Regis Prograis vs Maurice Hooker and Javier Fortuna vs Luke Campbell Set For April 17th
By: Hans Themistode
The Jr Welterweight division is about as ruthless a weight class that you will find within the entire sport of boxing.
Just think, former champions Kiryl Relikh and Ivan Baranchyk are essentially afterthoughts. It isn’t because they aren’t great fighters, but it’s more so because of the talent pool that currently lies within the division.
With title holders Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor considered the best that the weight class has to offer, another pair of former champions are in need for a big win of their own.
Maurice Hooker and Regis Prograis are still recognized amongst the elite of the division. However, they came up short in their respective unification matchups. Now, with no other viable options, they have looked towards a matchup against one another.
Both men have made it a tendency to mention the other whenever the cameras are rolling. Knockout threats and “easy work” statements have been the theme of both fighters when regarding the other. Well now, it’s officially time to shut up and fight.
Terms for a contest between the pair has officially been agreed upon to take place on April 17th, at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
The Maryland based card won’t simply revolve around the main event as the supporting bout will be just as interesting.
Javier Fortuna, who once held titles at both the Featherweight and Jr Lightweight divisions will look to become a three division world champion when he takes on Luke Campbell for the vacant WBC title.
Since a contest against Adrian Granados which resulted in a no contest, Fortuna has gone on to win two straight contests. Campbell on other hand, represents the complete opposite as his career has fallen short of exceptions.
It’s safe to say that after winning gold in the 2012 Olympics, more was expected of Campbell. His career has been solid but not spectacular. He was given the first loss of his career back in 2015, surprisingly at the hands of Yvan Mendy. Campbell would avenge that loss three years later but questions still remained. In his two title challenges, he has come up woefully short against Jorge Linares and Vasiliy Lomachenko. The latter took place at the end of August in 2019.
For Campbell, he’ll be hoping that the third time’s the charm.
Regardless of who wins between Fortuna and Campbell, the winner could be forced to take on WBC champion in recess Devin Haney, who was stripped of the title due to a shoulder injury. Provided everything checks out from a health standpoint, and also that Haney doesn’t elect to move up in weight, the winner of this title could see their title reigns cut short if the highly touted Haney returns back to form.
What Went Wrong For Regis Prograis?
By: Hans Themistode
The World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) was over before it even began. When the field of 8 participants was first announced, it was one helluva field.
Champions such as Kiryl Relikh and Ivan Baranchyk brought plenty of attention to the tournament. While undefeated contenders in Josh Taylor and Anthony Yigit brought interesting value as well. Even the more unknown commodities such as Eduard Troyanovsky, Terry Flanagan and Ryan Martin brought their own flair to the table as well.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
A case could be made for each and everyone of them that they could walk away with the Muhammad Ali trophy in their possession at the end of this tournament.
None of those cases however, were as strong as the one for Regis Prograis.
At the commencement of this tournament, Prograis did not have a title to his name, unless you count the WBC interim championship which isn’t truly a title but more so a belt which signifies that you are the mandatory challenger for the champion. All Prograis had was an undefeated record, a ton of star power and other worldly stills in the ring.
There was a reason why even with a stacked field, that Prograis was chosen to be the last man standing.
Things were going according to plan at the beginning of this tournament. His first round contest against Terry Flanagan could barely be called one. Prograis dominated the action from start to finish. It was much of the same in his next round matchup as he dismantled Kiryl Relikh to the tune of a 6th round stoppage victory. In the process he would pick up his first world title as well.
His trip to the finals were booked and sealed. His opponent on the other side of the ring was Josh Taylor. A young, undefeated British fighter who was a champion in his own right. It was pegged to be a close fight, but one that Prograis would ultimately emerge victoriously from.
The two undefeated belt holders met in the ring this past Saturday night with everything on the line. It was a great contest. After watching it, many even felt as though it was the fight of the year. Following 12 rounds of non stop action, it was Taylor who emerged with the win. It was close, but the right decision was made.
“The better man won tonight,” said Prograis. “I’ll be back.”
The hype train of Prograis was a real thing. He was supposed to win the WBSS, then become the undisputed champion by defeating Jose Ramirez next year. From there, he would move up and make a ton of noise in the Welterweight division. This was the storyline for Prograis. Yet, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Let’s not lose sight of the talent that the now former champion has. At the age of 30, he is in the middle of his physical prime.
Josh Taylor is simply a better fighter than any of us gave him credit for.
Things didn’t go according to plan for Prograis, but if he can sit back and learn from this defeat, then he will reach the heights that we all expect from him.
Taylor Crowned WBSS and Ring Super-Light Champion
By: Ste Rowen
London may not have been the natural setting for two world champions admired in New Orleans and Scotland but the O2 arena was the place for super-lightweights WBA titlist, Regis Prograis and IBF holder, Josh Taylor to face off in their World Boxing Super Series final, which saw the ‘Tartan Tornado’ Taylor take a majority decision over twelve rounds.
Both unbeaten and both southpaws, the two men predictably did their best to exhibit their boxing prowess in the early rounds other than the slug-a-thon the crowd was baying for. After five rounds it was clear that the two best 140lb fighters had made their way into the final showdown. Taylor appeared the more active and effective boxer, but Prograis was landing the body shots that take effect in the later rounds.
Past the halfway mark, each man had established the respect of the other as the tit-for-tat punches rained free. As the fight stretched further into the ninth, despite being close, it was difficult to look beyond the ‘Tartan Tornado’ Taylor, having the edge on points. Regis was beginning to take more punches than he could seemingly deal with and Josh was fighting as the more confident man.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
The championship rounds came and went in a blur of tactile nous and slightly desperate power punching. Prograis finished stronger but it seemed that as the final bell rang, the Scot, Josh Taylor who came into tonight with a pro record of 15-0 (12KOs), was ready to sit on the 140lb throne. The final judges scorecards came back as, 114-114, 115-113, 117-112 in favour of Taylor.
Speaking post-fight, the swollen eyed, but newly crowned WBA, IBF, Ring and World Boxing Super Series super-lightweight champion dished out the credit and called out WBC champion Jose Ramirez,
‘‘What a fight, all respect to Regis, he’s a great champion and was very strong. I wish him a ll the best going on. I knew I could get to him. I don’t think he expected me to be able to switch it up so easily.
Jose Ramirez, where you at? Let’s do it!’’
Co-main for tonight that saw a matchup that would’ve been better off happening around six years ago, deliver exactly what most anticipated. British Dereck Chisora battered fellow countryman, David Price around the ring for almost four rounds to score a stoppage victory and claim the WBO Inter-Continental belt.
Chisora was the aggressor once the first bell rang, swinging from the hip, aiming to land that one shot that could and has dropped Price on so many occasions. Price was saved by the bell at the end of the third as Chisora rifled hooks off the Liverpudlian’s temple, and with just over a minute, Price hit the canvas, but despite rising to his feet, the taller man was finished, and his corner threw the towel in.
Dereck, now 32-9 (23KOs),
‘‘I came to seek and destroy, and I knew once I caught him, it was done…He buzzed me, caught me with an uppercut but I recovered.
If we can get Joseph Parker then let’s get it done ASAP. Hopefully he doesn’t get a spider bite this time.’’
Regis Prograis vs Josh Taylor: A Pound For Pound Spot Awaits The Winner
By: Hans Themistode
The pound for pound list is just about set in stone. Names such as Vasiliy Lomachenko, Canelo Alvarez, Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr, Oleksandr Usyk and a very select few currently occupy that list.
In order for a relatively new fighter to join these elite ranks, he needs to do something extraordinary. It isn’t simply enough to win a world title. Fighting and defeating elite competition, while also being known as either the best or second best in your division gives a fighter a chance to be mentioned amongst the best in the sport.
This Saturday night, in front of a packed crowd at the O2 arena in London, IBF Super Lightweight champion Josh Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs) and WBA belt holder Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) have a chance to make their mark.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
The two undefeated champions will collide in the World Boxing Super Series finale. Not only will the winner become a unified champion, but they will also walk away with the famed Muhammad Ali trophy as well.
If you ask just about anyone for a prediction on the outcome of this contest, you’ll be hard pressed to receive an answer. With all due respect to unified champion Jose Ramirez, but these are the consensus two best fighters in the Super Lightweight division.
Contests between the best fighters in any division often times lead to close outcomes. There is a reason why Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter was such a closely contested contest. The same applies for Deontay Wilder in his matchup against Tyson Fury. Prograis and Taylor will ultimately follow in the same footsteps as those aforementioned contest as well. Or at least it should it.
If you ask Prograis however, he is adamant that this will not be a close contest.
“It’s not a 50/50 fight,” said Prograis. “I’m a show y’all that this is not a 50/50 fight. I’m going to show you guys on fight night. I’m going to show how much more superior I am than him. I don’t understand how anyone can even see that this will be close.”
Prograis didn’t simply stop there. He made one more statement on how he expects this fight to play out.
“I’m going to beat the shit out of him tomorrow.”
Staying true to form, Taylor didn’t hold back his owns words when regarding the matchup.
“I believe I can knock him out,” said Taylor.
With just a few hours remaining before everything is settled, the anticipation is at an all-time high. For these fighters, the recognition as a unified champion, coupled with the Muhammad Ali trophy and a career high payday is mostly every fighters dream. But that is just the beginning.
The winner of this contest will have an argument to be mentioned amongst the best fighters in the world, regardless of weight classes.
Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor Battle for Supremacy in the Junior Welterweight Division
By Rich Lopez
This past weekend, we were treated with a great fight in the light heavyweight division between Artur Beterbiev and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. It was a battle between two undefeated champions at the prime of their careers and was almost a pick’em fight. Live on DAZN this Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, we will see another battle between two undefeated champions at the prime of their careers in the junior welterweight division. WBA champion Regis Prograis and IBF champion Josh Taylor will face off in a unification fight but there is a lot more in stake. This is the final for the Ali Trophy in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) but also for the lineal championship.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series
Regis “Rougarou” Prograis, 24-0, 20 KO’s, of New Orleans, LA, has been boxing professional for seven years. Prograis who was an outstanding amateur has gone from top prospect to world champion as a pro. The 30 year old has made huge statements in his career so far and he has stopped eight of his last nine opponents. Fans started to take notice of him with his stoppage victory over Julius Indongo and Juan Jose Velasco. This led him to compete in the WBSS with other top junior welterweights in the division. In his first fight of the tournament, he dominated former lightweight champion Terry Flanagan to win a unanimous decision in the quarterfinal bout. He then stopped Kiryl Relikh in the 6th round of the semi-finals to capture the WBA title. Now he is the favorite to win the Ali Trophy, but he will face his toughest fight against Taylor.
Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor, 15-0, 12 KO’s, of Scotland, has been boxing professional for five years. Taylor was also an outstanding amateur and a 2012 Olympian. Since turning pro in 2015, Taylor has climbed the rankings fast. The 28 year old has already stopped Ohara Davies and former champion Miguel Vazquez. Last year, he also defeated former junior welterweight champion Viktor Postol which led him to the WBSS tournament. Like Prograis, Taylor has been impressive in the tournament as well. In the quarter-final, he stopped the undefeated Ryan Martin in the 7th round. He then outclassed undefeated Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-final to obtain the IBF belt.
Now all eyes will be on Prograis vs Taylor for supremacy in the junior welterweight division. Both fighters are southpaw and are very fast. Taylor will have the edge with the height and reach, but so far Prograis has figured out how to beat all his opponents. For Prograis, he will face someone with the same skill level as him. Maybe this fight will come down to who can take the better punch? This is definitely a pick’em fight. Taylor will have hometown fans behind him, but that should not affect Prograis. I believe this fight will go to distance with both fighters having their moments. I will take Taylor by split decision in a very close fight.
Fight Card Preview: Prograis vs. Taylor
By: Oliver McManus
When the super lightweight draw for the World Boxing Super Series took place there was immediately one potential fight that piqued interest. Not an all-Belarusian clash between Ivan Baranchyk and Kiryl Relikh but Regis Prograis vs Josh Taylor; two of the hottest prospects in world boxing. Both men have worked their way to the final in superfluous fashion and picked up their first bona fide world title in the process. On Saturday night we’ll be treated to a mouthwatering fight with WBA, IBF and WBC ‘Diamond’ titles on the line.
The approaches to their careers have been noticeably different as both arrive with the full weight of momentum behind them. Prograis began his professional life boxing in local ‘convention centers’ in and around Texas and Houston as he looked to build on a solid, if unspectacular, amateur background. Having moved to Texas from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, he boxed out of Savannah A.B.C and went 87-7 before turning over in 2012.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series
Since then he has been developed incrementally with small steps along the way; there was no rush for Prograis, there was little in way of exterior expectation either. The 30 year old has taken on each challenge distinctly ‘over-prepared’ and has consistently looked a class above the opponents matched with him. From NABF junior to NABF and now as world champion, Prograis has been carefully, not cynically, maneuvered with great attention to detail.
Josh Taylor, on the other hand, has substantial amateur baggage following his every turn; a champion of the Commonwealth in 2014 and runner-up in 2010. As a result of the hype and hyperbole surrounding his career there has been a concerted effort from Cyclone Promotions to gatecrash the world scene as soon as possible. This plan was implemented with tough tests scattered across his 15 outings to date; Dave Ryan for the vacant Commonwealth title in his seventh bout; Ohara Davies in his tenth, to secure a world ranking and; Viktor Postol for his 13th fight.
Postol provided the gut check and Taylor emerged relatively unscathed. It was his first WBSS contest which stands out from a performance perspective. Ryan Martin stood in the opposite corner with a 22-0 record. He’d fought on big stages before, on Golovkin undercards, but was shrunk by the reception in Glasgow – Taylor could barely put a punch waywards. It was a schooling and The Tartan Tornado made Martin look like a pre-school tot.
In the ring they are both elite level combatants who are well-rounded in every respect. They can box from range, they can box in the pocket; they’re sturdy southpaws with strong technical knowledge and they can whack. Whoever wins will have fully deserved to lift The Ali Trophy in the knowledge that they took no shortcuts.
A healthy undercard sees Dereck Chisora take on David Price in what is officially labelled the ‘co-feature’. Price steps in as a late notice opponent after Joseph Parker withdrew due to a typically Kiwi downfall involving spiders. Whilst this contest is materialistically weaker it does pack intrigue. Indeed it’s one of those fights you wish had happened five, six years ago when the competitors were in full flourish rather than the final dawn of their career.
Chisora will be in his 41th contest and has recorded two victories in 2019 – a one paced shut-out over 10 against Senad Gashi and an explosive two-round trouncing over Artur Szpilka in July. Price’s last three victories, back to December 2018, have all been against fellow Brits with Tom Little, Kash Ali and Dave Allen failing to hear the final bell. The late-notice Liverpudlian will be a hearty underdog given his propensity to ‘get chinned’, as some would put it, and Chisora has the bit between his teeth. Price will, as he has always done, back himself to do the damage and get out before being dragged into warfire. There’s no guarantee how long the fight will last for but whilst it does it should be a slugger.
Ricky Burns and Lee Selby continue the all-British bouts with a scheduled 12 rounder in the lightweight division. Burns, a three weight world champion, defies his sporting seniority (aged 36) to churn out snappy performances on a regular basis. Since losing to Julius Indongo in 2017, a unification, he’s had three fights; a loss to Anthony Crolla and two sharp stoppages against Scott Cardle and Ivan Njegac.
Selby, four years younger, will be in his second contest at 140lbs after making the jump from super-feather at the beginning of the year. Against Omar Douglas, in February, the Welshman was dealt an awkward assignment with his American forcing Selby to adapt throughout the 12 rounds. He goes into the contest as a favourite but only just with Burns’ increasingly mature performances making him good value for the upset.
Continental success is on offer for Lawrence Okolie as he challenges EBU champion Yves Ngabu. Okolie, 13-0, has shaken off the ‘hugger’ reputation that precluded him in 2018 with three emphatic stoppage victories this year. Unlike stablemate Ted Cheeseman this European adventure comes after a significant period of domestic challenges; four victories over British fighters in title bouts. That extended experience should bode well and his awkward style will always pose questions.
He’ll be facing an experienced champion with Ngabu claiming the European title in 2017. His title reign has seen two stoppages – Tomas Lodi and Geoffrey Battelo the challengers – and a points win over Micki Nielson. For eight years Ngabu has been boxing professionally and his experience shows – he’s incredibly hard to bog down. There seems to always be a presumption when British fighters step up to European level that ‘they just will’ be successful; don’t count your chickens just yet.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Haney, Prograis, Taylor, Peltz, Fury, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 3rd to September 10th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
‘Time to Shine’ Prograis and Taylor Face-to-Face in London Ahead of Ali Trophy Final
USA’s Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) and Scotland’s Josh Taylor (15-0, 13 KOs) met on Monday in England’s capital at an intense kickoff press conference ahead of their highly anticipated WBSS Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final at The O2 in London on October 26, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.
“I am excited to come to London, most fighters don’t get this chance in a lifetime,” said Prograis, WBA World Champion & WBC Diamond Champion.
The New Orleans native known as the ‘Rougarou, a werewolf-like creature of Louisiana’s folklore, does not see the final as a 50-50 match-up.
“Everybody always says they are going to beat me. Everybody says it was going to be a 50/50 fight but I blow everyone up. He is taller than me, he is longer than me, but you can’t determine my heart on the tale of the tape. And you can’t determine my IQ, Not to be cocky, but I can’t see him beating me.”
The beast from the bayou is up against ‘The Tartan Tornado’ from Prestonpans who is at least as confident in his own abilities.
“I am full of confidence,” said Taylor, IBF World Champion & WBC Silver Champion.
“I think I am bigger than him, quicker than him, stronger than him, and I punch just as hard as him. If he walks onto a shot I can get him out of there or I can out-box him for the full 12 rounds.
“I am headlining the show down here, tapping into the British fans, so I can’t wait,” he added. “Right now, I believe myself and Regis are the best two in the division, we are the guys to beat. And we are going to prove it on October 26. This is my time to shine and I am super confident.”
“This is it, the Champions League of boxing,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “This is a super final, the super-lightweight final for the Ali Trophy and ‘the man to beat in the division’. It’s not often you see the best against the best and this is one of the best fights of the year.
“I have watched them both and studied them extensively. Regis likes to keep his distance and is very fast in and out whilst Josh will come right at you and those two styles blend well.
“I can’t predict who wins. It’s really a dream to have two undefeated champions, two huge personalities in the final and we are very much looking forward to it.”
Prograis and Taylor entered the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Ali Trophy as the two highest-seeded boxers in a loaded 140lb bracket.
No. 1 seed Prograis earned his spot in the final by outdoing Terry Flanagan on points last October, and then went on to stop Kiryl Relikh in round 6 and take the WBA World title in the semi in late April. Meanwhile, second seed Taylor stopped Ryan Martin in round 7 last November and then proceeded to decision Ivan Baranchyk to claim the IBF World title in May.
The WBSS Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final at The O2 in London on October 26 is shown live via Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.
DAZN, the world’s largest dedicated live sports streaming service, will exclusively bring U.S. fight fans the WBSS Season II Finals. To sign up for a one-month free trial, fans can visit DAZN.com or download the DAZN app to their preferred connected device.
Heavy: Fury vs. Schwarz Premieres on ESPN on September 12th
Tyson Fury walked to the ring for his Las Vegas debut June 15 dressed like Apollo Creed and flanked by showgirls. He was set to defend his lineal heavyweight title against Tom Schwarz, but first, the man who authored one of sport’s greatest comeback stories wanted to give the fans a show.
Two days before Fury returns to the ring to defend his crown against unbeaten contender Otto Wallin this Saturday, September 14 live and exclusively on ESPN+ (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT), director Peter Berg and Film 45 give viewers an intimate portrait of Fury and Schwarz in the days, and tense moments, leading up to their fight.
Produced and directed by renowned filmmaker Berg, the creator and executive producer of the multiple award-winning NBC drama series “Friday Night Lights” and several ESPN Films’ “30 for 30” installments, “HEAVY: Fury v Schwarz” features behind-the-scenes footage of Fury and his then-undefeated challenger as they prepared for their showdown. The documentary is executive produced by Matthew Goldberg, Brandon Carroll and Matthew Shattuck for Film 45, and it will premiere this Thursday, September 12 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on ESPN.
Fury won the lineal and unified heavyweight titles in November 2015 with a unanimous decision over longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko, but mental health and substance abuse issues nearly derailed his career. He returned to the ring in June 2018, and less than six months later, fought WBC world champion Deontay Wilder to a highly disputed draw in one of the sport’s most memorable heavyweight championship battles. Now a noted mental health advocate and motivational speaker, Fury is fighting for his boxing legacy and aiming to inspire those afflicted with mental illness.
“We are excited to provide a raw and intimate account of the Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz fight,” said Berg. “The documentary takes viewers into the minds and lives of the boxers as they navigate the pressures of the mentally and physically taxing sport.”
‘“HEAVY: Fury v Schwarz” is a terrific documentary and we are thrilled to be able to bring it to boxing fans on ESPN platforms, the home of combat sports,” Matt Kenny, vice president of programming at ESPN said. “Peter Berg is a master storyteller of exceptional credentials who has created an unforgettable portrait of Fury’s Las Vegas breakout moment.”
KSI and Logan Paul 2 Tickets On Pre-Sale Now
Presale tickets are now LIVE for the rematch between KSI and Logan Paul at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday November 9, live on DAZN in a fight presented by Eddie Hearn for Matchroom Boxing USA in association with OP Talent.
The YouTube rivals clashed in August 2018 at the sold-out Manchester Arena in Manchester, England and was watched by over 1 million live pay-per-view buyers on YouTube, with the fight ending in a majority draw with KSI edging the battle on one card with two judges unable to split them.
Now the pair meet once again to settle the score in the ring with Paul welcoming his rival to his LA backyard, and this time they do so as professional fighters having passed their relevant medicals last week, and they will come face-to-face for the first time since their fight at a launch press conference in Los Angeles on Saturday September 14, which is when tickets will go on
The larger-than-life internet stars with over 40 million YouTube subscribers between them have been itching to get their hands on each other once again, as have their loyal armies of fans, and now the countdown begins to their second night in the boxing spotlight.
Devin Haney Training Camp Quotes
Rising star and undefeated lightweight contender, Devin “The Dream” Haney (22-0, 14 KOs), has wrapped up training camp for his upcoming showdown with Zaur Abdullaev (11-0, 7 KOs).
Haney vs. Abdullaev, promoted by Matchroom Boxing and Devin Haney Promotions, will be a 12-round main event bout for the WBC interim lightweight championship on Friday September 13 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Haney, who will be making his first appearance at “The Mecca of Boxing” – Madison Square Garden, will look to make it a memorable one as he has plans to take over the lightweight division.
TICKETS START AT JUST $30 (PLUS FEES) AND ARE AVAILABLE FROM TICKETMASTER HERE
Here is what Haney had to say about the upcoming fight:
On his upcoming fight against Zaur Abdullaev:
“I know Abdullaev is focused, he’s been at the top of the rankings for a while now, so I know he’s ready to fight. He’s an undefeated fighter, who has beaten some quality opposition, so I take him very seriously. I’m just very excited to face Abdullaev because it will show the world my skills and why I am the new face of the sport.”
On his recent training camp:
“Training camp has been great. We started strength and conditioning with Coach Reggie at Phase 1. I really got stronger and I can feel the difference. I spent the next portion of camp at the SNAC System facility in the Bay Area working with Victor Conte. There I worked on my speed and explosiveness with well renowned track coach Remi Korchemny. I’ve had a world class training camp, with everything from strength and conditioning, to tremendous sparring, included with a lot of rest and recovery. This will be another memorable performance like my last fight on DAZN.”
On fighting for the WBC interim lightweight title:
“The WBC Interim World Championship means a lot to me. Some people kept labeling me a prospect when I knew I was so much more. Being able to fight for an Interim World Title means everything. This not only makes me the WBC mandatory for Vasiliy Lomacheno, but I’m able to do Interim Title defenses, until Loma is ready to fight. I believe the winner of Haney vs Abdullaev is in a really good position with the WBC.”
On headlining at Madison Square Garden on DAZN?
“This is something I’ve always dreamed about for sure. MSG is the most historic and iconic arena in all of sports. I’m headlining a card full of great fights. Heather Hardy (22-0) vs Amanda Serrano (36-1) for the WBO World Female Featherweight Title will be a very exciting fight. My good friend from Las Vegas, Michael Hunter (17-1) vs Sergey Kuzmin (15-0) will be a terrific fight as well. There are only two losses between all six of the fighters on the main card. This is my first time at the Hulu Theater, and I’m going to put on a helluva show. Everyone should get their tickets now, because it’s going to be a great night of boxing and entertainment.”
Padilla-Tomas Fight Headlines Peltz’ 50th Anniversary Card October 4th in Philadelphia
Junior welterweights Victor Padilla, of Berlin, NJ, and Romain Tomas, of Brooklyn, NY, will square off in the main event Friday evening, Oct. 4, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
The eight-bout card, labeled Blood, Sweat & 50 Years, will celebrate the Golden Anniversary of Peltz Boxing Promotions. The card is being promoted by Raging Babe (Michelle Rosado) with J Russell Peltz serving as the matchmaker. First bout 7:30 p.m.
Going old-school on this one, Peltz has scheduled the Padilla-Tomas fight for six rounds, harking back to the first two decades of the 20th century when all main events in Pennsylvania were limited to that distance.
The 20-year-old Padilla, originally from Vieques, Puerto Rico, is a southpaw with speed and power. He has won all five of his fights by first-round knockout. In fact, he has only been in the ring for a total of six minutes, 29 seconds, in those five contests. Although none of his five opponents had a winning record when he fought them—their combined mark was 17-29-1 at the time—Padilla still is considered one of the best young pros on the East Coast. He is promoted by Lou DiBella’s DiBella Entertainment.
The 30-year-old Tomas is originally from Emerainville in the Seine-et-Marne region of France, outside Paris. He brings an 8-2 record into the fight with Padilla. Tomas is coming off his biggest career win, a six-round decision over previously unbeaten (7-0) Omar Bordoy in Bordoy’s nearby backyard of Hampton, NH.
“Some of the greatest fighters of all-time appeared in hundreds of six-round main events during those 20 years at the turn of the last century,” said promoter J Russell Peltz. “In my 50 years in boxing, this marks the first time I have been involved with a six-round main event. When you’ve never done something before, often that is the best reason for doing it.
“Hall-of-Fame champions like Jack Johnson and Benny Leonard boxed six-round main events in Philadelphia during those years,” said Peltz. “How about Stanley Ketchell vs. Sam Langford or Joe Gans taking on Jack Blackburn? I would have loved to have seen those battles. Lew Tendler, Abe Attell, Terrible Terry McGovern, Rocky Kansas, Philadelphia Jack O’Brien. Philadelphia was the boxing capital of the country and six-round main events was the norm.
“I’m an old-school kind of guy so this is going to be fun for me. This represents the past and Padilla vs. Tomas will give us a peek into the future.”
The undercard is topped by three additional six-round rematches.
Junior middleweights Roque Zapata, of Culpeper, VA, and Isaiah Wise, of North Philadelphia, meet in a rematch of their 2016 at the 2300 Arena, won by Zapata via majority four-round decision, the first loss of Wise’ career.
Zapata (6-2-4) also defeated Fred Jenkins, Jr., early in 2017 over six rounds in the same ring. Wise (7-2-1, 4 K0s) last boxed 10 months ago when he knocked out Andy Gonzales, of Worcester, MA, at the 2300 Arena.
Junior welterweights Gerardo Martinez, of Coatesville, PA, and Osnel Charles, of Atlantic City, collide in the other six-round rematch.
Martinez (4-1, 1 K0) earned a four-round majority decision over Charles (13-19-1, 2 K0s) at the 2300 Arena. While Martinez has been idle since, Charles picked up a four-round points victory in June over Laquan Lewis, of Brooklyn, NY, at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA.
North Philadelphia welterweight Marcel Rivers (7-1, 4 K0s) will fight in a six round contest.
Four-rounders scheduled for Oct. 4 include: Shinard Bunch, of Trenton, NJ, vs. Rakym Dyer, of South Philadelphia, welterweights; Christopher Burgos, North Philadelphia, vs. Tyree Arnold, North Philadelphia, junior welterweights; Vinnie Denierio, Elmira, NY, vs. Seifullah Wise, North Philadelphia, lightweights.
Lightweight Shamar Fulton, of North Philadelphia, also will appear in a four-round contest.
Regis Prograis: “I’m Looking Forward To Fighting The Best Josh Taylor”
By: Sean Crose
“I’m very excited to get everything settled for this fight,” the 24-0 Regis Prograis says. “This is the fight I wanted the most and it’s the fight to prove who is the best in the division. My goal has always been the same and that’s to prove I’m the best 140lbs fighter in the world and to become undisputed.” Prograis will be facing the 15-0 Josh Taylor for the World Boxing Super Series’ Ali trophy for the super lightweight division. The bout will go down at London’s O2 arena on October 26th, and will be streamed live on DAZN.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
“It has always been a dream for me to fight in London,” says Prograis. “The boxing fans in the UK are some of the best in the world and I can’t wait to go and put on a show. I know once they see me fight they’ll be fans for life.” Although he has a well deserved hard hitting reputation, Prograis makes it clear he’s not going to take Taylor lightly. “Taylor is in my opinion is the 2nd 140lbs in the world after myself. He had two great performances leading into the finals and I’m looking forward to fighting the best Josh Taylor on October 26th.”
As for Scotland’s Taylor, the man is clearly eager to face New Orleans’ native Prograis. “I’m massively excited,” Taylor says. “I want to prove that I’m the best in the division by taking on the best fighters. Now it’s finally over the line I can concentrate on getting to work in the gym and going full steam ahead again.” Taylor goes on to say he feels he has the goods to beat his highly regarded American opponent. “I’m very confident that I can outbox him and outfight him as well,” he says. “I can’t see anything other than a Josh Taylor win on October 26. It will be a huge buzz to fight for the Muhammad Ali trophy in front of a huge crowd at The O2. I believe that I am the best fighter in the division and now it’s time to prove it.”
Per Matchroom Boxing: “Prograis and Taylor entered the WBSS and the quest for the Ali Trophy as the two highest-seeded boxers in a loaded Super-Lightweight bracket. No.1 seed Prograis earned his spot in the final by outdoing Terry Flanagan on points last October, and then went on to stop Kiryl Relikh in six rounds and take the WBA World title in the semi in late April. Meanwhile, No.2 seed Taylor stopped Ryan Martin in round 7 last November, and then proceeded to decision Ivan Baranchyk to claim the IBF World title in May.”
As things stand, Prograis, who is known as “Rougarou,” holds the WBA world and WBC diamond super lightweight titles while Taylor, who is known as “The TartanTornado,” holds the IBF word and WBC silver super lightweight titles. The October 26th card will also see the 31-9 heavyweight veteran Derek Chisora face off against the 26-2 Joseph Parker, who once held the WBO world heavyweight title. Both Prograis-Taylor and Chisora-Parker are scheduled for 12 rounds.
Regis Prograis Pulls Out Of Tournament Final and Enters Legal Battle
By: Hans Themistode
The World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament has yet another issue on its hands as WBA Super Lightweight title holder Regis Prograis has pulled out of the final bout of the tournament. Prograis, an undefeated, New Orleans born native, was scheduled to take on fellow undefeated belt holder Josh Taylor.
Instead, Prograis has not only pulled himself from the final but he has also filed a suit against the organizer of the tournament Comosa AG, which is a Swiss company. Earlier this year former IBF belt holder Ivan Baranchyk, pulled himself from the tournament because of several delays that took place. He would later re-enter the tournament after receiving warnings of being stripped of his title. Baranchyk subsequently lost his title to Taylor in his next bout.
Prograis has found similar issues with the WBSS and at this point is looking to move on. Along with his manager Lou Di Bella, they both claim that there has been several issues such as late payments, scheduling delays, missed deadlines and slew of other problems.
The WBSS, which is in its second season, was hampered by financial complications in its first season as well. Although it did manage to complete its tournaments at both Cruiserweight and Super Middleweight, it took longer than expected.
The current WBA belt holder has been spectacular in his run to the tournament final. Behind the scenes however, he has had issues with the tournament organizers which until now, we’re not revealed to the public.
According to Prograis, after securing his quarterfinal win against Terry Flanagan, he attempted to collect the money that was owed to him but was not compensated for more than a month. Originally, he believed that he would be compensated within a week.
There has also been back and forth deliberations of when and where his next bout would take place. It was thought that October 5th in the United Kingdom would be the official date and location for his contest but that has yet to be confirmed.
Issues such as these has forced the hand of both Prograis and Di Bella. The WBSS is seemingly coming to an end in the Super Lightweight division and unfortunately for everyone involved, it is an unsatisfying ending.
World Boxing Super Series Semi Finals Results: Prograis Stops Relikh, Donaire Shows Off Power
By: William Holmes
The semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series was held tonight at the Cajundom in Lafayette, Louisiana. The main event of the evening was between Regis Prograis and Kiryl Relikh in the Super Lightweight Division. The co-main event was between Nonito Donaire and Stephon Young in the Bantamweight Division.
Zolani Tete was originally scheduled to face Donaire, but an injury to his right shoulder forced him to withdraw. Stephen Young stepped in to face Donaire.
The co-main event was between Nonito Donaire (39-5) and Stephen Young (18-1-3) in the semifinals of the WBSS Bantamweight Tournament.
Donaire, the taller fighter, pawed at Young with his jab as he circled towards Donaire right hand. Donaire found a home for his check left hook in the opening round, and did not appear to be bothered by the power of young.
Donaire continued to walk Young down in the second and third rounds, but developed a small mouse under his left eye from some of the shots of Young. Donaire had Young stunned in the third round with a straight right hand.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Young was backing up for most of the fourth and fifth rounds and had blood coming from his nose from the strong shots of Donaire. Young was able to land some counter punches in the sixth round, but Donaire was landing first most of the time.
The end came in the seventh round when Donaire landed a vicious left hook that sent Young crashing to the mat and unable to continue.
Nonito Donaire wins by knockout at 2:37 of the seventh round.
The main event was between Regis Prograis (23-0) and Kiryl Relikh (23-2) in the semifinals of the WBSS Super Lightweight Tournament..
Prograis, a southpaw, showed good upper body movement in the opening round and forced Relikh to miss most of his combinations. Prograis connected with a hard left to the body that caused Relikh to turn around and get cracked with another shot as he went down.
Relikh was able to get up survive the opening round.
Prograis continued his assault on Relikh and wasn’t phased by his power in the second. Prograis opened up a cut on the bridge of Relikh’s nose during the second, but was stung with a punch by Relikh after the the ringside bell signaled the end of the round.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Prograis looked recovered by the third round and pummeled Relikh in the third and fourth rounds. Relikh’s attempts at combinations hit nothing but air as Prograis upper body movement made him a very elusive target.
Prograis dominated the fifth round, and when Relikh walked back to his corner he was warned that they may stop the fight if he didn’t show more.
Prograis opened up the sixth round with a straight left followed up with some thudding shots to the body that hard Relikh hurt again. A few more thudding power shots forced Relikh’s corner to follow through with their warnings and stop the fight.
Regis Prograis wins with an impressive TKO at 1:36 of the sixth round.
Donaire, Prograis Look To Win WBSS Semifinal Matchups
By: Sean Crose
Although he won’t be facing WBO bantamweight champ Zolani Tete as had been planned, the 36 year old Nonito Donaire will still be fighting this Saturday night in Lafayette, Lousiana. Donaire, 35-5, will be putting his WBA super world bantamweight and WBC diamond bantamweight titles on the line against Missouri’s 18-1-3 Stephon Young as part of the World Boxing Super Series’ bantamweight semifinals. The battle will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Tete, 28-3, of South Africa hurt himself in the leadup to a scheduled match with Donaire, which brought about the need for a replacement. Young, who last fought in October of 2018, proved ready to step in.
Donaire was one of the brightest lights in boxing not all that long ago. Since suffering a one sided defeat at the gloved hands of slickster Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2013 at Madison Square Garden, though, the fighter has come up short on numerous ooccasions. Nicholas Walters, Jessie Magdalano and Carl Frampton have all gotten the best of the Filipino-American since his loss to Rigondeaux. Last November, however, Donaire rose to the occasion and bested Northern Ireland’s Ryan Burnett in Scotland. Should Donaire end up going on to win the WBSS, his slump may well be permanently seen as nothing more than the low point of a fairly brilliant career.
Saturday’s DAZN card will also feature Lousiana’s own Regis Prograis, as he defends his WBC diamond super lightweight title against Kiryl Relikh as part of the WBSS super lightweight semifinals. Prograis, 23-0, has been riding high since stopping former titlist Julius Indongo in 2018, and plans on steaming along until he earns the Super Series’ Muhammad Ali trophy. Like Donaire, Prograis will join Oleksandr Usyk, and Callum Smith, should he emerge victorious in the WBSS. Both Usyk, and Smith have seen their marquee value rise considerably as past winners.
First, though, both Prograis and Donaire must get past Saturday. Young may not be well known, but he’s got the chance of a lifetime before him. He’s also lost a single fight, making his resume a bit easy to overlook in this era of worship for perfect records. As for Relikh, the native of Belarus has a quality name on his resume: Rances Barthylemy. Although losing the first of their two matches, Relikh won the rematch, and won the WBA world super lightweight title in the process.
World Boxing Super Series Soldiers On, Even If You’re Not Watching
By Jake Donovan
One week after Emmanuel Rodriguez and Yunier Dorticos were both dragged through hell in order to secure well-deserved victories in Orlando, Regis Prograis and Ivan Baranchyk found new ways to take their respective careers to new heights in separate dominant wins Saturday evening in New Orleans.
The boxing world should be talking loud and proud about each of these four boxers, all of whom have advanced to the next round of the latest edition of World Boxing Super Series. Instead, all were forced to ply their trade in front of near-empty venues and with little outside fanfare beyond the sport’s hardcore due to their events playing second fiddle on their own platform.
So continues the struggles of rallying the U.S. boxing audience around the WBSS brand, a sad commentary as the series as a whole deserves a far more resounding response.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Whereas its overseas offerings have little difficulty commanding attention, the four stateside shows to date between the WBSS’ two seasons have featured little in the way of full-scale promotion, which has been reflected at the box office and in TV interest. Tournament handlers appeared to have learned from mistakes made in Season One, with this year’s offering featuring six WBSS doubleheaders rather than each bout topping its own card.
It meant a stacked card in Japan to kick off the series, with regional hero and rising bantamweight superstar Naoya Inoue destroying former champ Juan Carlos Payano in barely over a minute. The show aired on Sunday afternoon in Japan, which meant early Sunday morning for stateside viewers who were able to view on DAZN-USA which has picked up the U.S. broadcasts rights for the entire WBSS tournament spanning three weight divisions.
Despite the odd time slot for a typical boxing broadcast airing stateside, the event was able to command attention thanks to a big splash from DAZN USA presenting its first-ever US-based card barely eight hours prior in Chicago. Through cross-promotion came the extra push the event deserved, and fans willing to wake up a little earlier than normal in this corner of the world in order to catch Inoue and Kiryl Relikh (whom bested Eduard Troyanovsky in a 140-pound title defense) advance to the WBSS semifinal round of their respective weight divisions.
A similarly less distracting atmosphere came of the October 13 WBSS doubleheader from Russia. While wins posted by visiting cruiserweight Andrew Tabiti and well traveled bantamweight tiitlist Zolani Tete over house favorites Ruslan Fayfer and two-time Olympian Mikhail Aloyan lacked action, the advancement in their respective careers received deserved attention due to not having to compete for coverage.
The most significant boxing card of the day would come hours later on ESPN, with Terence Crawford stopping Jose Benavidez in the 12th round of the most watched U.S. televised boxing match of 2018. The spacing out between events meant most in the boxing industry were able to give their undivided attention to both shows.
That has simply not at all been the case for the past two WBSS offerings.
Conflicting telecasts is hardly anything new in boxing culture, but normally coming from rival networks or promoters. In each of the past two weeks, WBSS coverage was trumped by more high profile events offered by promoter Eddie Hearn, the primary boxing content provider for DAZN-USA.
Everything about Rodriguez’ gutsy win over Jason Moloney should’ve commanded boxing headlines. Their 12-round war is among the short list of viable Fight of the Year candidates, and Rodriguez’ eventual well-earned split decision victory setting up a mouthwatering bantamweight semifinal matchup with Inoue, a bout that is rumored to land stateside.
The perfect primer to the Rodriguez-Moloney slugfest came in the form of Dorticos’ brave stand versus a tough-as-nails challenger in Poland’s Mateusz Masternak. Dorticos is never in a bad fight—his TKO loss to Murat Gassiev in the Season One WBSS cruiserweight semifinals earlier this year also garnering Fight of the Year consideration—and his latest feat was no exception.
Unfortunately, the event came in front of a sparse Orlando crowd devoid of atmosphere, and playing second fiddle among the U.S. boxing audience to Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA-promoted event in Boston, headlined by Demetrius Andrade’s vacant middleweight title-winning shutout effort over Namibia’s Walter Kautondokwa. DAZN-USA’s core boxing crew was on hand for the latter event, with the WBSS offering on the same streaming platform carrying that DAZN brand only in televised rights but without any of the production value or promotion.
Prograis’ latest hometown headliner on Saturday suffered the same fate.
The unbeaten New Orleans native showed new elements to his game, offering a complete performance through a more subdued attack in dominating former lightweight titlist and still highly credible Terry Flanagan. The virtual shutout win included a knockdown of Flanagan, who’d previously never been down as a pro, as Prograis—in going 12 rounds for the first time in his career—showed that his boxing ability is just as strong as his explosive knockout game.
Much like the forthcoming November 10 WBSS cruiserweight doubleheader airing live from Chicago, Saturday’s show was intriguing in that both legs of the telecast featured bouts in the same weight class. While the winners won’t face off next—Prograis will next face Relikh, while Bananchyk awaits the winner of next week’s clash between Josh Taylor and Ryan Martin—Saturday night’s show very well could have provided a glimpse into the super lightweight finals.
That’s how dominant was Ivan Baranchyk’s performance, completely shutting the left eye of Anthony Yigit who bravely fought on to the point of even protesting the mandated stoppage by the ringside physician after seven physical rounds. Baranchyk picked up a vacant title for his effort, but seemed secondary to his not only remaining unbeaten but posing as a deep threat to Prograis and the rest of the bantamweight field.
Prograis and Baranchyk have plenty for which to be proud, but their moments of glory came in front of a near-empty room in a New Orleans venue that featured a much healthier crowd when Prograis performed just four months prior. This time around, it was DAZN-USA’s only boxing show on the night but from a notoriety perspective paled in comparison to a Hearn-promoted HBO triple header featuring storylines galore—including Daniel Jacobs re-emerging toward the top of the middleweight division following a hard-fought win over unbeaten and longtime training stablemate Sergiy Derevyanchenko to win a vacant title.
The WBSS tournament drifts back overseas to Glasgow, Scotland this weekend. Taylor and Martin will compete in a battle of unbeaten super lightweights looking to land a semifinal date with Baranchyk, while Ryan Burnett and former four-division champ Nonito Donaire meet with the winner to face Tete in the bantamweight semifinals.
One week later will come the cruiserweight doubleheader at UIC Pavilion in Chicago, where the winners between Mairis Breidis-Noel Gevor and Krzysztof Glowacki-Maksim Vlasov will collide early next year in the cruiserweight semifinals. A swarm of tickets still remain for the show, with barely a ripple of news having come of the event since the batch of stories that followed its initial announcement more than a month ago.
The good news for stateside viewers is that the November 10 cruiserweight show doesn’t have any competition on the dial. However, the most significant show of the day—and even of the division, for that matter—will come earlier from London.
That’s when World cruiserweight king and WBSS Season One winner Oleksandr Usyk will face Tony Bellew, also to be carried on DAZN, and to feature the platform’s primary crew and leading promoter. Their event—which in fairness is a massive one—has already benefited from live cross-promotion in each of the first two DAZN-USA live streams.
Nothing even remotely close has been afforded to any of the six Season Two WBSS telecasts. Suffering the most has been the (lack of) promotion for the five past and forthcoming stateside shows between the two seasons, all of which deserve a much better fate.
WBSS on DAZN Results: Prograis Defeats Flanagan; Baranchyk Stops Yigit
By: Ste Rowen
Tonight in The Big Easy, it was anything but easy viewing for the main event audience as, Regis Prograis battled his way to a unanimous decision victory over terry Flanagan; and, in more pleasant viewing, Ivan Baranchyk became the new IBF 140lb champion to score a 7th round technical stoppage over Anthony Yigit; both to progress to the semi-finals of their respective WBSS semi-finals.
Prograis now moves on to face Kiryl Relikh in the semi-finals; whilst Baranchyk faces the winner of next week’s matchup between Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin.
Both main event fighter’s southpaws, Prograis and Flanagan, were clearly weary of the other’s qualities as the two WBSS quarterfinalists fought off a steady jab through the early rounds into the 4th. ‘Turbo’ was in the fight but offering very little other than making it difficult for Prograis to initiate a substantial offense.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
Both boxers seemed more mobile through the middle rounds, but there was only one man, home fighter Regis, who wanted to bring the excitement tonight. Flanagan seemed to have resigned himself to the occasional overhand counter. The Manchester native’s combinations weren’t quick enough to land on ‘Rougarou’.
At the end of round 6, Prograis gestured to his home crowd to pick up the atmosphere, a sure sign that the fight was lacking action. The American, in black and gold shorts, did his best to break out a fight but as the saying goes, it takes two to tango, and the away fighter had no desire to dance anything but his own moves.
With just over two minutes left of the 8th, Prograis dropped Flanagan. ‘Turbo’ took the 8-count and the onslaught that followed from the WBC ‘Interim’ champ, to survive the round. Now the crowd was making the noise Regis wanted to hear. But the 9th began as if the previous round hadn’t happened, ‘Turbo’ persisted with his earlier tactics, and Prograis reverted to a jab and hook manoeuvre.
Through 10 and 12, more of the same occurred as the American looked for a way in, but Terry nullified most shots that came his way, without firing back with his own arsenal.
It’s not hard to see what Flanagan’s plan was at the start of tonight’s bout, it is difficult however, to understand what ‘Turbo’ was looking to do in the championship rounds. The former WBO lightweight champion did very little in terms of attack compared to ‘Rougarou’ and by the final bell it felt as if the Manchester fighter came to survive rather than to win. Regis’ jab ruled the fight throughout and saw him to the final bell.
It was never in doubt as the crowd waited for the judge’s final scorecards. The announcer called, 119-108, 118-109, 117-110 all for Regis Prograis, who spoke after the fight,
‘‘I want to bring big time boxing back to New Orleans and guess what? I did it. We gonna do it again.’’
‘‘I boxed my ass off. Most people say I can’t box, I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I only got power, now I showed you I can go 12 rounds with a world class fighter…It doesn’t matter who the hell I fight, the Muhammad Ali trophy is mine.’’
Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit
Baranchyk ‘The Beast’ may have been born in Belarus, but the super-lightweight has made his home in the US, and tonight it seemed as though he’d made his home in New Orleans as he fell into his stride early on into tonight’s bout.
From the first bell both fighters went in search for the big, finisher. Yigit, the southpaw struggled to make as much as an impact as his Belarussian opponent who, on multiple occasions through the early rounds, impactfully jerked the Swedes head back.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
Yigit was throwing well, but volume counts for nothing if it doesn’t land. Baranchyk was living to his pseudonym of ‘The Beast’ into rounds 2 and 3 as he landed with precision, rarely wasting shots, and though at times he was using his face as his best defence, Ivan’s chin stood up and allowed him to fire off hooks more efficiently.
It seems a little lazy to compare an eastern European fighter to Gennady Golovkin but, Baranchyk really does resemble an early day’s version of the Kazakh. Ivan seems to trust so much in his chin and accuracy that he’s prepared to go toe to toe, and jaw to jaw, with whatever opponent he faces.
Into round 4 there was now swelling below Yigit’s left eye. The pressure seemed beginning to tell, but the Swedish southpaw clearly hadn’t got the message as he rushed into attacks, attempting to restrain his foe’s outside game. It wasn’t working, and by the 6th, Yigit’s left eye looked ready to blow. Baranchyk was firing from all angles, and almost without meaningful reply by now, but he knew where the most valuable punches needed to land.
Through to the 7th, no one could question Anthony’s desire. As his eye only swelled further, the Swede, 21-0-1 (7KOs) heading into tonight, seemed to have no quit in him. Though surely only being able to see out of one eye. Yigit was prepared to go head to head with one of the 140lb division’s most dangerous boxers, meeting Baranchyk in the middle of the ring when, arguably, he should have been evading attack trying to tire his opponent out.
With a minute left of round 7, the referee, Phil Edwards, took a point from Baranchyk for what seemed to be pushing down on his opponent. Harsh considering when up close, Yigit seemed to be ducking. It didn’t matter though as, at the end of the same round, the ring doctor took another extensive look at the Swede’s eye and called an end to the bout, sending the Belarussian into the World Boxing Super Series semi-finals.
Yigit fiercely protested against the stoppage but it seemed the good doctor saved the Swede from himself. Yigit will walk away from tonight with credit in the bank and, a very worthy and attractive contender.
Baranchyk however, comes away from tonight as the IBF world champion and the second Super Series semi-finalist, set to face either Josh Taylor or Ryan Martin in the near future.
Speaking post-fight, the defeated Yigit was magnanimous in defeat,
‘‘Obviously, I am a fighter and you never want a fight to be stopped but maybe it was the right decision. People are telling me it looks pretty bad…Our game plan was to take him later on because we felt like he was gassing out…But they stopped the fight, so I couldn’t fulfil the game plan. He’s a hard hitter and he deserves this win.’’
The new IBF super-lightweight champion, Ivan, now 19-0 (12KOs), was complimentary towards his opponent,
‘‘It was a tough fight, but I win this fight. I win. He’s a tough guy but I love this. Anthony is a good guy, thank you…With him (Trainer, Pedro Diaz) I will win the Ali trophy.’’
WBSS Preview: Prograis vs. Flanagan; Baranchyk vs. Yigit on DAZN
By: Ste Rowen
‘‘You walk up the street and people ask you ‘Did you win your fight?’ and you have to say no for the first time. ‘‘
Defeat never comes easy for an undefeated fighter. Terry Flanagan, the former WBO lightweight champion was 33-0 (13KOs) when he stepped into the ring with Maurice Hooker, at Manchester Arena four months ago. Watch the fight Saturday night on DAZN.
The north west native known as ‘Turbo’ isn’t the prettiest boxer even at his dominant best – see his WBO defences since winning the belt against the likes of Derry Matthews, Mzonke Fana and what felt like a never-ending bout with Petr Petrov. But the one running theme through Terry’s fights seemed to be the feeling he was a level above each and every opponent he faced.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
Then he took the step up to super-lightweight after failing to secure unifications with the likes of former champions, Anthony Crolla, Jorge Linares and current 135lb titlist, Lomachenko. Manager Steve Wood and promoter Frank Warren maneuvered ‘Turbo’ into a position to fight for the vacant 140lb strap, recently dropped by the undisputed, Terence Crawford, and after a delay caused by a hand injury for Flanagan, Hooker and Terry were set to meet on the 9th June.
On fight night in June, southpaw, Flanagan looked out of sorts while his American foe was composed and patient. ‘Turbo’ constantly led in with his head, which it was revealed after the fight, had the adverse effect and not just for the viewers. Terry apparently sustained a concussion from the clashing of heads and suffered through the final rounds as Hooker took pot-shots off the southpaw’s face to seal a unanimous decision win for the American.
Terry lost, but months later, managed to seal his spot in the Super Series and have an opportunity for immediate redemption. Now Flanagan travels to New Orleans to face another America. Unbeaten WBC champion and #1 seed of the tournament, Regis Prograis.
‘‘They’re expecting to wipe the floor with me but it’s not gonna be the case…I see the fight against Prograis as 50/50 with us both having our own strengths, but I just think my assets stop his and therefore I win. I think what I bring to the table neutralise his strengths and that is the difference. I expect to get the credit I duly deserve after winning this fight.”
“The world boxing series is a new chapter…I believe I’m the best fighter on the planet on my day and I’m looking to show that in this tournament.‘‘
Regis Prograis has had a quick rise into boxing stardom. A former standout amateur who always aims to please, Prograis is one of two current WBC 140lb champions – Jose Ramirez being the other – ‘Rougarou’ as Prograis is otherwise known by, has a record of 22-0 (19KOs) including impressive stoppage victories over Joel Diaz Jr, Hector Velazquez and arguably his biggest win to date, a 2nd round TKO of former unified champion, Julius Indongo.
“All my fights are explosive no matter who is in front of me. I always bring the fireworks.”
In all three of the mentioned bouts Regis displayed not just the power that makes him an obvious fan favourite and the tournament’s top seed, but outstanding boxing fundamentals. A thudding single jab, the continuous fluid head & body movement and the devastating efficiency with which once he senses the opportunity for an early finish, ‘Rougarou’ goes hard on the accelerator.
“Flanagan is a really tough dude, a former world champion. I want to fight top competition and that is why I picked him. I know I am good, but I never look at myself as the favourite…I am the number one in the world and everyone fighting me sees me as a big opportunity.”
Saturday’s venue is the Lakefront Arena in Prograis’ native home of New Orleans, and the way Regis is talking, it could be a long journey to nothing for Flanagan,
“I am the number 1 seed so of course there is pressure on me, but I feel a lot better than last time I fought in New Orleans, where it felt like work and the pressure weighed on me a bit. This time I think the pressure is out of the window. This time it is going back to being fun.”
“This is not just a boxing show, when I fight in New Orleans it is a big-time event.”
A fight in the semi-finals against WBA champion, Kiryl Relikh awaits.
Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit
Also on Saturday’s card is the 3rd super-lightweight quarter final between two unbeaten fighters, Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit with the vacant IBF belt on the line.
18-0 (11KOs), Baranchyk of Belarus has been progressing at the perfect pace ever since making his move the US. ‘The Beast’s’ first three pro bouts were in Minsk before he set flight to America and began to build his name against limited opposition. From 2015 Ivan’s quality of opposition rose, as did his performances as he picked up victories over the likes of a 17-1-2, Abel Ramos but more recently, a superb dismantling of Petr Petrov in March on the undercard of Prograis/Indongo.
The manner of the victory more than the win itself solidified Baranchyk’s status as future world title contender, and his attitude toward the sport backs that up,
“I’ve never known and couldn’t even imagine life without boxing…If there is no competition I simply just cannot live without it.”
Ivan may be known as the beast, but he’s more than willing to show his versatility as his pro career progresses,
“My boxing style is aggressive. I’m constantly attacking, fighting to the very end…I’m trying to learn the Cuban way of boxing as it is respected all over the world. Pedro (Diaz) is one of the best coaches in the world and I want learn everything from him.”
“Anthony Yigit is a good boxer, a good fighter…I know all his strengths and weaknesses. I’ve been waiting for him for a long time and on the 27th I will destroy him in the ring.”
The big talk from the Belarussian is unlikely to have an effect on his Swedish opponent, and fellow unbeaten fighter, Anthony Yigit. Speaking in the WBSS pre-fight documentary, the Swede, currently 21-0-1 (7KOs), isn’t short of self-belief,
“I’m a nice guy here but if you go into the ring with me I know you’re in my way of me reaching that goal of where I want to be. When I started boxing I believed I was gonna become a world champion…In Sweden we have nine million people and no world champion. I’m gonna be one in nine million.”
Yigit, a former 2012 Olympian where he was beaten by Ukrainian, Denys Berinchyk, has shown so far in the pro ranks that if he lacks anything, it’s probably power, but the Stockholm southpaw has no intention of losing to another man with ‘chyk’ in his name,
“When I saw Usyk lift the Ali trophy I said, ‘That’s where I wanna be’ and that’s where I’m gonna be! … People have been telling me they can see something in my eyes, something that wasn’t there before.”
Winner of this matchup will go on to face either Josh Taylor or Ryan Martin, who fight next week in Glasgow.
Check out the WBSS pre-fight documentaries for both of Saturdays bouts here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYbJzjdzbAA
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Prograis, Bivol, Pascal, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 9th to October 16th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Canelo Alvarez Receives WBC Middleweight Title in Mexico City
Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) received his WBC Middleweight World Title today at Museo Soumaya in Mexico City in recognition of his spectacular victory against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in September. Canelo also received the Cinturon Chiapaneco and the Cinturon Huichol at this momentous event as he prepares to return to the ring. The 28-year-old WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion will take on WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) in a special 12-round super middleweight attraction on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden.
Below is what today’s participants had to say at the belt presentation:
CANELO ALVAREZ, WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion:
“I want to thank everyone for their support during the good times and the bad. It was a tough year for me. I would never do anything to blemish my career, but I’m grateful to all those who were there with me. I’m going to represent the WBC from here on. They’ve been my family since the beginning. It’s a great responsibility to be a Mexican world champion. But I take that responsibility because I know I’m a determined and disciplined fighter. I honor every fighter who has fought at Madison Square Garden, but I’m going to make my own story. This is another chapter in my legacy.
JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO, Manager and Trainer of Canelo Alvarez:
“The past 13 years of Canelo Alvarez’s career has not been easy. It has been difficult. But when you have a lot of determination like he does, it makes the hard road that much easier. We completed the promise of making him a world champion because he completed his part of working hard. I thank everyone here and the sport of boxing.”
EDDY REYNOSO, Head Trainer and Manager of Canelo Alvarez:
“I’m grateful and thankful for all that Canelo Alvarez has achieved. I thank Mauricio Sulaiman and the WBC for their help. They’ve supported us all along the way. We’re proud of what he has accomplished, and we know there is more to come.”
ERIC GOMEZ, President of Golden Boy Promotions:
“We’ve worked with Canelo Alvarez since he was a very young prospect. He was hungry and determined to be great. To see him achieve that greatness is a wonderful thing to see. I congratulate him on this exciting day for him.”
MAURICIO SULAIMAN, President of the WBC:
“Canelo shut a lot of mouths in his last fight. He quieted a lot of critics who said he did not come forward. But in his last fight he showed with his fists and his aggression that he is the better fighter. Canelo is always first to raise the Mexican flag after a victory and yell Viva Mexico! I am so proud he is representing the WBC once again.”
Canelo vs. Fielding is a 12-round fight for the WBA Super Middleweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place Saturday, December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
Prograis Makes Brief Stop Home Before Upcoming Fight
Since the Crescent City last saw native son Regis “Rougarou” Prograis in the ring in July, it’s been a whirlwind for the rising star of boxing’s super lightweight division.
Prograis has been to Russia, Brazil and then in training for nearly six weeks in both Los Angeles and Houston as he counts down to an Oct. 27 matchup with Englishman Terry Flanagan at UNO Lakefront Arena.
“I started training camp two weeks earlier,” Prograis said Wednesday in a visit with local media. “I had to go to Russia on Tuesday (after his last fight). When I came back, I went back to Houston and bought a house. I barely stayed in my house for a couple of days, then I went to Brazil for a month … I was training MMA and jiu jitsu. I was back in Houston for a week, then off to (Los Angeles) for training camp.”
The longer camp allowed Prograis and trainer Bobby Benton to change the focus initially.
“As we start camp, we usually start with strength and conditioning,” Benton said. “Instead, we worked his feet. His feet are so much better, his balance is better. It’s made a difference.”
Prograis was wearing a reminder of how difficult training for the fight has been, showing a mark below his left eye as a result of a “little pop” in training Tuesday.
“My training camps are really, really hard,” Prograis said. “My body is sore.”
It’s the second consecutive fight at Lakefront Arena for Prograis, who dispatched Juan Jose Velasco in an eighth-round TKO in the headline event of New Orleans’ first championship fight card in nearly two decades.
“My whole goal is to turn it into a franchise,” Prograis said. “We got the Saints, the Pelicans, and hopefully now we’ll have Regis Prograis.”
A win against Flanagan could mean a return to New Orleans for his next bout.
Prograis, who is 22-0 in his career with 19 knockouts, is not only the No. 1 seed in the super lightweight bracket for the Ali Trophy, but ranked No. 1 in the 140-pound division by ESPN. As the top seed, he had a choice of opponents and picked Flanagan (33-1, 13 KOs).
“I’m in it to fight the best people,” Prograis said. “Terry Flanagan is tough, he’s scrappy, he’s going to come to right and he has a lot of experience. I wanted to fight the hardest fight first.”
If his first fight in his hometown taught Prograis anything, it was to watch what he eats right before the fight. What will he do differently this time? “Don’t eat po-boys and gumbo before I fight,” he said. “Otherwise, everything went smoothly. I experienced (nervousness) already, so that’s done. This time, it’s going to be back being fun to me again.”
If Prograis can win the Ali Trophy – the final would likely happen around June 2019 – he has in his sight a matchup with fellow unbeaten Jose Ramirez (23-0). Prograis attended Ramirez’s fight last month in Fresno, California.
Prograis and his team were headed back to Houston late Wednesday to resume training before returning to New Orleans in the days leading up to the fight.
The Prograis-Flanagan co-headliner is another Ali Trophy super-lightweight quarterfinal between Ivan Baranchyk and Anthony Yigit for the IBF world championship.
The undercard is expected to begin at 6 p.m., with the two main events at about 9. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and the Lakefront Arena box office.
Dmitry Bivol to Defend WBA Title Against Jean Pascal in Atlantic City
Dmitry Bivol will defend his WBA Light Heavyweight World Title against former Olympian and former WBC, IBO, and Ring Magazine champion Jean Pascal on Saturday, November 24, 2018 as boxing returns to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
The event will be promoted by Main Events and World of Boxing, Bivol’s promoter, in association with Jean Pascal Promotions. The bout will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Bivol, age 27, of St. Petersburg Russia, risks his perfect record of 14 wins with no losses and 11 knockouts against the time-tested Pascal, who turns 36 on October 28, has 33 wins, 20 by knockout, against five losses and a draw.
Bivol is coming off a dominating 12-round decision victory over crafty Isaac Chilemba of Malawi on August 4. Pascal is fresh from an eighth round TKO over former UFC champion Steve Bosse at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec on July 20.
After storming through the amateur ranks, Bivol has quickly moved himself into position to take over the highly competitive light heavyweight division by facing top names and defeating them, one after the other. Bivol is open about his ambitious goals to fight all of the best opponents in the division, and to deliver entertaining fights in front of large audiences.
Bivol’s ultimate goal to unify the light heavyweight division: “It’s very important for me. It’s every boxer’s dream to be the champion, the unified champion. It’s a big step to dream about. Like (unified cruiserweight champion) Oleksandr Usyk.”
Although he has a humble nature, Bivol is sure about his abilities. “Not too long ago, Pascal fought for three world titles and I watched on TV. Now he wants to take my title away, and I am very happy to accept this challenge and look forward to my next title defense on HBO.”
Vadim Kornilov, Bivol’s manager, added, “We are looking forward to another great performance by Dmitry Bivol on November 24th. Jean Pascal is a name everyone has heard, and we look forward to a competitive fight with this great champion.”
Andrei Ryabinski of World of Boxing, Bivol’s promoter, said, “We are glad to be putting together another fight for Dmitry Bivol together with HBO, Main Events and the Hard Rock. Look forward to a great fight between Dmitry Bivol and Jean Pascal!”
“This is the most important fight of my life and I could not be more motivated,” said Pascal. “I’m making boxing history on November 24th. I’m known as a champion who never turned down any challenges, but I want to be two-time champion and I want to be immortalized in the Hall of Fame when my career is over. To fully cement my status as a hall of famer, I must win this fight and I will win this fight.
“Bivol is a very good fighter and a difficult challenge, but greatness has never been achieved without overcoming difficult challenges. My Canadian fans should be very excited because all of the light heavyweight belts will be in our house for Christmas this year,” promised Pascal.
Manager Greg Leon is equally confident. “In my opinion Bivol is the best light heavyweight champion in the world, so this is an extremely difficult challenge for us. However, Jean is fighting for the hall of fame, history and legacy. That coupled with the intangibles he possesses that cannot be taught make him the most dangerous fighter Bivol has ever faced by far.
“November 24th will provide Bivol with a couple of new experiences; he’ll be fighting in his first major main event and he’ll be suffering his first loss as a professional,” said Leon.
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said, “Main Events could not be more excited to return to Atlantic City for our second card at the Hard Rock’s Etess Arena. Our first card there on August 4 was a sellout, and we expect to build on that momentum by bringing Dmitry back to be in the main event on November 24.”
“Following up on the success of last August’s fight between Alvarez and Kovalev, this will just be another step forward in Atlantic City’s return to professional boxing,” says Bernie Dillon, Vice President of Entertainment for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, “I’m thrilled that Hard Rock can be a big part of that.”
Ruben Villa Shines on Front of Hometown Fans on Saturday Night
Featherweight Ruben Villa (14-0, 5 KOs) returned to his hometown for the second time in his career and delivered a thrilling, one-sided performance against the game Miguel Carrizoza (10-4, 2 KOs) Saturday night from a sold-out Storm House in Salinas, Calif.
Villa, 21, used terrific footwork to find the angles against Carrizoza in route to a sweep of the scorecards in the 8-round main event. Throughout the fight, Villa hammered Carrizoza with a stiff jab, followed by a thundering left hand. It was an outstanding display of accuracy for the southpaw in his fifth fight of the year.
“I felt great tonight,” said Villa, who is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing. “Everything was clicking. The guy was tough. I landed a lot of good shots and he came coming back. I’m very happy with my performance. I put on a great show for my hometown fans.”
To watch a replay of Villa’s dominant performance, please click here
Villa, who has been as active as possible since joining the professional ranks in 2016, looked as comfortable as he ever has.
“I’m gaining more and more confidence with each win,” Villa said. “I like where I’m at right now.”