JOSH Taylor is the new champion of the world after an outstanding performance at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow tonight.

The Prestonpans boxer convincingly defeated dangerous Belarussian fighter Ivan Baranchyk to take his IBF super lightweight belt and in the process become the first Scottish boxing world champion since Ricky Burns lost his belt at the same weight to Julius Indongo in 2017.

Taylor had been favourite going into the World Boxing Super Series semi-final fight but 'the Beast' Baranchyk, renowned for his powerful punching, was always likely to present a stiff challenge.

Unsurprisingly, the defending champion entered the area to a chorus of boos, while Taylor by contrast received a rapturous reception.

After a cagey opening round, the fight quickly settled into the pattern it would follow for most of the night: Baranchyk throwing flurries of powerful punches but failing to properly connect, while Taylor was clinically precise and accurate with his own shots.

Taylor was, for the most part, well on top, though Baranchyk shook him briefly in the fifth round, including opening a cut above Taylor’s left eye.

However, there only looked like being one winner when in the sixth round Taylor dropped Baranchyk to the canvas with a crushing blow to head. Impressively, the Belarus fighter rose instantly, but was back on the floor by the round’s end, saved from what looked like certain defeat by the bell.

There was no escape for Baranchyk in round seven, however, Taylor hunting him down and connecting with shot after shot.

To his credit, Baranchyk soaked up the considerable punishment he was receiving to hold his own in rounds eight and nine, before being rocked again in round 10 but just surviving to the bell.

Knowing now he was well behind on points and that only a knockout would save him, Baranchyk emptied the tank in the final two rounds. Rather than trying to evade him, Taylor threw plenty of punches of his own, leaving the crowd gasping with concern on more than one occasion, but the Prestonpans ace stayed on his feet and knew he had done enough to win the world title he so craved.

There was no tense wait for the result to be announced – there was no doubt at all who the winner was going to be.

And as the words “and the new…” were spoken, the rest of Taylor’s victory announcement was drowned out by the delighted bellows of the Hydro crowd as they acclaimed the newest boxing world champion.

“I took more risks than I should have, I could have made it a lot easier for myself,” Taylor admitted afterwards.

But the new champ – sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with those words he had long been desperate to hear, “and the new” – added: “I’m absolutely over the moon,” before leading the crowd in singing Flower of Scotland.

When the dust settles from this truly special evening for Taylor and East Lothian, he will cast his mind forward to what is still to come, the World Boxing Super Series Super Lightweight final.

His opponent there, New Orleans native Regis Prograis, is highly regarded and it looks sure to be a close contest.

But after handling an opponent of Baranchyk’s calibre as capably as he did, Taylor will fear no one and be confident of adding Prograis’ WBA world championship belt to the IBF one that is now his own, as well as claiming the Muhammad Ali Trophy for the World Boxing Super Series champion.

For now, however, it’s time for Taylor to celebrate – he’s certainly earned it!