By Charles Brun: Josh Taylor thinks there’s no question that his unification match against WBA light welterweight champion Regis Prograis deserves to be the headliner over the Dereck Chisora vs. David Price fight on October 26 on Sky Box Office. Heavyweight Chisora (31-9, 22 KOs) is all bent out of shape about his fight with Price (25-6, 20 KOs) being given the undercard treatment at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
Chisora feels that he’s the more popular fighter than Taylor and Prograis, so his match against the 36-year-old Price should be the main event on the night.
Chisora fighting replacement opponent
Dereck was originally scheduled to face former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker for the October 26 card. That was a compelling fight that was seen as a 50-50 match-up in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans.
Parker pulled out of the fight after being bitten by a spider. Chisora vs. Price isn’t seen as a 50-50 contest. It’s a mismatch similar to Chisora’s last fight against Artur Szpilka. For some reason, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn is putting Chisora in with fighters that have a history of being knocked out.
IBF 140-lb champion Taylor points out that his fight with the unbeaten Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) pits the two best fighters in the light welterweight division going up against each other. They’re fighting in the final of the World Boxing Super Series tournament, and they’ll have the Ring Magazine as well as the Muhammad Ali Trophy on the line for the fight. Taylor says that the Chisora vs. Price fight won’t have a title on the line. It’s just a regular heavyweight fight.
Taylor says Prograis fight bigger than Chisora vs. Price
“I can understand where he’s coming from,” said Taylor to Sky Sports News about Dereck Chisora not being happy that he’s not in the main event. on October 26 “At the end of the day, it’s a unification. There are two belts on the line [for Prograis vs. Taylor], and the Ring Magazine belt. Plus the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
‘It’s a massive fight. So how can it not be the headline show when all that’s on the line. Like I said, it’s a unification fight so how can it not be [main event]. How can a heavyweight fight [Chisora vs. Price] with no title on the line be the top of the bill when all that’s on the line for our fight. It’s got to be,” said Taylor about his fight with Prograis needing to be the headliner for the October 26 card.
Chisora hasn’t been doing a lot of grumbling about being on the undercard since Price was named as his opponent for October 26. With Price’s history of suffering knockouts, it puts Chisora in a bad position. He can’t argue that they should be in the main event when they have 15 losses combined between them. It’s a miracle that Chisora is even ranked in the top 15. You don’t see too many fighters with 9 losses on their records being ranked in the top tier.
Josh Taylor says he’s too big for Regis Prograis
“I’ve always wanted to headline in London. I’ve been coming here for years to watch big fights,” said Taylor about him fighting Prograis in London. “I’m looking forward to it, and putting on a good show. He likes to believe his own hype. So I like to do my talking inside the ring. I’m too big for him, too tall for him, and too quick for him as well. I think size is going to be a telling factor in this fight. I do believe him and myself are the two best in the division. This fight is going to prove who is #1 in the division, and I believe it’s myself.
“He believes it’s himself. So it’s going to be a good fight. I think it’s going to be a high skilled match. I do believe it’s going to catch fire. It’ll definitely be all action, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to get harder. These last two weeks are going to be the hardest part in getting in the peak condition. I’m there almost, and I’m getting in the peak condition. In fight week, I’ll be tapering down, and saving my energy,” said Taylor.
Given how close Taylor’s recent fight with Ivan Baranchyk was, his size advantage over Prograis might not be enough for him to win. Taylor, 5’10”, is just two inches taller than the 5’8″ Prograis. That’s not a big advantage in size.
Taylor’s size advantage might not be enough
Prograis easily defeated the 5’9 1/2″ Terry Flanagan last year by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in their quarterfinal fight in the World Boxing Super Series tournament. Flanagan is just one-half inch shorter than the 5’10” Taylor. So if Prograis was able to dominate Flanagan, there’s a good chance that he won’t be troubled by Taylor’s height. It’s going to take more than size for Taylor to beat Prograis. This guy is looking like a machine right now, and he might be unbeatable.
Taylor wants to unify next against Jose Ramirez
“Maybe down the line. I haven’t thought of moving up yet,” said Taylor when asked if he’s interested in moving up to 147 to face Errol Spence Jr. if he beats Prograis. “My short term goal is to win the rest of the belts in the division as a champion. Jose Ramirez has the other two belts. I would want to go after him, and become the undisputed champion. So that’s a goal of mine,” said Taylor.
It makes sense for Taylor to face WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez next in a unification fight if he gets passed Prograis. Of course, it’ll depend on whether Taylor’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing can put the fight together with the Top Rank promoted Ramirez. Ramirez’s promoter Bob Arum tends to be careful in the matches that he makes for his fighters.
If Arum doesn’t think Ramirez can beat Taylor, he likely won’t make the fight. It would be pointless for Arum to cut off one of his revenue streams by letting Ramirez fight a guy that he doesn’t have much of a chance in beating. That’s why it might be in Taylor’s best interest to move up to 147 to go after IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence. If Arum drags his feet in making the Taylor-Ramirez fight, then Taylor will little choice but to move up in weight if he wants to pursue the big money fights.
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— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) October 9, 2019