JOSH Taylor produced a special performance to defeat Regis Prograis and win the World Boxing Super Series at super lightweight in London.

One of the most anticipated boxing matches of the year more than lived up to its billing, with two world-class fighters standing toe to toe and delivering a brutal onslaught of blows at the O2 on Saturday night.

But at the end it was Prestonpans' finest who was deservedly named the winner to claim the Muhammad Ali Trophy, as well as retaining his IBF world title and winning the American's WBA belt.

Both fighters came into the bout undefeated and having won world title belts for the first time with victories in the semi-finals of the competition earlier in the year and everyone expected a close contest from the men widely regarded to be the best two fighters in the world at super lightweight.

Taylor, 28, was the less experienced in terms of professional fights but had made a point in the build-up of pointing out the calibre of opposition he had beaten, including three former world champions in Miguel Vazquez, Viktor Postol and Ivan Baranchyk, while accusing Prograis of padding out his record against "binmen".

The atmosphere on fight night was electric and a big Scottish contingent roared on Josh loudly from the moment he stepped into the ring, while Prograis by contrast was met by a chorus of boos as he made his own elaborate entrance dressed in the character of the mythical Louisiana beast the Rougarou with which he shares his nickname.

And it was the New Orleans native who was quick out of the blocks, clicking through the gears in the first four rounds and showcasing classy movement and superlative evasion skills while conducting himself with the cocksure swagger of a man who believed his status as the bookies' favourite going into the fight was justified.

Taylor was clearly behind a third of the way through the fight but he showed the ability to dig deep and turn the tables that is the mark of a true champion.

After picking up the pace in rounds five and six, Taylor really started to do some damage in round seven, rocking Prograis, before the Prestonpans man did well to stay on his feet after being caught flush on the chin by the American late in round eight.

Taylor then came back with a sensational display in rounds nine and 10, dictating the fight and leaving Prograis struggling for breath.

But, with the fight seemingly having slipped from his grasp, Prograis bravely fought back in the last two rounds and probably narrowly had the better of them in a breathless, frantic finale.

Both fighters were raised aloft by their trainers at the final bell and it certainly seemed a hard one to call.

But the suspicion was always that Taylor had done just enough, and when the judges' scorecards revealed one draw and two narrow wins, it was just moments later before the East Lothian superstar could let out a roar of delight as his victory was confirmed.

"Easy fight weren't it?!" Josh joked afterwards, before paying respect to Prograis: "He was very good, very strong. He definitely exceeds his reputation with power, he's a great fighter. Respect to him and all the best."

Taylor, his right eye badly swollen after the punishing contest, also dedicated his win to his father-in-law, who passed away last month.

As for Prograis, he was gracious in defeat, saying: "It was a close fight. The better man won tonight, so it's cool."

And even on such a historic night, Taylor was still able to look to the future and his next target, calling out WBC and WBO holder Jose Ramirez as he attempts to become undisputed super lightweight champion of the world by beating the American.

"Jose Ramirez, where you at? Let's do it!" Josh challenged his opponent.

And after a victory against as good an opponent as Prograis, who would bet against Taylor now?