Prograis expects Josh Taylor to join him in WBSS tournament
By Chris Williams: Regis Prograis says he thinks Josh Taylor will defeat Viktor Postol on June 23, and then join him in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) light welterweight tournament. Prograis (21-0, 18 KOs) says he thinks that even if Taylor (12-0, 10 KOs) doesn’t enter the WBSS tournament, he’ll beat WBC 140 pound champion Jose Ramirez to capture his belt.
Prograis, 29, says he’ll go after WBC title as soon as he wins the WBSS tournament. If Prograis does win the WBSS tournament, he’ll pick up the IBF and WBA light welterweight titles in the process. As the interim WBC light welterweight champion, Prograis had the opportunity to challenge Jose Ramirez for his WBC belt, but it would have meant waiting until August to take the fight.
Since Prograis already had plans on entering the WBSS tournament in September, there was no way that he could fight Ramirez in August and then immediately start fighting in the tournament a month later in September.
”I know Josh Taylor and Viktor Postol are fighting each other next for the same belt,” Prograis said to Boxingtalk.com. ”The winner of that fight is going to be mandatory to Ramirez, but I also heard that Josh Taylor is going into the tournament if he beats Postol, which he should. But if he doesn’t go in the tournament I think he’s going to beat Ramirez.”
Taylor vs. Prograis would be a huge fight later this year for Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to stream on DAZN. If Hearn signs Prograis, he’ll have what many fans believe as the best fighter in the 140lb division.
Prograis doesn’t know who he’ll face in his opening bout in the World Boxing Super Series tournament. If Josh Taylor, 27, enters the WBSS tournament, he could be Prograis’ opponent in his first fight. That’s a tough fight for Taylor fighting Prograis right away, but at least if he faces him first, he’ll get it over with rather than having to dread facing him.
In other fights in the tournament, WBA light welterweight champion Kiryl Relkh (22-2, 19 KOs) defends against Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24 KOs) in what should be an interesting fight. Relikh is a big puncher, and Troyanovsky is a tough Russian fighter.
Relikh will likely be the favorite to win. He’s the younger guy with the better chin. Ivan Baranchyk and Anthony Yigit will battle for the vacant IBF 140lb title. The tournament organizers still need to add more fighters to the 8-man tournament.
Prograis will be fighting Juan Jose Velasco (20-0, 12 KOs) on July 14 at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is a stay busy fight for Prograis. He doesn’t expect to have any problems beating Velasco. Prograis just wants to make sure he gets out of the fight without suffering an injury, because he’ll only have three months to heal before the WBSS tournament starts in September.