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Regis Prograis fights Maurice Hooker at 143-lb CATCHWEIGHT on April 17

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By Scott Gilfoid: In what shapes up to be a thrilling fight, former WBA light-welterweight champion Regis Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) will be looking to defeat Maurice Hooker (27-1-3 18 KOs) in two months from now on April 17 on DAZN. This fight has been talked about for some time, and now it’s about to go down in April.


Prograis deserves a lot of respect for agreeing to fight welterweight Hooker at a catchweight a 143 rather insisting that the contest take place at 140 in his natural weight class. Up until recently, Hooker had been campaigning at light-welterweight, but he’s grown out of the division.

Prograis and Hooker can’t afford to lose

This is one of those fights where the two guys are at a fork in the road. The winner moves onto bigger and better things, whereas the loser will need to figure out another path.

Prograis, 31, is clearly in the stronger position coming into this fight, as he’s shown huge talent throughout his career. His only loss was a controversial one in which he was fighting in his opponent Josh Taylor’s backyard in the UK.

Hooker’s promoter Eddie Hearn is still in the process of assembling an undercard for the fight. It’s early yet, so it’s not altogether weird that he doesn’t have one in place at this time.

Prograis-Hooker will be taking place at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. What’s kind of interesting is the fight will take place on a FRIDAY rather than on a more traditional day for boxing on Saturday. The bigger fights generally take place on Saturdays, so it’s a little odd that this match is being placed on a Friday. Oh well, I guess they have their reasons.


Both fighters are looking to rebuild after disappointing defeats in unification fights. Hooker’s 6th round knockout loss to WBC light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez last July in Arlington has got to be the tougher pill to swallow compared to Prograis’ close 12 round majority decision defeat to IBF 140-lb champion Josh Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) in their WBSS final fight on October 26.

Ramirez destroyed Hooker

Hooker was just blown out of the water completely by Ramirez, who was like a giant tropical hurricane. Whatever chance that Hooker, 30, had in the fight, he threw it out the window by giving ground and using the rope-a-dope against Ramirez. It didn’t work, and the referee Mark Nelson finally had to stop the fight when it got too one-sided with Ramirez working Hooker over on the ropes.

Before losing to Taylor, Prograis had solid wins over these fighters:

  • Kiryl Relikh
  • Terry Flanagan
  • Juan Jose Velasco
  • Julius Indongo
  • Joel Diaz Jr
  • Amos Cowart

What Prograis learned from his “loss” to Taylor is you gotta fight your fight. Don’t try and prove a point by beating your opponent at what they do best, which in the case of Taylor, is fighting on the inside. Prograis did what Errol Spence Jr. recently did in his win over Shawn Porter.

Instead of being smart and fighting on the outside to dominate Porter, who is a limited fighter when on the outside, Spence fought him at close range and made his worker tougher. Prograis did the same thing with Taylor in fighting him in close, and not taking advantage of his much superior outside game.

Maurice looked good in last fight

Hooker did come back in his last fight to defeat journeyman Uriel Perez by a 1st round knockout win on December 20th, but that wasn’t against a world-class level fighter. We don’t know if Hooker has improved or not since his loss to Ramirez, but we’ll find out on the 17th of April when he meets up with Prograis, who might be the best fighter in the light welterweight division.

Prograis did lose to Taylor, but he fought well enough to win, and he clearly had figured out the Scottish fighter by the 9th round. In the last 4 rounds, Prograis had Taylor in retreat and was giving him a lashing as he tried to escape the battlefield.

The way that Prograis adapted and took over the fight in the championship rounds indicates that he knows how to beat Taylor now, and will have an excellent shot at avenging his loss when/if the two face each other in the future.

Hearn excited about Prograis-Hooker fight

“This is a fantastic match-up between two fighters that always deliver great fights,” said Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Hearn. “Regis and Maurice more than played their parts in two epic fights last year, and I know that their styles are going to gel to create another all-action battle. We will announce a huge undercard with World title action and a host of big names in action soon, it’s going to be another epic night of action live on DAZN.”

It would be nice if Hearn can some of his talented fighters on the Prograis vs. Hooker undercard. Fans would like to see guys like Julio Cesar Martinez. He’s a good fighter, and he would be an excellent addition to the card.


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