By Jim Calfa: Regis Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) says he wants a rematch with WBO 140-lb champion Josh Taylor following his eleventh-round knockout victory over Jose Zepeda (35-3, 27 KOs) last Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson, California.
It’s doubtful that Prograis will get the chance to fight the Scottish fighter Josh Taylor again because he’s got a rematch with Jack Catterall coming up early next year.
You can argue that knowledgeable boxing fans already recognize that Prograis is better than Taylor at this stage of their careers.
Whatever fighter Taylor once was, he’s gone downhill dramatically since his questionable win over Prograis three years ago.
Perhaps the punishment Taylor took in his grueling fight with Jose Ramirez last year in May 2021 did something to him because he looked like the shell of his former self when he fought and defeated Catterall by a 12-round split decision last February.
The version of Taylor that fought Prograis in 2019 would have been too much for Catterall.
If Taylor wins, he’ll likely defend against former unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez. That’s a bigger fight on paper than a Taylor-Prograis rematch.
Prograis used a combination of skillful head movement and his high-pressure offensive style to wear down & stop #1 WBC Zepeda in the 11th round. Regis knocked Zepeda down, and the fight was subsequently stopped.
At the time of the stoppage, Prograis was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards by the following scores:
Although technically, it was the third defeat during the thirteen-year career for the 33year-old Zepeda, it was his first true loss because his other two losses were from an injury in 2015 and a controversial decision in 2019.
Prograis lost to Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) by a 12-round majority decision three years ago in October 2019, and he feels that he did enough to win that fight.
The judges gave it to Taylor, and he’s not looked Prograis’ way ever since, electing instead to fight beatable opposition in what some feel was a title-milking process.
“This isn’t a surprise [WBC light welterweight]. It may be a surprise to the boxing world,” said Regis Prograis at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night after his win over Jose Zepeda. “It’s not a surprise because I worked my a** off for this.
“I do,” said Prograis when asked if he views himself as a better fighter than Josh Taylor at this career stage. “I want my get back, but right now, I feel like I’m the man in the division.
“I do want to fight him again, but I do feel I’m better than him. We’ll see what happens. I’ve been feeling like that. This is no surprise. I told you, this is no surprise. I feel like I’m the best at 140. I’ve been feeling like that.
“It’s sad in boxing where you take a loss, and I still feel like I won the fight, but you take a loss, and people sweep you under the rug. It’s like I had to climb my way out of boxing hell, and I’m back here.
“For me, it’s not a surprise. I told you that it’s not a surprise. I work my a** off every single day for three years to get back. To answer your question, if the fight presents itself, yeah, I’ll definitely be for sure,” said Prograis about his wanting a rematch with Josh Taylor to avenge his loss from 2019.