IT’S exhausting to imagine it has been three years since Regis Prograis fought tooth and nail with Josh Taylor in London, England and fell simply brief, dropping a majority resolution after 12 rounds. Since then, it’s honest to say so much has occurred on this planet, simply maybe not in Prograis’ profession.
Actually, within the three years which have adopted that Taylor loss Prograis has fought solely thrice. He fought and beat Juan Heraldez in 2020 (stopping him in three rounds), he fought and beat Ivan Redkach in 2021 (stopping him in six), and he fought and beat Tyrone McKenna in 2022 (stopping him in six). In not a kind of fights was Prograis ever unduly fearful or threatened, but neither did he show a lot by beating any of these males, all of whom appeared barely out of their depth in his presence.
Hopefully now, although, with a battle in opposition to fellow southpaw Jose Zepeda scheduled for this Saturday (November 26) in Carson, California, Prograis is about to obtain the take a look at he has been critically missing post-Taylor. Definitely, on paper no less than, this (for a WBC super-lightweight belt) is the very best and most significant task the American has had since that point and, in Zepeda, he lastly has an opponent who possesses the instruments and expertise to hopefully ask him a query or two.
A pure super-lightweight, Zepeda has gained 35 of his 37 professional fights (27 inside schedule) and misplaced solely twice. His first loss got here in opposition to Terry Flanagan in 2015, when he was stopped attributable to a reduce within the second spherical, whereas the second was on a majority resolution in opposition to Jose Ramirez, among the finest super-lightweights on this planet, in 2019.
Apart from that, Zepeda has been the ultimate. He has solidified his status as a number one super-lightweight contender with wins over the likes Jose Pedraza, Ivan Baranchyk, Henry Lundy and Josue Vargas and has proven – notably in opposition to Baranchyk, who dropped Zepeda 4 occasions – a capability to bounce again from adversity and prevail.
This shall be required, little doubt, in opposition to Prograis, somebody whose complete modus operandi is to pull opponents into deep water and try to drown them there. In opposition to most, too, this strategy works, with solely Taylor to this point in a position to stick to Prograis and, even higher, pip him on the end line.
Zepeda, it’s true, won’t solely be the very best opponent Prograis has confronted since Taylor however probably be boosted by the very fact he’s preventing at dwelling in California as effectively. Nonetheless, be that as it might, one nonetheless can’t assist questioning how a 12 months out the ring will influence the Californian southpaw (his win in opposition to Vargas befell final October). One additionally wonders whether or not Prograis has been ready for a second like this, and an opponent like this, with the intention to actually reveal what he can do and remind us all of his abilities.
Now 33 (each are the identical age), Prograis, 27-1 (23), clearly doesn’t have time on his facet. He has wasted a good quantity of it, via no fault of his personal, and can presumably now look to make up for this in opposition to Zepeda on Saturday night time. With that in thoughts, anticipate a Prograis resolution win in an exhilarating, shut battle.
Supporting Prograis vs. Zepeda in Carson is a seemingly well-matched ladies’s light-flyweight battle between Nicaragua’s Yokasta Valle, 26-2 (9), and the unbeaten Evelin Nazarena Bermudez, 17-0-1 (6), from Argentina. Valle, the IBF and WBO minimumweight belt-holder, shall be transferring up in weight to problem Bermudez, who at present holds the IBF and WBO belts at light-flyweight.
Additionally on the Carson undercard is a battle between Charles Conwell, 17-0 (13), and Juan Carlos Abreu, 25-6-1 (23), over 10 rounds at super-welterweight, in addition to a 10-round heavyweight matchup between glorious Kazakh prospect Bakhodir Jalolov, 11-0 (11), and Curtis Harper 14-8 (9), the person who infamously exited the ring earlier than the primary bell of a 2019 bout in opposition to Efe Ajagba.