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 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.
Top Rank Boxing On ESPN Results: Regis “Rougarou” Prograis Stop Juan Jose Velasco
By: Ken HIssner
Saturday at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment and Sampson Boxing over ESPN it was the hometown return of interim WBC Super Lightweight champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis as promised by Top Rank’s Bob Arum.
Interim WBC Super Lightweight southpaw Regis “Rougarou” Prograis, 22-0 (19), out of Houston, TX, stopped WBC Latino Champ Juan Jose “El Pitbull” Velasco, 20-1 (12), of Bueno Aires, ARG, at 1:59 of round 8.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing/Mikey Williams
In the first round Prograis had his way as his hometown fans were cheering for him from his introduction. He was doing plenty of faking but Velasco got his licks in. Prograis in the final seconds of the round rocked Velasco with a combination to the head. In the second round Prograis continued pressing the action. The second round was similar as the first round. At the end of the round Prograis avoided half a dozen of Velasco’s punches and landed a left of his own to the chin of Velasco at the bell.
In the third round Velasco missed four punches but landed the following two to the head of Prograis. There is no respect of Velasco’s punching power by Prograis. At the bell Prograis landed a left uppercut to the chin of Velasco knocking his head back. In the fourth round Prograis rocked Velasco with a lead left to the chin. Halfway through the round Prograis landed a pair of left hands to the mid-section of Velasco.
In the fifth round Velasco got on his bicycle not wanting those body shots that Prograis hit him with last round. A vicious left to the body from Prograis dropped Velasco who barely beat the count of referee Lawrence Cole. He managed to get through the round. In the seventh round the stalking from Prograis continued. Half the punches from Velasco but several got in on Prograis. Prograis landed a left to the body and down went Velasco. He got up with approximately twenty seconds to go in the round and made it to the bell.
In the eighth round Velasco went down from another left to the liver. Velasco got up and fought harder than at anytime until another left uppercut dropped him. Then Prograis drove him into the bottom strand of the ropes before referee Cole waved it off. Referee Cole showed poor judgment in letting the fight go on too long. Finally the corner stepped up and waved it off.
“It was super special. Thanks to everybody in New Orleans. I want to bring back big time boxing to New Orleans. I’m going into the WBSS and hope to win that,” said Prograis.
Lightweight Teofimo Lopez, 10-0 (8), of David, FL, stopped IBO Continental Champion William “Baby Face” Silva, 25-2 (14), of Sao Paulo, BRZ, for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Lightweight title at 0:15 of the sixth round in a scheduled 10.
In the first round Lopez had his way. Lopez missed with a right but with a lunging left hook Lopez dropped Silva who beat the count of referee Bruce McDaniel and had a bloody nose. In the second round Lopez started showboating. He was making Silva look bad. He stunned Silva several times.
In the third round Lopez kept up the showboating knowing the taller Silva who had his hands held high got in a couple of counter left hooks but too few. Lopez rocked Silva with a right, left. He then followed with a lead right uppercut to the chin of Silva followed by a left hook to the head. In the fourth round Lopez landed a combination and added a right hand to the head of Silva. He ended the round with a lead right to the head of Silva.
In the fifth round Lopez continued using head fakes and landing left uppercuts and left hooks to the chin of Silva. The blood continued funning from the nose of Silva. Silva got in the best punch of his fight countering a right to the head of Lopez. With seconds left in the round Lopez drove Silva into the corner with a flurry ending with three left hooks to the head dropping Silva for a nine count as he got up and saved by the bell.
In the sixth round Lopez again dropped Silva within seconds of the round with a double left hook to the head when referee McDaniel immediately waved it off. After winning Lopez did a back flip. “I want to thank God, Bob Arum, Top Rank, Bruce Trampler, Bruce Goodman. I set him up with a jab and played with his mind. I set him up for the left hand. I’m full of blood, his blood. I lost my dog this past Sunday. All I want to do is go home and cry. I love you Leo (dog) He was my best friend,” said Lopez.
Southpaw Mexican Erik De Leon, 18-0-1 (10), out of Detroit, MI, defeated Adrian “Chinito” Young, 25-5-2 (19), out of Sinaloa, MEX, over 10 rounds.
De Leon came off the canvas in the first round but had his way the rest of the way by scores of 97-92 twice and 98-91.
Super welter 2016 Olympian Charles Conwell, 8-0 (6), of Cleveland, OH, stopped Travis “Sweet Feet” Scott, 19-4 (5), of Baton Rouge, LA., in the second round with a body shot in a scheduled 10 rounds.
Unbeaten super lightweight southpaw 2016 Gold Medalist Olympian Fazlidden Gaibnazarov, 5-0 (2), of UZB and living in L.A., CA, had a harder than expect fight defeating Kevin Johnson, 5-1 (4), out of Detroit, MI, over 8 rounds.
Unbeaten featherweight PR’s Jean Carlos “Chapito” Rivera, 14-0 (9), out of Orlando, FL, knocked out Dominican Angel “El Gato” Luna, 11-5-1 (6), in 82 seconds of the first round.