Sitting in his altering room inside London’s O2 Enviornment, spent and exhilarated, Josh Taylor held a towel to his lawful discover.
He dabbed gingerly on the harm, checking for blood. He wanted to seize the swollen clump of tissue to discover out of it.
Taylor, 28, had unprejudiced obtained a majority choice in opposition to Regis Prograis to seize the tall Muhammad Ali trophy, the reward for successful the World Boxing Mighty Collection huge-mild-weight closing.
It turned laborious to overlook the Ali trophy, a introduction from the hand of the late Silvio Gazzaniga, sculptor of the Fifa World Cup trophy.
And in defeating 30-three hundred and sixty 5 days-mature Prograis, Taylor had added the American’s WBA title to the IBF huge-mild-weight belt he had secured together with his victory in opposition to Belarusian Ivan Baranchyk in Glasgow in Might effectively effectively additionally.
However there turned one prize that considered if it could topic most to Taylor – the “Rocky” belt, the one awarded by boxing bible The Ring Journal for the excellent fighter in a weight division.
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For the size of the media conference, he shouted out his satisfaction at retaining it, with its purple, white and blue ribbons and serene brass. In his altering room, he did not favor to let it run.
No matter getting handiest fought 16 cases as a certified since successful Commonwealth Video games gold in Glasgow in 2014, now now not many are viewing Taylor as the rest moderately then the excellent 140lb boxer within the area proper now time.
In any case, Prograis and Taylor had been one and two within the rankings getting into to Saturday’s battle.
However, one man in Avenal, California may beg to differ: Jose Ramirez, 27, holder of the WBO and WBC variations of the enormous-mild-weight title.
Taylor is in no temper for his to be a licensed success.
“I might indulge in to be mainly probably the most useful champion within the division,” he acknowledged, abet in his dad and mom’ home in Prestonpans on Monday, his discover now stitched and with some imaginative and prescient returning.
“That is now now not been performed in Scotland since Ken Buchanan in 1971. He turned the final undisputed champion.
“I’ve received a shrimp of pulling power now to exclaim that I might indulge in to derive that battle.
“I disclose Jose Ramirez would indulge in that battle together with a consequence of or now now not it is probably truly acceptable certainly one of many excellent fights in boxing on the minute.
“He’s calling himself the excellent within the division and I personal I am the excellent within the division, however I might indulge in to degree that I am the amount 1 and personal the whole belts and disappear no doubts.
“I might fancy to lift the belts abet and point out Kenny them.”
Taylor’s coach Shane McGuigan quipped on the post-fight media conference that his fighter turned the “The O Thief”, a reference to the disappearance of the hitherto blemish-free data of Ryan Martin “22 and O” [22 wins and 0 defeats], Baranchyk “19 and O” and Prograis “24 and O”.
These had been fighters who all tasted defeat for the foremost time as a certified after they confronted the Scottish southpaw.
Ramirez has obtained all 25 of his bouts, 17 of them by knockout. That is one different “O” for “The O Thief” to focus on.
For Tom Gray, affiliate editor of The Ring Journal, there could also be purely no debate round Taylor’s standing. He’s, with out question, the excellent 10st fighter within the area.
Gray suggested BBC Scotland: “The Ring belt represents the excellent fighter within the division.
“The belt is unanimously revered by the fighters. It is a methods one thing out of the abnormal. The Ring Journal turned basically based mostly in 1922. There had been handiest eight divisions in the intervening time. Jack Dempsey turned the foremost champion and so that you’ve got all that historic previous from then till now.
“Junior welterweight [super-lightweight] is a fairly uncommon division, beginning in 1962. Outdated holders of The Ring Journal belt at that weight include Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao. Taylor turns into the 17th junior welterweight champion.”
Gray lists the 5 Scottish world champions who had been recognised as being undisputedly the excellent within the area – Benny Lynch, Jackie Paterson, Walter McGowan, Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt.
“Josh Taylor is the sixth,” argues Gray.
“When WBA mild-weight champion Buchanan turned into undisputed champion in February 1971, he added the WBC belt by beating Ruben Navarro.
“Taylor unprejudiced so occurs to be dwelling in an technology the connect he has to beat additional individuals to be the unified, undisputed champion.
“His purchase over Prograis positively goes down as truly acceptable certainly one of many excellent Scottish boxing moments of all time.
“It will additionally unprejudiced now now not eclipse Buchanan outpointing Ismael Laguna in 1970 for the WBA title, presumably on fable of you’d discover abet at that with a way of nostalgia, plus Laguna is now within the Corridor of Standing.
“However I predict Regis Prograis will run on to tall points and that can save Josh Taylor’s feat the whole bigger.”