News | Aug 28 2019

Josh Taylor: Regis Prograis ‘better be ready to fight’

We have a likely date and venue for the Josh Taylor vs Regis Prograis World Boxing Super Series final. John Dennen reports
Josh Taylor
Josh Taylor is the new IBF super-lightweight champion (Action Images/Reuters/Lee Smith)

JOSH TAYLOR, the IBF super-lightweight champion, is already deep into his preparations for taking on WBA titlist Regis Prograis in the final of the World Boxing Super Series. There had been speculation that Prograis would attempt to leave the tournament but Boxing News understands there is a strong possibility that their unification clash will take place on October 26 at the O2 Arena in London.

“It seems like it’s pretty similar to the [Ivan] Baranchyk fight. It seems like the same kind of issues, it’s probably more his manager than Prograis but I’m not sure he’s that keen on coming over either. I think he’s having a whinge about coming over here. But the tournament needs to make their money back, they’ve got their investment and they need to make some kind of money at the gate and I don’t think in America would very marketable. He doesn’t really sell any tickets,” Taylor told Boxing News. “There was a thousand people, maybe less than 2,000 people at his last fight so it’s got to make a wee bit of business sense as well.”

Josh Taylor
Taylor puts Baranchyk down in their world title fight Action Images/Reuters/Lee Smith

“He signed up for it. If the fight was in America, [he wouldn’t mind]. I don’t care where I box, a boxing ring’s a boxing ring,” the Scotsman continued. “I’ve been used to it for years being on the GB and the amateur set up, spending 99% of the year away from home and travelling and going to tournaments, staying in the hotels, eating foreign food, I’m used to it all. It doesn’t faze me.

“I’m not whinging about the situation. I’m ready to go.”

Prograis was ringside to see Taylor beat Ivan Baranchyk in Scotland to win his world title. The two faced off after that contest. “I was having a bit of an off night there,” Taylor warned Baranchyk. “He better be ready to fight.

“He certainly isn’t as brave face to face as he is on social media. He’s certainly not as brave when you’re speaking to him six inches from his face… I was pumped with adrenalin so I was effing and blinding and things like that.”

If they do box in London, Taylor would welcome that. “It’ll be great. Build my fanbase in England as well, not just in Scotland,” he said. “It’s a great arena as well, a big, big arena as well… It’ll be great if it is on Sky and you get that platform.”

The target though is simply to acquire Prograis’ world title. “I was like job done, dream achieved, on to the next one [after beating Baranchyk]. I expected to win a world title,” Taylor said. “So when I actually done it, it was just like a release of the pressure on my shoulders.”

“I’m super proud of what I’ve done,” he adds. “But it never stops, it’s all about becoming unified champion and then undisputed world champion. There’s always a new target. I don’t think it’ll be till I retire or have a break from boxing or something like that that I sit back and appreciate what I’ve achieved.”

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