Regis Prograis’s backers couldn’t understand how others believed Josh Taylor could survive 12 rounds with the talented Cajun, let alone defeat him, but they misread the self-belief that the Edinburgh born IBF champion had gained in tough assignments against Ivan Baranchyk and Victor Postal. It was this vital experience that allowed Taylor to come back from a fast start by Prograis and fight his way back into the fight.
When we are lucky enough to get a 50/50 fight that goes the distance and lives up to the hype, there will always be differences of opinion and I had Prograis winning by 2 rounds, but there’s no way I would argue with Taylor getting the win. Taylor vs Prograis 2 is a fight that must happen somewhere down the line, possibly 3 or 4 also.
Regis Prograis oozes natural talent, his movement, speed, timing, and power make him such a formidable fighter, but in Taylor he has found a foe that will allow him to become a super-star. Just like Ali needed Frazier, and Leonard needed Hearns, every great boxer needs a nemesis to rise to that level of excellence that boxing fans will pay big money to see do battle, Taylor is that man.
Let’s hope it is not too long before we see the rematch taking place, perhaps in Prograis hometown of Houston, Texas, or under the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip. It’s a rivalry that can make both men very wealthy and famous.
Josh Taylor proved to his doubters that he is tenacious and talented. The talent has long been obvious, but the way he took so many hard, accurate body shots from Prograis and came back with his own damaging reply’s showed the grit of the man. His badly damaged eye didn’t appear to affect him at all during the later rounds, and those that said he couldn’t fight on the inside were proved to be badly mistaken.
A big lesson can be learnt by a lot of boxers from the way Regis Prograis conducted himself after suffering his first career loss. He said that ‘the best man one tonight’, he made no excuses, he didn’t moan about the decision, he said it was a close fight throughout. The man is a class act and he has gained many, many new fans in the United Kingdom. Let’s hope we see him box here many more times in the future.
The fight we are likely to see put together next will be Taylor versus Jose Ramirez, the WBC and WBO titleholder. There would be no financial sense in not making that fight. All four world title belts and two unbeaten champions, how can it not happen? Bob Arum, Ramirez’s promoter is not a man afraid to pitch his fighters into these kinds of money-making events, Ramirez will be no pushover for Taylor, especially if the fight takes place in America where Taylor must go at some stage to cement his place among the best in boxing today.
Taylor now has a legitimate win over the man boxing insiders thought would one day go on to be a P4P No1. If he can conquer the USA with a unification win over Ramirez then he can start writing his own cheques.