AND the new . . . Three little words which Josh Taylor has spent months and years dreaming of hearing were finally delivered last night as the Tartan Tornado weathered the storm before outpointing Ivan Baranchyk to be crowned IBF super lightweight champion of the world. 

How the 6000-plus SSE Hydro crowd lapped it up as this 28-year-old, blooded but unbowed, became Scotland’s first global boxing champion since Ricky Burns surrendered his WBA title at this weight class to Julius Indongo in April 2017. He even saw fit to regale the crowd with one particular line of Flower of Scotland. “And sent him homeward to think again,” he roared.

Yet the mood had been rather different at the end of the fifth round, as Regis Prograis – the native of New Orleans already waiting, with his WBA title, in the final of this World Boxing Super Series competition – stood up and gestured provocatively to the crowd. They had just seen their man endure the most uncomfortable round of his 15-fight pro career. He had sustained a cut above his left eye, even if his Belarusian opponent sustained one at precisely the same moment.

The fight was anybody’s at that point, the momentum seemingly tilting in favour of the warlike Baranchyk with legendary Freddie Roach in his corner. But whether or not it was the intervention of Prograis, something stirred deep within Taylor.

Using Baranchyk’s aggression against him, he landed a peach of a right-hand counter hook which utterly stunned his Belarusian opponent, sending him to the canvas. Up until that point, Baranchyk had shrugged off his punches matter-of-factly, but now he was in trouble. Big trouble.

Taylor pounced, a left hand this time putting his man on the canvas for the second time in the round. With the bell intervening to save him, Baranchyk was a relieved man as he skulked back to his corner for some attention.

The power was with Taylor now but one punch from the Beast could have changed all that. There was a maturity about the way the Scot boxed the second half of the fight, even if he had the chutzpah to throw caution to the wind, regardless of the blood streaming down his face, to trade blows with his opponent in that final round.

Held aloft by his trainer Shane McGuigan at the final bell, the judges scorecards merely confirmed what everyone already knew. As the unanimous decision went down like this: 117-109, 115-111, 115-111, Prograis didn’t seem anything like as cocky.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Taylor. “I took more risks than I should have. I could have made it a lot easier for myself. But it was still comfortable, easy, easy peasy. If I had more time in that sixth round it would have been finished there and then. It is definitely on a par with it [winning Commonwealth gold here].

“It hasn’t sunk in yet because I have dreamt of this moment for so long. But thank you to every single one of you. We are the two best left in the competition but I believe I will win the fight quite comfortably. I’m sure he [Prograis] believes the same.

“It was an excellent fight,” added Prograis, above the catcalls of the crowd. “What would you say if I’ll bring the fight back to Scotland?”

Two inches the taller man, the upper hand Taylor had in height and reach was cancelled out by the brawn of this little Belarusian. He had only been with Roach for seven or eight weeks, but he hadn’t missed a day of camp and arrived in Glasgow with the IBF belt around his waist and a chip on his shoulder about having to travel to Scotland for his first defence.

After the on-off intrigue as to whether the Beast of Belarus would trap in the first place, and an additional Taylor sweat over the weigh-in, the surprises continued last night as Baranchyk and Taylor were called to the ring fully half an hour earlier than expected, due to the early finish of the Nouya Inoue-Manny Rodriguez world title fight which preceded it.

Nouya “Monster” Inoue, the 26-year-old from Japan, left Glasgow with many new admirers to add to the hundreds of his countrymen who made the journey. My word, this was a special performance. He stopped Emmanuel Rodriguez of Costa Rica just one minute and 19 seconds into the second round to take his IBF title. He now takes on Nonito Donaire of the Philippine in a WBSS final.

On an evening where Scots Lee McGregor, Reece McFadden and John Docherty all added to their unbeaten records, this will go down forever as the night the Tartan Tornado battered the Beast of Belarus.