The World Boxing Super Series 140-pound final matches Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis in a 50-50 fight on paper. Both men are unbeaten a victory here would raise their profile and lead to a possible fight with Jose Ramirez and/or a major opportunity at welterweight. The winner will also take home the Muhammad Ali trophy as part of the WBSS. The event streams live on DAZN at the O2 Arena in London, England and let’s hope they get a strong walk up crowd so the stands are packed.
At the beginning of the WBSS season 2 it seemed inevitable these two boxers would meet up in the finals. Lo and behold one year later almost to the day we see Yank versus Scot squaring-off. The amount of quick-twitch athleticism and power on display this Saturday is mouthwatering.
Josh Taylor has the best win of the two combatants on his ledger in Viktor Postol. On his way up the junior welterweight ranks as a prospect and contender, Taylor defeated Miguel Vasquez, Ohara Davies and in the semifinals Ivan Baranchyk. All things considered Taylor is an experienced pro after only 15 bouts and is more than ready to be a handful for anyone at the division moving forward.
While developing his craft Regis Prograis fought names such as Abel Ramos, Julius Indongo, Terry Flanagan, and Kiryl Relikh in the semifinals back in April. Prograis turned pro in 2012, a full 3+ years before the former Scottish Olympian Josh Taylor. Prograis was brought along at a slower pace as a professional and seems to be peaking based off his last time out.
Taylor stays on his toes on the outside and jolts inside the pocket to land quick combination punches. Taylor’s right hook and looping overhand lefts are his go to punches, established by his jab. Taylor would be smart to focus on a more consistent and meaningful jab to score points and to stunt Prograis’ aggression.
Regis Prograis’ straight left hands and right hooks, along with uppercuts, are his favorite punches to throw. Prograis may be the more powerful puncher while Taylor the more accurate, busy fighter.
Something easily identifiable when watching these two pugilists is all too often they look to land a lead punch without setting it up properly, which is great for us fans but could be what changes the fight, for good. Sure they will both land plenty of punches like the ones just described. However, either guy could get hurt or end up on the canvas if the boxer attempting to score a one-punch knockout gets caught with a shorter straighter punch in the process.
In this bout featuring a pair of southpaws we will see lots of clean shots landed. Both men are very skilled offensively but neither will be mistaken for Willie Pep on defense. Taylor’s high guard, especially at close range, leaves his midsection open for damage. While Prograis invites opponents to land flush shots because of how low he keeps his hands. All and all this pairing of primed young guns should deliver a fair amount of two-way action.
Taylor must avoid lengthy stints on the inside, when in the trenches he should make Regis as uncomfortable as possible via rabbit punches. This sounds horrible but if we’re being honest, Taylor does have a tendency to do exactly that. Also, a short clinch could do wonders as he turns and spins out of danger.
Prograis better use some form of a jab as he stalks Taylor down instead of walking in with his chin high, looking to land one big punch. As previously mentioned, these dudes don’t worry enough about defending and whichever boxer pays attention a little more to that detail will win this contest.
Taylor will jump out to a slight lead on the judge’s scorecards, mostly by scoring points on the move using the 2 1/2 inch reach he holds over the ‘Rougarou’ in the early frames. Before long Prograis will begin to trap Taylor near the ropes and look to attack downstairs to slow the Scottish native. Prograis must be patient while cutting the ring off but not to the point of inactivity. Being too choosy with his punches will get him outboxed.
If Prograis can move his upper body some to make Taylor miss in spots it will allow him to counter with heavy lands. Although this fight isn’t taking place directly in Scotland, one can assume a good chunk of Taylor’s fans could sway the judges’ cards. Meaning Prograis will have to win 8 clean rounds and if it’s razor-close with no knockdowns you can bet your bottom dollar Josh Taylor will get the nod.
This boxing degenerate has been on the fence when brainstorming a winner of this styles matchup. If a calmer more collective Regis Prograis we saw take care of Relikh shows up Saturday he will get his hand raised.
My Official Prediction is Regis Prograis by Split-Decision.
Side Note: Shakur Stevenson steps up his competition versus Joet Gonzalez on ESPN+. Also, there’s finally a good card on Showtime, with Erickson Lubin vs. Nathan Galimore and Robert Easter Jr. vs. Adrian Granados.