This weekend sees a powerful boxing most important occasion, a title combat at 140lbs which sees the very proficient Regis Prograis, aiming to re-ignite his profession after a couple of years of wasted time, step in in opposition to the harmful veteran Jose Zepeda. It’s a high-level match-up between two enjoyable stylists, so let’s check out what we may have in retailer.
This card is a Fite.television pay-per-view, and begins at 9PM ET on Saturday.
Prograis’ profession has taken a bizarre flip in the previous few years. Again in 2019, he appeared to be on monitor for the highest, and even a loss to Josh Taylor within the 140lb closing of the WBSS competitors was a superb combat that lifted the popularity of each males concerned. The expectation was that he’d regroup and make one other push, both for a rematch or for different titles, and positively the sensation was that he had the talent set to possibly push his approach into p4p rivalry sooner or later.
As a substitute, within the three years since, he’s meandered in a promotional sense, and fought three fights, all ten-rounders in opposition to opponents who had no actual enterprise being within the ring with him. The sort of combat that you simply may settle for as soon as as a restoration or tune-up has turn out to be the norm for him, and never at a quick tempo both.
So it’s a reduction to see him lastly get again to competing at world stage as he steps in with Zepeda for the vacant WBC 140lb title this weekend. Zepeda additionally misplaced a world title combat again in 2019- to Jose Ramirez- and it’s true that he additionally has solely fought ten rounders since then. Nonetheless, he’s fought twice as typically and the extent of competitors has been vastly greater than Prograis’, with fights together with a strong victory over Joze Pedraza later that very same 12 months and a wild, back-and-forth FOTY contender with Ivan Baranczyk in 2020.
The types ought to make for an attention-grabbing match-up. Each are hands-down, shoulder-rolling southpaw counter-punchers, by choice, however method that blueprint in numerous methods that may hopefully mesh properly. Of the 2, Zepeda has the extra clearly-defined major game-plan- utilizing a reasonably upright stance, he edges ahead with jabs and feints, trying to attract a response from his opponent. After they make a transfer in direction of him, he leans or slides again, and appears to catch them coming in with single exhausting lefts. We noticed a picture-perfect instance of this in his final combat, a primary spherical KO over Josue Vargas, however you see him use variations of the transfer all through his fights.
Don’t confuse the simplicity for being fundamental, although: he approaches with a number of selection within the timing and angle of each his jab and follow-up, in addition to the gap and path of his escapes. Generally, as a substitute of retreating, he’ll pivot round his opponent and look to clip them as they flip to observe. And though preventing along with his palms as little as he does comes with drawbacks, it makes it a lot tougher for opponents to evaluate the angle of his photographs as he throws them. He’s additionally able to boxing on the back-foot if obligatory – it’s not his choice as a result of he’s much less snug with much less management of the timing, however it does imply extra alternative to catch his man shifting too, so he’s nonetheless harmful when compelled to do it.
As hinted above, Prograis’ method tends to be extra assorted, and extra adjustable relying on what the opponent in entrance of him brings to the desk. Generally, he does one thing pretty much like what we see from Zepeda – regular method, plenty of feints, blasting counters when an opponent bites. Others, he’s virtually unreasonably aggressive, however technically so, closing distance very quickly behind strong proactive head motion after which throwing heavy punches from uncommon angles. However then, when he feels the necessity, he’s additionally greater than snug merely stepping off and boxing completely as an outfighter, utilizing lateral motion properly and enjoying touch-and-move in opposition to chasing opponents.
That selection does imply the chances within the combat in all probability lean in direction of Prograis, since though Zepeda has a well-structured recreation which hides his weaknesses properly, they’re there, and Prograis has the instruments to make use of a number of methods to get at them. The obvious factor to focus on can be one thing that the Baranczyk fight- regardless of the win- made clear: Zepeda’s defence is very closely based mostly on distance administration, and if an opponent can break his really feel for the vary, they’ll do harm. Baranczyk did so largely by being fairly crude, virtually short-circuiting Zepeda’s calculations by simply constantly swinging massive looping photographs whereas leaping in at him. That scored him 4 knockdowns in 5 rounds, however it additionally noticed him knocked down 4 occasions (significantly, should you haven’t seen that combat, go watch it)on path to a brutal KO, so it isn’t essentially a viable method: however what Prograis may be capable of do is, in a approach, recreate that crudeness with approach.
As talked about, he can shut distance in a flash when he must, however not like Baranczyk he’s managed when he does so, and when he will get in shut he can take his head off-line and throw punches from some frankly reasonably ludicrous angles, made potential by holding a very secure base along with his toes. In that approach, he may circumvent Zepeda’s defences by coming round them in an identical approach, with out strolling by means of hearth as a lot himself.
Or, if he decides that’s nonetheless an excessive amount of threat, he may use that round motion at distance to circle Zepeda, who though he can differ the angle he chooses to maneuver out at, tends to be fairly straight-lined as soon as he begins. If he must be turning along with his opponent continuously, he may discover himself out of form, leaving Prograis avenues for punishment that aren’t there on straight-lined approaches. All this must be completed with care, as a result of the explosive actions Prograis makes use of are doubtlessly weak to the kind of counters Zepeda likes, however Prograis hasn’t been notably careless too typically earlier than, so the benefits do level his approach.
Yet one more factor to notice, and one other potential benefit to Prograis, is that Zepeda has a historical past of fading barely in fights- by no means to the purpose of fully blowing, however each his loss to Jose Ramirez a couple of years in the past and that win over Pedraza had been marked by the opponent approaching robust late within the combat. That is likely to be countered by Prograis’ inactivity in recent times, but when he can preserve a continuing strain, he may discover issues working later within the combat that weren’t in play earlier on.
To sum up, then, the battle is that this: Zepeda actually must tempt Prograis into falling into the center distance, and he actually wants his jab to be robust. The extra he can do this, the extra dangers Prograis must take to get his recreation going. Prograis, however, must poke and prod Zepeda out of form, and achieve this patiently however continuously.
What’s on the undercard?
The undercard doesn’t boast any main stars, however the are a couple of factors of curiosity. The co-main is a ladies’s two-belt light-flyweight title combat, as Yokasta Valle steps up from minimumweight, the place she held the IBF and WBO titles, to problem Evelin Nazarena Bermudez for a similar two belts within the division above. It must be a enjoyable scrap between two high-volume fighters. Past that, there’s various prospects and rising fighters, together with Tokyo super-heavyweight gold medallist Bakhodir Jalolov trying to make his subsequent step within the professional recreation, and light-middlweight Charles Conwell, a previously blue-chip prospect whose profession has stalled within the aftermath of the tragic loss of life of Charles Day of their combat in 2019, however who’ll be hoping to point out he belongs at world stage with a win in opposition to the massively skilled Juan Carlos Abreu.
How To Stream
Zepeda vs. Prograis will air on-line by way of FITE.television. The associated fee for each companies is similar at $49.99.
Fite.television could be considered on the next units:
All main trendy browsers together with Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge.
Cellular units and tablets
Set up the FITE app from the iOS App Retailer, Android Google Play or Amazon.
Vidaa or VEWD by way of Hisense TV and chosen TiVO bins
Vizio SmartCast TVs
Netgem Set-Prime Field
AT&T TV Machine
Gaming consoles and streaming units
Amazon Fireplace TV
Xfinity Flex and X1 TV Field
Stay information, updates and round-by-round commentary is obtainable right here on Bloody Elbow.