JOSH Taylor was still glowing with pride last night after taking his place in Scotland’s pantheon of boxing world champions. The 28-year-old’s unanimous points win over Ivan Baranchyk in the World Boxing Super Series semi-final in Glasgow late on Saturday night gave him ownership of the Belarusian’s IBF super lightweight belt as he became this nation’s first global champion since Ricky Burns surrendered his WBA title to Julius Indongo in April 2017.

The triumph saw him enter a select band of Scots who have conquered the world, a catalogue including his sometime mentors Ken Buchanan and Alex Arthur, plus Jim Watt, Benny Lynch, Scott Harrison, Paul Weir, Pat Clinton, Johnny Hill, Tancy Lee, Walter McGowan, Jackie Paterson and Murray Sutherland.

It was entirely typical of Taylor that he should namecheck them all as he said he was humbled to join such company. “They are all great fighters and I am proud to join them and become Scotland’s newest world champion,” he said. “I’m still on cloud nine. It’s hard to put it in to words. This is my dream: world champion. It’s going to take a few days to sink in.”

As he went off into the night dreaming of satisfying another long-held dream – a post-fight pizza – his phone was vibrating like crazy with all the well-wishers getting in touch by text or social media to pass on their best wishes. The vibe in the dressing room with his partner Danielle, parents Diane and James and various friends and colleagues had been a heady mixture of relief and euphoria. Save for one detail: he couldn’t be pictured with the belt itself as Baranchyk hadn’t brought it with him. The IBF, who stepped in to ensure this contest went ahead, will make sure it arrives soon enough.

“It was great to have my family watching and in the dressing room afterwards,” said Taylor. “You could see the relief on their faces at the end. It was emotional. I don’t think I could be the other side of the ropes watching someone I love doing that. My phone was going berserk afterwards. It’ll take me days to get through all the messages and stuff on social media.

“Unfortunately, he didn’t bring the belt with him,” the 28-year-old added. “So I never got to get my picture with it in the ring. I’ll need to wait to get my hands on it, but it doesn’t matter: I know I am world champion.”

Whether or not he had it around his waist, Taylor has his first world title under his belt and could have two more to go with it by the time he fights again – not to mention the Muhammad Ali Trophy.

By the time September ticks round, he will be pitched in against Regis Prograis, the native of New Orleans who had acquired new-found villain status with the Glasgow crowd by the time Saturday night’s events were over, not only is Prograis’ WBA title up for grabs, it was announced on Saturday night that The Ring magazine would also be at stake. Free of the pressure of achieving his life’s ambition, you can expect him to come out swinging.

“This is a huge weight off my own shoulders,” admitted Taylor. “Goal achieved. But it’s time to kick on and achieve more, and win this tournament, then unify the division. Long-term I want to become undisputed champion, that’s down the line but I believe I can do it.”

Taylor’s first professional nickname, the Pride of Prestonpans, suddenly seems out of date. For a while he was caught up too in the same East Coast/West Coast cul de sac as the likes of Buchanan and Watt. But as he led a 6,000-plus crowd in belting out an a capella version of Flower of Scotland on Saturday night with particular stress on the part about ‘sending him homeward to think again’, it was pretty clear that the Tartan Tornado has now become the property of Scotland -and the world.

No wonder he is bullish about taking on Prograis in the final of this WBSS competition anywhere in the world. A man who has already fought in El Paso, Brooklyn and Las Vegas, it will soon be fairly clear that the Tartan Tornado also has his very own travelling Tartan army to speak of.

“The fight against Regis is a very different one,” admitted the Scot. “The one against Ivan was a more physical fight and against Regis I think it will be more skilful and tactical because we’re both smart and intelligent in the ring. But I’m 100 per cent comfortable I can win this tournament. He will be the same, we’re both winners and have the same mentality but I’m going to win that fight and that Ali Trophy.”

Glasgow, New Orleans and the neutral terrain of Japan have all been suggested for that fight, but all that can wait, because in the main Saturday night was about a young man completing his dream. It is apparition which only started to become reality when this teenage footballer and Tae Kwon Do exponent started attending boxing fitness classes under Alex Arthur at Meadowbank gym where his mum Diane worked.

A bit of Taylor’s devil came out when he said that it was “easy, peasy” in his post-fight interview, but this was a tense fight until the end. Only gaining a serious upper hand when dropping his man twice in the sixth round – the first a right hook which arrived out of the blue and stunned the Belarusian - one Baranchyk bomb could have ripped his world title dream away at the last.

While he boxed the second part of the contest with real maturity, it said it all for Taylor that he still had the chutzpah to give the Belarusian some of his own medicine in the last 30 seconds or so, unleashing a barrage which reminded everyone – the crowd, the judges and his opponent – that there was only one winner.

“It WASN’T easy,” said Taylor. “I knew it would be a tough fight. I probably could have got him out of there but I was so comfortable just boxing him.

“I didn’t want to risk getting caught with a big shot because every time I stepped on him he came back with a powerful shot.

“I couldn’t get careless. I had to bring it home safely. I knew I was hurting him, but I switched off a couple of times, and let him off the hook a bit. But it was only because I was so comfortable in there.

“He landed a couple of shots. They didn’t hurt but I just thought, ‘I’m getting you back’. So I wanted to finish strong and let him know, ‘I’m still here and I’ve beaten you’.”

The Scot had blood streaming down his cheek from a cut above his left eye at that point, but he looked fresh as a daisy when he emerged for the post-fight press conference. When a Taylor counter punch allowed him to dance out of trouble on the ropes, he stuck out his tongue at his opponent like some kind of crazed Celtic warrior. This is what his trainer Shane McGuigan and his camp know as ‘Hank Time’, a reference to a character with a personality disorder in Farrelly Brothers’ comedy film ‘Me, Myself and Irene’.

Taylor had admitted to feeling a tad embarrassed by judges scorecards in his favour in his points win against Viktor Postol, but it was hard to quibble with tallies of 117-109, 115-111, 115-111 on Saturday night. His backers needn’t have worried, even amid the weigh-in drama which saw him hit the scales 0.1kg over the limit, drink some water as he mistakenly believed he had made the weight, before having to return again.

“I think they [the British Boxing Board of Control] were a bit unprofessional - they announced the weight and I had a drink, they should have stopped me from doing that,” said Taylor. “I would have taken my pants off and I would have been bang on. I went back stage and waited a while and I was bang on. It sounds stupid but that’s the easiest I’ve ever made the weight.” The Tartan Tornado might not have been required to go commando to conquer the world, but he certainly fought the pants off Ivan Baranchyk on Saturday night.