Regis Prograis a Potential Next Step for Dalton Smith

By Charles Brun - 03/27/2024 - Comments

Matchroom promoter Frank Smith is chirping about pairing his fighter #13, WBC Dalton Smith, against former WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis following Dalton’s lucky fifth-round knockout victory over the aging Jose Zepeda last Saturday night in Sheffield, England. Smith looked pretty shaky against the fossil Zepeda.

Although the win over the past his prime second-tier fighter Zepeda, who at 34 was no spring chicken, was a step up in competition for Smith (16-0, 12 KOs).

Dalton needs a solid victory over a true top-tier contender like Prograis to be taken seriously as a viable opponent for WBC 140-lb champion Devin Haney. If this fight happens, Prograis (29-2, 24 KOs) will wipe the floor with Dalton.

A Much-Needed Reality Check

“Regis Prograis is a great fight; that would be an amazing fight,” Frank Smith told ESPN. We represent Regis as well, but that would show the level that Dalton Smith is at. But there are lots of big fights to be made. Let’s see.”

It would be good for the fans to have Dalton matched against Prograis because that would at least weed him out and make it clear that he’s domestic-level like Adam Azim. Matchroom could put Dalton in with at least 12 contenders, and they would expose him in a heartbeat, showing his level.

Until scoring a body shot stoppage in the fifth, Dalton looked average and almost timid against Zepeda in their fight last weekend. Nothing in that performance suggests that Dalton can beat even this version of Prograis, who, at 35, has seen better days.

It would be good for Matchroom to throw Dalton in with Prograis in a sink-or-swim fashion because if he can’t handle this level of opponent, he has no business getting in the ring with Haney. That’s not what this is about, though.

Eddie Hearn: Protecting His Investment?

Eddie Hearn is obviously keeping Dalton away from the killers to move him into position for a big life-changing payday, which has no chance of winning, but he’ll make good money in the process of getting beaten badly by Haney or whoever has the WBC belt.

Dalton is being moved through the backdoor without taking risky fights, which is why we saw him matched against the washed non-contender Jose Zepeda. He had lost two out of his last three fights going into last Saturday’s match against Smith. Casuals weren’t aware of that, and the lazy hardcore fans didn’t know about it.

Some of the contenders Dalton could realistically lose to:

Gary Antunanne Russell
Sandor Martin
Arnold Barboza Jr.
Jose Ramirez
Liam Paro
Shohjahon Ergashev
Richardson Hitchins
Josh Taylor
Ryan Garcia
Jamaine Ortiz
Kenneth Sims
Jack Catterall