Regis Prograis vs. Josh Taylor for Ring 140-pound title
By Charles Brun: Regis ‘Rougarou’ Prograis and Josh ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor will have the vacant Ring Magazine light welterweight belt on the line when they meet up in the final of the World Boxing Super Series 140-pound tournament later this year. This is an interesting fight between two undefeated light welterweights.
In addition to the Ring Magazine belt that will be up for grabs, Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) will have his WBA 140-pound title, and Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs) will have his IBF strap at stake for their WBSS final fight. It’ll be a unification fight.
Venue for Prograis vs. Taylor fight still undecided
There still isn’t a stage or the venue for the Prograis vs. Taylor fight. Prograis, 30, volunteered to face Taylor in his hometown of Glasgow, Scotland. However, Prograis’ promoters might have other ideas for him. Taylor, 28, has already had both of his fights in the WBSS tourney at home in Glasgow. If the final is in Glasgow a well, then it would mean that Taylor would never have had to travel away from his home country.
Prograis is the #1 seed in the tournament, and it would look odd if the final takes place in the #2 seeds’ hometown rather than vice versa. The WBSS tournament organizers would do well to pick a neutral venue like Saudi Arabia for the Prograis-Taylor fight to take place. By putting the fight in an out of the way country where neither fighter would benefit, the boxing fans would see it as fairer. For his part, Prograis’ first two fights in the WBSS tournament have taken place in home state of Louisiana. Prograis no longer lives in Louisiana, however, having moved to Houston, Texas.
Taylor defeated IBF light welterweight champion Ivan Baranchyk (19-1, 12 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision last Saturday night on May 18 at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The scores wee 115-111, 117-109 and 115-111. Taylor knocked Baranchyk down twice in round six. Other than that, it was a close fight with a lot of two-way action. Taylor said after the fight that he could have made it easier, but that’s wishful thinking on his part. Baranchyk was walking through Taylor’s shots to get in close to nail him with heavy shots all night long. Taylor was hurt a number of times, and looked exhausted in the championship rounds. There was some frustration on Taylor’s part that showed itself in the second half of the fight when he began to foul Baranchyk by using his forearm, shoulder and hitting on the break. It was continuous stuff that Taylor did, and got away with. It looked like frustration on Taylor’s part, because Baranchyk wouldn’t go away.
Before this fight, Taylor had been mostly fighting guys that were completely out of his league like Ryan Martin, Winston Campos,Ohara Davies, Miguel Vasquez, Warren Joubert and Alfonso Olvera. The only talented fighter that Taylor had fought going into last Saturday’s match was 35-year-old former WBC light welterweight champion Viktor Postol. Taylor had a lot of problems in beating Postol last June. The judges gave Taylor a wide 12 round decision, but the boxing public saw the fight as a razor thin decision victory by Taylor. He won the fight, but just barely.
Prograis has looked in the WBSS competition than Taylor. In Prograis’ quarterfinal fight, he defeated former WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan by an easy 12 round unanimous decision last October in New Orleans. The scores were 117-110, 118-109 and 119-108. Prograis knocked Flanagan down in the eighth round. Prograis looked like he could have knocked Flanagan out if he’d wanted to. In prograis’ semifinal fight in the WBSS tournament, he stopped WBA World light welterweight champion Kiryl Relikh in the sixth round last April. It was a superb performance by Prograis.
Taylor won’t have much of a size advantage over Prograis
The 5’10” Taylor won’t have much of a size advantage over the 5’8″ Prograis when they meet up. When the two stood face to face inside the ring last Saturday night, they looked close to the same height. Both fighters are southpaw, so that’s another area where this fight is going to be fought on equal terms. Baranchyk seemed to be bothered by Taylor’s southpaw stance last Saturday night. It’s going to be a different story for Prograis, who will be using his southpaw stance against Taylor, and looking to take him out like he did against Relikh.