Regis Prograis will be meeting Josh Taylor next, if Taylor wins in May.
Regis Prograis is already set for the final round of the World Boxing Super Series 140-pound tournament after dominating Kiryl Relikh this past Saturday, and all eyes are on a potential matchup in that final round between Prograis and Josh Taylor, who faces Ivan Baranchyk in Glasgow, Scotland, on May 18.
Without meaning to overlook IBF titleholder Baranchyk (19-0, 12 KO), the fight people want to see at the moment is Prograis (24-0, 20 KO) against Taylor (14-0, 12 KO). They’ve been the two fighters with the most attention since Terence Crawford left 140 for 147, and it would be a matchup of unbeaten, in-prime, talented fighters who can box and bang.
Prograis was a guest on SiriusXM and was asked about that potential matchup, and Taylor being someone who pushes a fast pace.
“I’m the number one and he’s number two…the two best 140-lb fighters in the world and we’re fighting early” – @RPrograis discusses the possibility & how he’d prepare if a fight with Josh Taylor ends up happening#boxing #PrograisRelikh @CommishRandyG @gerrycooney pic.twitter.com/Xwq3RkuGJk
— SiriusXM Boxing (@SiriusXMBoxing) April 30, 2019
“They can come out swinging all those punches, but they’re not gonna hit me with none of them punches,” Prograis said. “On top of that, I’m gonna make them pay for it. You swing and you miss, I’m gonna hit you, and I’m not a soft puncher. When I hit them, they’re gonna pay.”
The new WBA titleholder added, “I think that’s the game plan, to come out and try to pressure me, try to make me fight at a fast pace. But they’re gonna miss. That’s the main thing. But if I need to fight at a fast pace, I can definitely do that any time, any given day of the week I can fight at a fast pace. For the most part, I just make them miss. I make everybody miss. I got real good eyes, my vision is good, and my reflexes are great.”
Asked to make a prediction on how a fight with Taylor would go, Prograis said, “Of course I see myself winning, but it always depends on what I feel like doing in the ring. I can do a whole lot of different things in the ring. For me, it all depends on what my trainer tells me in training camp, how the sparring goes, and then when I get in the ring on fight night, what I feel like doing.”
Prograis also believes that a fight with Taylor would be big for both fighters, big for the division, and big for boxing, providing a rare No. 1 vs No. 2 matchup.
“It is a huge, huge fight. You don’t get this early on. I’m number one and he’s number two. The two best 140-pound fighters in the world and we’re fighting early. This could be a pay-per-view fight three years down the line, but you’re gonna get this if everything goes right. He definitely has to get past Baranchyk first, which is a tough fight.
“Right now that’s a problem in boxing, you don’t get these big fights right now. Everybody is begging for Errol Spence and Terence Crawford, everybody’s begging for Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, but in the 140-pound division, you’ve got the two best and we’re about to fight. If everything goes right, it’ll happen.”
The same could be said, of course, if Baranchyk beats Taylor in May. If that happens, everyone’s probably going to look at Prograis and Baranchyk as the 1-2 in the division — no disrespect to titleholders Maurice Hooker and Jose Ramirez — so same scenario, basically. Whatever happens next month, we’re getting a terrific matchup in the final of this tournament.