBF champion Manny Rodriguez, the roof nearly came off the SSE Hydro Arena as Taylor was proclaimed IBF king.
The fight started off with Taylor working behind the jab and Baranchyk looking to land big body shots. Taylor was looking impressive working at range.
As the rounds went on Taylor abandoned his distance game and stood toe to toe with the Belarussian, with Baranchyk winning the 5th. The 6th started with Baranchyk landing some good body shots however the tide turned as Taylor landed a great shot to head that had Baranchyk on the floor. He got up quick only for Taylor to apply more pressure and have Baranchyk down once more to send the Glasgow crowd wild.
Baranchyk weathered that storm and was able to apply some pressure of his own and probably picked up the 9th round. He looked like he still could cause Taylor some problems.
All Taylor had to do as we moved into the 12th round was work at distance however the last 30 seconds of the rounds both boxers stood in the centre of the circle and traded shots.
As the final bell rang, Taylor was thrust in the air by his coach Shane McGuigan as the Glasgow fans waited expectantly for the decision.
The crowd were not to be disappointed as scores of 117-109, 115-111 and 115-111 would give the Scot a deserved unanimous decision win and Scotland a new world champion.
Taylor now moves on to the final and will face American Regis Prograis, the WBA Super champion, with both belts up for grabs.
Taylor said of the clash, “I feel I’m the best, he feels hes the best. We both did the job to get to the finals. I feel I’ll win the fight quite comfortable, I’m sure he believes the same.” Before leading the crowd in a rendition of Flower of Scotland.
— World Boxing Super Series (@WBSuperSeries) May 18, 2019
In the other world title fight on the card, the Japanese superstar and WBA Regular champion Naoya Inoue would add Manny Rodriguez’ IBF bantamweight title.
Rodriguez was clearly unfancied among the Glasgow public, with some jeers from the crowd, Inoue on the other hand entered the arena as if he was one of Scotland’s own.
The first round started with both fighters landing some nice shots, Inoue landed several body shots that already looked like they could hurt Rodriguez.
It was to be all over in the second as not once, not twice but three times Inoue would have Rodriguez on the canvas as he worked the Puerto Rican’s body.
Rodriguez was widely expected to be Inoue’s toughest test to date but ‘The Monster’ blew yet another opponent away in an awe inspiring performance.
Inoue will now face 4 weight world champion Nonito Donaire in the final.