Via Jeff Aaron: Regis Prograis will face Jose Zepeda for the WBC lightweight belt after stopping Tyrone McKenna in a bout last Saturday night in a 140 lb WBC title elimination match at the Duty Free Tennis Stadium in Dubai.
Nampaw Prograis (27-1, 23 KOs) knocked out 32-year-old McKenna (22-3-1, 6 KOs) in the second round and controlled the fight with boxing. In the fifth season, McKenna suffered a severe cut above her right eye.
A half later, referee Bence Kovacs stopped the match due to McKenna’s slash. Blood was everywhere, making it easy for the referee to choose to pause the game. Injury time is 1:40 of the sixth half.
After the competition, Prograis got a lot of hope from British boxing fans when he said he wanted to go head to head. Jack Catterall.
However, in the dressing room, Prograis made it clear that his next match will be against Jose Zepeda (35-2, 27 KOs) for the soon-to-be-vacated WBC lightweight belt.
Prograis said that if he won the WBC belt he would defend it against Catterall (26-1, 13 KOs) in his first defense, feeling that he deserved the title due to the defeat. decided in 12 controversial rounds against the undisputed champion Josh Taylor on February 26th.
“I feel great. A big step for Tyrone; he’s tougher than I thought,” Regis Prograis told iFL TV. “Look at him and how skinny his body looks like, ‘I’m going to knock him out in one round, two rounds.” God damn, he’s tough.
“That was probably the best outcome because he had everything cut off, and he kept coming. So he’s definitely a tough competition.
“But he brought the fight, that’s what he promised, but once I started boxing, that was all I had to do. I don’t have to go to war with him. When we confronted him, I told him: ‘Look, I’m going to hurt you.’
“What I do. I go, and I hurt people, and I know I have power. I know he’s never felt nothing like it.
“With eight ounces above, most people can’t take my power, especially now that I’m starting to box, people won’t accept it. I just close the box when I close the box, and people can’t touch me. However, I felt like I was at my best at 140 when I had to box,” says Prograis.
You could argue that Prograis might not have had such an easy time if he had fought one of the top five contenders at 140 lb instead of choosing to face McKenna, who is ranked # 17 WBC.
This was the opponent Prograis chose, and fortunately for him the World Boxing Council sanctioned even though McKenna didn’t make the top 15.
It would be much more difficult if Prograis needed to beat one of these boxers in a WBC title elimination match:
- Jose Ramirez
- Subriel Matias
- Jose Zepeda
- Arnold Barboza
- Teofimo Lopez
- Viktor Postol
- Jack Catterall
- Jeremias Ponce
- Sandor Martin
- Brandun Lee
- Shakhram Giyasov
“I got caught up in a fight, which you’re referring to against Josh Taylor, and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted,” Prograis said. “But when I was boxing, most people couldn’t touch me.
“My problem is, I love going to war. It’s just me mentally and why I’m a fighter. But now, when I’m boxing, it’s easy, a lot easier, and at the same time, I can get people out there, and that’s the longevity of my career. I think will definitely move forward; I need more canning.
“I don’t think it could be my next fight because we are fighting for the WBC. I and [Jose] Zepeda is supposed to fight for the WBC, so I don’t think that’s possible for my next fight,” Prograis said when asked if he wants to face Jack Catterall next.
“But after me and Zepeda, the winner will be Jack Catterall. I feel like Jack Catterall deserves a chance at the belt because of course, what happened with the Josh Taylor decision.
“Hopefully, we can. Hopefully one day, Jack and I can make that happen,” said Prograis.