By Tré Berry III🖋️
What a fight this was, living up to the wait as we watched on throughout the Tournaments start, culminating to a Fight-of-the-Year worthy type of finale. By way of Majority decision, the Champion of the Junior-Welterweight division is WBSS #2 seed 🏆♛🏴Josh “Tartan Tornado” Taylor (16-0-0, 12KO👊), winning the biggest fight of his life in London at the O2 Arena, in front of his traveling fanbase. The #1 seed of the tournament 🇺🇸Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (24-1-0, 20KO👊) fought a hell of a fight, and this one could have been voted either way, but it wasn’t in the cards for him this night as Taylor was successful enough in the eyes of judges to win the ♛RING-MAGAZINE World Title, as well as pairing the WBA/IBF Title belts together, and being awarded the coveted 🏆Muhammad Ali Trophy…
The first round started out as a feel out round, with Josh Taylor coming forward, and Regis Prograis moving laterally outside, in a round that ended with some quality combinations thrown between the two. In the second round, Prograis started to open up his attack more, notably going to the body often and landing at a high connect percentage. In the 3rd, they switched roles, with Regis playing the role of the aggressor, and Taylor back-peddling with his 👣footwork and circling around, looking to counter. Taylor started to find home with his uppercuts, while Prograis continued to work the body, and used his shifty upper body movement to give Taylor limited looks. Regis landed a strong left hand in the 4th round, but Josh took it well, and continued selectively firing his shots, and at this point this fight was fought at a relatively 📎even-clip. Taylor had a good end of the 5th round, landing a good, well placed right hand. Taylor hit Prograis after the 5th round bell, but nothing of ill intent, was just lost in the moment.
By the time round 6 came around, both fought more confidently, fighting in closed quarters, and Taylor started letting his hands go, with increased success. Prograis landed some clever shots inside, but Taylor landed the showier shots, including a couple of impressive right hooks upstairs. Progais in the 7th round landed a thudding counter left hand, while Taylor kept his volume of punches up, and the intensity of the fight began to 📈rise from this point on. The 9th round was probably the best round of the fight, with both combatants taking turns, landing shots of significance, turning into a battle of the ✊wills instead of just the skills. Much of the same continued in the 10th round, with Taylor landing the portion of the quality shots, most notably the right hook and the left hand. Prograis was still lading quality power punches as well to the midsection.
Prograis right eye by this point was swelling up, and his nose bled profusely while Taylor had heavy swelling around his right eye, and a neighboring cut, but neither boxer let the circumstances dent their will to go for it all. The last two rounds was a treat for boxing fans, as each Champion dug down deep to try and claim their glory, with everything on the line. In the final round, Prograis finished strong and hurt Taylor with an overhand left, along with a few others early in the stanza. Taylor survived that moment to dish out some quality combinations of his own, and they both fought valiantly to the 🔔bell, and after with Taylor trying to get some extra shots in…and just like that, an outstanding unification Title match officially came to an 🔚end.
The anticipation now shifted to the 3 Judges and their 📝scorecards. Two of the judges cards accurately reflected the closely contested bout, but the third card was awful. By way of Majority Decision, Josh Taylor became the new RING-MAGAZINE/WBA/IBF Junior-Welterweight Champion of the World, and wins the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), proudly hoisting up the Muhammad Ali Trophy to 🖼️snapshot the greatest moment of his career in front of a boisterous crowd who 🌋erupted when the decision was read at the O2 Arena.
Worthy of noting, Prograis took the loss in stride, with great humility and congratulated Taylor properly while expressing that he Prograis thought he won a close fight, showing how it’s done when getting the short end of the stick in a closely fought decision that went the other way. Here are how the official Judges scored the fight, as well as how we at Project Combat scored it on the first watch. ❗(Will definitely watch this again to analyze closer and will update our scores if needed).
FINAL PUNCH-STATS 🥊🥊
🤜 Josh Taylor = 207/664, 31.2% Landed.
🤜 Regis Prograis = 252/739, 34.1% Landed.
OFFICIAL SCORECARDS ✎🗒️
✎ Benoit Roussel = 114 – 114 for a DRAW
✎ Alfredo Polanco = 115 – 113 for JOSH TAYLOR
✎ Matteo Montella = 117 – 112 for JOSH TAYLOR
PROJECT COMBAT SCORECARDS ✎🗒️
✎ Tré Berry III = 115 – 113 for REGIS PROGRAIS
✎ Jon Uddin = 115 – 113 for JOSH TAYLOR