It was a good battle between two southpaws, but one fighter just did a little bit more to pull out the win.
Josh Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) used his jab early, scored a few power shots on the inside, and dealt with a swollen right eye in the late rounds to defeat Regis Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) by majority decision (114-114, 115-113, 117-112) to retain the IBF super lightweight title and win the WBC diamond title and the WBA title from Prograis. It also made him the winner of the World Boxing Super Series and Ring Magazine champion in the super lightweight division. Prograis suffered the first loss in his pro career in a spirited effort where he had to fight through a bloody nose from the midway part of the fight.
At the start of the fight Prograis was showing his patience, waiting for Taylor to attack to counter and throw body punches on the inside. He had some success with that as Taylor’s body showed welts where Prograis was landing. However, Taylor continued to jab and follow through with his left hand to get an advantage on Prograis. It was a back and forth battle for a majority of the fight with only a few occasions where one fighter had a clear advantage. By Round 8, it seemed like Taylor would pull away as he was scoring well with uppercuts and right hooks. By Round 10, Taylor was backing up Prograis with his combinations but then the right eye was getting swollen which gave Prograis an opening in the final two rounds of the fight.
Taylor attributed his win to his constant activity and mixing up his attack. “The free-flowing boxing, the inside work – I don’t think he quite expected I could switch it up and go to range quite as quickly,” Taylor said after the fight. “I knew I could get to him. I don’t think he expected me to be able to switch it up so easily.”
” All respect to Regis Prograis, a great fight, great champion, but the best man won.”
Prograis was disappointed that he lost, but did give credit to the native of Scotland. “It was a close fight. The better man won on the night,” Prograis said. “I thought it was pretty even up until the last few rounds.”
With Taylor’s win, he could look ahead to a clash with Jose Ramirez for the undisputed super lightweight title. However, there are a few obstacles in front of that fight, including a mandatory defense by Ramirez against former champion Viktor Postol. For Taylor, he will enjoy this victory and think about his father-in-law, who he dedicated the win to after his passing last month.
“He was here with us tonight and I want to dedicate this to him.”