By Scott Gilfoid: Former WBA light welterweight champion Regis Prograis will be fighting Tyrone McKenna in the co-feature bout on Sunny Edwards vs. Muhammad Waseem card on March 19th at the Duty-Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai.
This is a terribly disappointing choice of opponent for the great ex-WBA 140-lb champion Prograis to be fighting with him choosing to face bottom-dweller McKenna (22-2-1, 6KOs) instead of one of the top talents at light welterweight.
Prograis had recently been trading words McKenna, but it’s surprising that he chose to take this lower level of opponent. At this point in Prograis’s ten-year pro career, he doesn’t have time to throw away fighting cannon fodder like McKenna.
This is the kind of opponent Prograis should have gotten out of his system when he first turned pro in 2012, not in his tenth year, pushing 34.
Sadly, the 33-year-old Prograis (26-1, 22 KOs) will be fighting for just the third time since losing his WBA 140-lb title in a narrow 12 round majority decision loss to Josh Taylor in October 2019 in London, England.
Since that close, some would say controversial, loss to Taylor in 2019, Prograis has fought just once a year in 2020 and 2021.
So instead of Prograis headlining, as he would be if he’d fought three times in 2020 and 2021, he’s resigned to fighting 31-year-old fringe contender McKenna (22-2-1, 6 KOs) on the undercard recently crowned IBF World flyweight champion Sunny Edwards (17-0, 4 KOs). What a waste.
Prograis’ current ranking at 140 reflects his inactivity: #3 WBC, #5 IBF and #7 WBO.
If Prograis had been fighting three times a year for the last three years instead of on an annual basis, he likely would be ranked #1 by all four of the sanctioning bodies and knocking on the door for a title shot.
When Prograis lost to Taylor in 2019, it was thought that he would hop back in the ring and fight him in a rematch. If not in a rematch, it was believed that Prograis would quickly be thrust back into a position to fight for a world title by immediately fighting in a world title eliminator.
Rather than doing that, Prograis has fought these two name names while spinning his wheels Ivan Redkach and Juan Heraldez.
You’ve got to feel sorry for Prograis because he should have been fighting much better opposition than Redkach and Heraldez. Prograis should have been fighting these guys to get put back into title contention:
- Jose Zepeda
- Jose Ramirez
- Subriel Matias
- Jeremias Ponce
- Shakhram Giyasov
- Jose Pedraza
- Arnold Barboza
In the main event in the card, Sunny Edwards will be making his second defense of his IBF 112-lb title against #4 IBF Muhammad Waseem (12-8 KOs).
Edwards can’t punch, so it’s not unexpected that he’s taking an easy mark for his March 18th fight. Like his brother Charlie Edwards, Sunny has no power at all, and for that reason, its not practical to put him in with a fighter that has any pop in their punches.
The 34-year-old Waseem, a native of Pakistan, hasn’t beaten anyone of note during his seven-year professional career. When Wassem did attempt to step it up against Moruti Mthalane in 2018, he was totally dominated, losing a 12 round decision.
Since that loss, Wassem has played it safe, beating four no-name opponents to get a voluntary defense.