By Tim Royner: Regis Prograis says boxing fans can expect fireworks in his unification fight against Josh Taylor in the World Boxing Super Series light welterweight final on DAZN on October 26. This is a battle of unbeaten 140-lb champions when these two face each other at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) will have his WBA light welterweight title on the line, while Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs) will be risking his IBF title. Prograis-Taylor will be headlining the October 26 card, which will also be shown on Sky Box Office in the UK.
The undercard will have the following fights:
- Joseph Parker vs. Dereck Chisora – heavyweights – 12 rounds
- Ricky Burns vs. Lee Selby – lightweights – 12 rounds
- Yves Ngabu vs. Lawrence Okolie – cruiserweights – 12 rounds
- James Tennyson vs. Craig Evans – lightweights – 12 rounds
- Terri Harper vs. TBA
- Conor Benn vs. TBA
- Austin Williams vs. TBA
Chisora (31-9, 22 KOs) isn’t too happy about his fight against former WBO heavyweight champion Parker (26-2, 20 KOs) being put on the undercard. He wanted top billing for his fight, and he doesn’t like the idea that he has to take second fiddle to a light welterweight fight. In the UK,
Chisora is arguably more popular than Prograis and Taylor. He’s better known, and has been around for a long time. 2012 Olympian Taylor, 28, is a relative newcomer to the pro game, and hasn’t made a name for himself despite recently capturing the IBF 140-lb title in beating Ivan Baranchyk last May.
Prograis says winner between him and Taylor will be viewed as #1 at 140
“This is #1 and #2 in the world, so the winner of this fight is definitely the kind of 140,” said Prograis to secondsout. “You still got [Jose] Ramirez out there, but he’s not on the level of me or even Josh Taylor right now. So the winner of this fight, which is me, is definitely going to be crowned the King of 140. There should be no doubt in the minds of anybody the best at 140 is the winner of this tournament. I’m confident in myself. I never think I’m going to lose. After the fight, I can take all the fans, and that’ll be fans for life. It’s going to be a hell of a fight. To me, he has that typical European style,” said Prograis about Taylor.
“He likes to box, he moves his feet, and he has good ring movement. Mine is more savvy, and more dirtier. I’m not saying I’m a dirty fighter. It’s more grimy. At the same time, I can do something different. That’s why this is such a good fight, because it’s going to be fireworks. I want to be pound-for-pound #1 in the world,” said Prograis.
In some circles, the Prograis vs. Taylor WBSS tournament winner will be seen as the #1 fighter at 140, but a lot of boxing fans will view the WBC/WBO champ Jose Ramirez as the top guy. The only way to prove who the best fighter is at light welterweight is for the Prograis-Taylor winner to face Ramirez. That’s not going to be an easy fight to put together, because Ramirez is promoted by Top Rank. They may not be eager to take on the winner of the Prograis vs. Taylor unification match, because they would be risking one of their revenue streams.
Prograis wants Jose Ramirez next after he beats Josh Taylor
“For me, if you get all the belts [at 140], there’s no reason to stay,” said Prograis when asked when he plans on moving up to 147. “I feel like in a perfect world, I’ll fight Josh Taylor, and then I’ll fight Ramirez or maybe get a fight before that, and then fight Ramirez. That’s the perfect boxing world. So after i get a few belts, I’ll be going to 147.
“My goal is to be undisputed, and win all that belts, and then I’ll make that move to 147. Someone asked me, ‘What if you get a bigger offer at 147 before you get all the belts?’ That would be a business decision that I have to ask my manager about and see. We want all the belts at 140, but I’m not going to wait around. I said in a ‘perfect world,’ and boxing is definitely not perfect. If they offer me something bigger at 147, we’ll see,” said Prograis.
There’s a very good chance that Top Rank will stall on letting Ramirez face the winner of the Prograis-Taylor fight. Prograis has made it clear that he’s not going to sit and wait on the Ramirez fight. If it looks like Top Rank isn’t going to let Prograis fight Ramirez, then he’ll move up to 147, and go after the champions in that division. Taylor has a better chance of getting the Ramirez fight than Prograis, because he’s not going anywhere. He’ll likely stay at 140 long enough for Top Rank to eventually let Ramirez fight him.
Mikey Garcia not a special fighter says Prograis
“Of course, I don’t see myself losing the fight at all,” said Prograis when asked how he would do against Mikey Garcia at 140. “That would be a hell of a fight. Me and him, we’re going to fight one day at 140 or 147. That’s like a fight that I think the fans would definitely want to see. I’m going to go out and have fun, and do me. He’s technically very sound. He keeps his hands up, and throws the right punches at the right time.
“I just don’t see him as being a special fighter. He’s very good at the basic skills. He does everything right at the right time. But I feel like I do everything different. I’m a different type of fighter just because I can do all those things and more. I feel like my style is like a gumbo basically. You put all this, and mix it up, and you got me,” said Prograis.
Mikey Garcia plans on fighting in the light welterweight division, and Prograis would like to fight him. He thinks he can beat Mikey, who he sees as a fighter with basic skills. Mikey wants to fight Manny Pacquiao, and that’s a fight that would take place at 147. If Mikey doesn’t get a big fight against one of the welterweights, then he’ll move down to 140, and look to take on guys in that division. He may not want to fight Prograis though. He’s more interested in taking on the bigger names.
Prograis views Spence as better than Crawford
“It’s between Errol [Spence] and [Terence] Crawford, but I lean more to Errol,” said Prograis when asked ‘who’s the King of 147?’ “I think Crawford skill-wise is better than Errol, but Errol is big and strong. It is hard to hit Crawford with flush punches, but he does get hit with flush punches. But when he gets hit by Errol, I don’t know what happens to him. Those are the two names at 147.
You’ve got other people and stuff, but right now those are the two names at 147. But I lean more towards Errol. I’d say because of the size difference, and the power. But they both have styles that will give each other fits.
Crawford’s fighting style gives Spence fits
“I think Crawford has the style to give Errol fits, because of his movement, and his feints, and how good he is technical-wise, and he’s a switch hitter,” said Prograis. “He has the style to give Errol fits. I also think Errol has the style to give Crawford fits, because he is so big, and he will take those punches, and he is a real good body puncher.
That is a fight that I really want to see, but I lean more towards Errol. There’s not a King right now at 147, because Errol still has a tough fight with Shawn Porter. I think he’s going to win, but it’s still going to be a tough fight. But I lean more towards Errol right now as being the best. He’s not the King, but being slightly the best at 147,” said Prograis.
Spence and Crawford aren’t expected to face each other until 2020 at the earliest. It would be interesting if Prograis moves up and takes on the winner of that fight. Top Rank can’t afford to have Crawford wait too much longer before they match him up against Spence, because he’s getting older.