Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Prograis vs Taylor: Josh Taylor outpoints Regis Prograis to win World Boxing Super Series and unified super-lightweight titles
Last Updated: 27/10/19 11:27am
Josh Taylor out-battled Regis Prograis in a brutal and brilliant World Boxing Super Series final on Saturday night in London.
Scotland's Taylor won a majority decision to add Prograis' WBA super-lightweight title to his IBF gold, becoming the only British boxer to currently hold two world championship belts.
It was a thrilling fight between unbeaten world champions, one of the best of 2019, but ultimately edged by the 'Tartan Tornado' who earned the Muhammad Ali trophy by finishing stronger despite his right eye being swollen completely shut.
The southpaws locked horns towards the end of the first round and tested each other's mettle, both emerging with markings to suggest that they felt the punches.
The huge Scottish contingent in the crowd roared on Taylor but Prograis, who wore his Rougarou mask to the ring to signify the mythical swamp creature that he draws energy from, stood firm despite conceding height and reach.
The early rounds were rough and physical, fought at close quarters with punches whipped to the body. Prograis' uppercut was a standout shot then, in the fourth, his sharp left hand lumped Taylor on the side of the head.
Ex-mechanic and motorbike fanatic Taylor threw a late punch at the conclusion of the fifth round - his opponent was annoyed, and their rivalry cranked up a notch.
Prograis was bloodied to the nose by the sixth round, a torrid period for him, when his slick movement failed to get him out of trouble.
Taylor was the dominant force in the middle rounds where he peppered his visitor from New Orleans, the survivor of two devastating hurricanes.
But Prograis, in the most desperate moment of his career, found a brilliant counter left hand in the eighth round to reassert himself.
Right hooks from Taylor found their mark, by which time the blood from Prograis' nose was dripping. The ninth round was a brilliant battle of wills between two champions desperate not to give up their unbeaten records.
Prograis began to look fatigued and pained in the last three rounds but his chin held firm but Taylor landed stiff punches in the 10th and then again in a brutal 11th.
Taylor's right eye was cut and swollen but he exchanged furious punches with Prograis in the final seconds of their hellacious battle.
Scorecards of 114-114, 115-113 and 117-112 saw Taylor sink to his knees as he became Britain's most gold-laden boxer.
"Jose Ramirez, where you at? Let's do it," Taylor told the WBC and WBO champion of the division.
Prograis said: "It was a close fight, the better man won tonight so it's cool."
Watch repeats of the WBSS final and Chisora vs Price on Sky Sports Box Office, from 9am and 3pm on Sunday. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Even if you aren't a Sky TV subscriber you can book and watch it here.