After genuine fears that this fight may not happen, we have confirmation that IBF and WBA Super-lightweight champions Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis will meet in the final of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) 140lb Final on October 26th at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Legal/Financial difficulties had led Prograis to pull out, but those issues have been settled amicably so now we can look forward to a potential fight of the year candidate, pitting two excellent practitioners of the fine art against one another.
Prograis looked like a very special fighter coming through and I suspect there were many that worried that his natural talent would sweep aside the likes of the Scotsman. Taylor's victory, or should I say the manner of victory over his WBSS semi-final opponent Ivan Baranchyk changed many of those minds. Past wins over former world champion's Miguel Vasquez and Victor Postal had proved that Taylor was truly world-class but the feeling remained that Prograis just might be on another level. But with the Baranchyk win, Taylor too took his stock to a higher plain.
What once appeared a straight forward win for the man from Houston, Texas, looks more like a 50/50 fight now, and having the fight in London is a close 2nd to home advantage for the Edinburgh born Taylor who works out at his trainer's gym in Battersea, London.
Both fighters records are very impressive and strangely enough, it is in their last 5 fights that they have both shown the qualities to take them to world titleholder status and become equals to Jose Ramirez, the unified WBC and WBO champion. Taylor's wins over Miguel Vasquez, Winston Campos, Victor Postal, Ryan Martin and Baranchyk have shown steady improvement while taking on top-level opposition.
Prograis's record is equally impressive, Joel Diaz Jr, Julius Indongo, Juan Jose Velasco, Terry Flanagan and Kiryl Relikh, all world-class fighters that have helped to take the New Orleans born Prograis to the top of the division alongside Taylor and Ramirez.
Picking the winner of this fight is one of the toughest picks of the year. My head tells me that Taylor with home advantage and that great win over Baranchyk should come through on a tight points win while in my heart I believe Prograis still might be a P4P No1 one day.
Prediction: Prograis wins on points.