WBSS finals: Sauerland on... Taylor vs Prograis
Luke G. Williams
Photo: Alex Burstow/Getty Images
As the finals of the second season of the World Boxing Super Series approach, the WBSS chief boxing officer Kalle Sauerland gives Boxing Monthly his take on the finalists and how they reached the Muhammad Ali trophy showpieces, starting with super lightweights Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor, who square off next weekend at the O2...
Sauerland on Regis Prograis...
"In his quarter-final fight against Terry Flanagan, Prograis looked very good in phases for me, but I still wasn’t totally convinced, but in Lafayette in the semi-finals he convinced me that he is absolute top pedigree. He was already a great fighter at super lightweight and now he’s a world champion at the weight too.
"We mustn’t forget he was fighting a top super lightweight in Kiryl Relikh - someone who has had some great performances and was a world champion coming in. It was all Prograis. He really put on a masterclass and for me announced himself as very much the man to beat from America. In the first season there wasn’t a standout American, but in this season we certainly have one in Regis Prograis. It was a fantastic night for him."
Sauerland on Josh Taylor...
"We talked about Prograis’ grandstand performance against Relikh but if you look at Josh Taylor, he went into a real 50-50 fight against a world champion in Ivan Baranchyk. There was trouble before the fight in getting Baranchyk to Scotland but he showed up in great condition with Freddie Roach in his corner. He’s a very tough customer Baranchyk but Taylor took his title and took his soul in the ring and really put on a show. He put his man down and put on a masterclass.
"Taylor's performance was a volley straight back at Prograis who obviously did such a great job against Relikh in Lafayette. Both men had fights against current world champions, both captured their first full world titles. They were billed as the pre-tournament favourites and after Prograis’ performance I think the pressure was on Taylor. He may not have admitted that, but he rose to the occasion with flying colours. What a fighter Taylor is! What a fighter that guy is! We have an absolutely mouth-watering final!"