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Regis Prograis vs Maurice Hooker in negotiations for fight on DAZN in Spring

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By Chris Williams: Negotiations have begun for a fight between former light welterweight champions Regis Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) and Maurice Hooker (27-1-3, 18 KOs) for DAZN in the Spring, according to Dan Rafael.


Former WBO 140-lb champion Hooker’s co-promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom and his other promoter Dino Duva are in favor of the fight. Duva is in talks with former WBA light welterweight champion Prograis’ promoter Lou DiBella.

Hooker and Prograis coming off losses

Prograis and Hooker both recently lost their world titles in 2019, and they’re looking to get title shot. Regis to IBF light welterweight champion Josh Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) by a close 12 round majority decision on October 26 in the final of the World Boxing Super Series 140-lb tournament. The fight took place at the O2 Arena in London, England. Taylor did enough to edge it by the scores 117-112, 115-113, 114-114.

Regis failed to make adjustments against Taylor until too late

Prograis made a mistake of spending long stretches in the fight attempting to fight Taylor on the inside, and he failed to make adjustments in time to win. When Prograis finally take the fight to the outside in the championship rounds, he dominated Taylor and had him reeling.

It was odd how the shorter 5’8″ Prograis was the far more effective fighter on the outside than the taller 5’10” Taylor. In some respects, Prograis created the blueprint on how to beat Taylor. Stay on the outside against him, and take advantage of his lack of hand speed, and has less than spectacular outside game.

This week, Prograis mentioned wanting to face Taylor to avenge his loss. Additionally, Prograis also wants to challenge WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford in the near future.

DiBella says DAZN and Hearn in favor of Prograis-Hooker fight

“They like it. What boxing fan wouldn’t love that fight? Anyone who knows boxing knows it’s a can’t-miss fight,” said DiBella to ESPN.com about his talks with DAZN and Hearn about the potential Prograis vs. Hooker fight.

The lanky 5’11” Hooker lost his WBO 140lb title to WBC champion Jose Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) by a 6th round knockout on July 27 in a unification fight in Arlington, Texas. The high workrate of Ramirez was ultimately too much for Hooker. But what really doomed Hooker in that fight was his mistake of fighting Ramirez with his back against the ropes. Ramirez took advantage of Hooker’s tactical error, and punished him when he was pinned to the ropes.

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Prograis, 30, will likely be the favorite in this fight, but he’s going to have to fight smart to win. Hooker has a lot of punching power, and he’s got the better inside game than him. If Prograis tries to brawl with Hooker in close like he did with Taylor, then he’ll likely lose.

 

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