Josh Taylor admits he is thrilled to have joined the pantheon of Scottish boxing greats after ripping Ivan Baranchyk’s IBF title from him in a dominant points victory at the SSE Hydro on Saturday evening.
The Tartan Tornado rarely looked in trouble in a powerful display against the Belarusian to set up a mouth-watering final in the World Boxing Super Series against WBA champion Regis Prograis.
Taylor twice had the previously unbeaten Baranchyk down in the sixth but his opponent was saved by the bell as the 28-year-old closed in on a knock-out.
The Edinburgh-born boxer has joined the likes of past champions Ken Buchanan, Benny Lynch, Jim Watt, Ricky Burns, Alex Arthur and Scott Harrison in becoming an elite level fighter and Taylor is delighted to be among such esteemed company.
He said: “They are all great fighters and I am proud to join them and become Scotland’s newest world champion.
“I’m still on cloud nine. It’s hard to put it in to words. This is my dream World champion. It’s going to take a few days to sink in.
“I’m not surprised I’m world champion, I’ve always believed in my goals and ability.
It’s a huge weight off my own shoulders, goal achieved but it’s time to kick on and achieve more, and win this tournament.
“My phone was going berserk afterwards. It’ll take me days to get through all the messages and stuff on social media.”
Taylor faced off against Prograis, who was sporting a kilt in the post-fight media conference, and is in no doubt he will overcome the undefeated WBSS number one seed.
He added: “The fight against Regis is a very different one, the one against Ivan was a more physical fight and against Regis I think it will be more skilful and tactical because we’re both smart and intelligent in the ring but I’m 100 per cent comfortable I can win this tournament.
“He will be the same, we’re both winners and have the same mentality but I’m going to win that fight and that Ali Trophy.”
Boxing legend Barry McGuigan, who manages Taylor through his Cyclones Promotions company, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled, he’s a huge talent. I was cursing him a bit because he fought a bit too much, he could have made it much easier.
“His counter punching was spectacular and he is getting better.
“Regis Prograis is a great fighter but Josh is the best 140-pound fighter in the world.”