IT’S arduous to consider it has been three years since Regis Prograis fought tooth and nail with Josh Taylor in London, England and fell simply brief, dropping a majority resolution after 12 rounds. Since then, it’s truthful to say lots has occurred on the earth, simply maybe not in Prograis’ profession.
Actually, within the three years which have adopted that Taylor loss Prograis has fought solely 3 times. He fought and beat Juan Heraldez in 2020 (stopping him in three rounds), he fought and beat Ivan Redkach in 2021 (stopping him in six), and he fought and beat Tyrone McKenna in 2022 (stopping him in six). In not a type of fights was Prograis ever unduly apprehensive or threatened, but neither did he show a lot by beating any of these males, all of whom appeared barely out of their depth in his presence.
Hopefully now, although, with a battle in opposition to fellow southpaw Jose Zepeda scheduled for this Saturday (November 26) in Carson, California, Prograis is about to obtain the check he has been severely missing post-Taylor. Definitely, on paper a minimum of, this (for a WBC super-lightweight belt) is one of the best and most significant project the American has had since that point and, in Zepeda, he lastly has an opponent who possesses the instruments and expertise to hopefully ask him a query or two.
A pure super-lightweight, Zepeda has gained 35 of his 37 professional fights (27 inside schedule) and misplaced solely twice. His first loss got here in opposition to Terry Flanagan in 2015, when he was stopped as a consequence of a minimize within the second spherical, whereas the second was on a majority resolution in opposition to Jose Ramirez, among the best super-lightweights on the earth, in 2019.
Aside from that, Zepeda has been the ultimate. He has solidified his status as a number one super-lightweight contender with wins over the likes Jose Pedraza, Ivan Baranchyk, Henry Lundy and Josue Vargas and has proven – significantly in opposition to Baranchyk, who dropped Zepeda 4 instances – a capability to bounce again from adversity and prevail.
This will probably be required, little question, in opposition to Prograis, somebody whose complete modus operandi is to pull opponents into deep water and try and drown them there. Towards most, too, this strategy works, with solely Taylor up to now capable of keep on with Prograis and, even higher, pip him on the end line.
Zepeda, it’s true, is not going to solely be one of the best opponent Prograis has confronted since Taylor however seemingly be boosted by the actual fact he’s preventing at house in California as nicely. Nonetheless, be that as it could, one nonetheless can’t assist questioning how a yr out the ring will influence the Californian southpaw (his win in opposition to Vargas passed off final October). One additionally wonders whether or not Prograis has been ready for a second like this, and an opponent like this, with the intention to actually reveal what he can do and remind us all of his abilities.
Now 33 (each are the identical age), Prograis, 27-1 (23), clearly doesn’t have time on his aspect. He has wasted a good quantity of it, by means of no fault of his personal, and can presumably now look to make up for this in opposition to Zepeda on Saturday evening. With that in thoughts, anticipate a Prograis resolution win in an exciting, shut battle.
Supporting Prograis vs. Zepeda in Carson is a seemingly well-matched ladies’s light-flyweight battle between Nicaragua’s Yokasta Valle, 26-2 (9), and the unbeaten Evelin Nazarena Bermudez, 17-0-1 (6), from Argentina. Valle, the IBF and WBO minimumweight belt-holder, will probably be shifting up in weight to problem Bermudez, who presently holds the IBF and WBO belts at light-flyweight.
Additionally on the Carson undercard is a battle between Charles Conwell, 17-0 (13), and Juan Carlos Abreu, 25-6-1 (23), over 10 rounds at super-welterweight, in addition to a 10-round heavyweight matchup between wonderful Kazakh prospect Bakhodir Jalolov, 11-0 (11), and Curtis Harper 14-8 (9), the person who infamously exited the ring earlier than the primary bell of a 2019 bout in opposition to Efe Ajagba.