After former junior welterweight world titlist Regis Prograis was declared the winner of his welterweight fight against Ivan Redkach by sixth-round technical decision on Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, an annoyed Prograis walked around the ring shouting, “Give me my knockout!”
On Monday, he got the knockout when the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission changed the result of the bout from a technical decision to a TKO.
Prograis dominated the entire fight and was initially declared the winner by scores of 60-54, 60-54 and 59-54 after Redkach claimed he had been hit below the belt in the sixth round and writhed around the mat before being taken out on a stretcher.
Referee Jim Korb had ruled that Redkach had been felled by a low blow and eventually sent the fight to the scorecards for a technical decision when Redkach was unable to continue.
Television replays showed that while Prograis did land a grazing accidental punch to Redkach’s back/kidney area, which is not legal, the shot was clearly not the kind that would render somebody from being able to continue.
Further, Redkach (23-6-1, 18 KOs), 35, a Los Angles-based southpaw from Ukraine, was not hit anywhere near his private parts, yet was holding his cup while he was on the mat as though he had been punched directly in his cup or below.
Sam Katkovski, Prograis’ manager, told BoxingScene that after the bout he told Korb he thought he made the wrong call. On Monday, Katkovski said he emailed commission executive director Matt Woodruff to tell him Korb had misapplied Georgia’s rules in seeking a technical decision.
Katkovski included the pertinent rule in his email. It states in a section specifically about bouts being stopped due to a low blow that “no contestant injured by a low blow may be awarded the contest. If a contestant falls to the ring floor or otherwise indicates an unwillingness to continue because of a claim of a low blow, he shall be declared the loser by technical knockout.”
“I reached out to the commission Monday morning and said, respectfully, based on your rules it should have been a technical knockout,” Katkovski said. “Even after the fight I spoke to them and said there was a mistake in how the judgment was made because it’s in their rules. Matt Woodruff emailed me back and said that it had been corrected and the result was changed. He said they made the call after reviewing their rules.
“I thought Regis fought great and he wanted the knockout and he deserved to have the knockout with that performance.”
Prograis (26-1, 22 KOs), 32, a southpaw from New Orleans, won his second fight in a row since dropping a majority decision in an intense unification battle with Josh Taylor in the final of the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight tournament in October 2019.
After that, Prograis did a one-fight deal with Premier Boxing Champions and knocked out then-undefeated Juan Heraldez in the third round this past October.
Prograis’ team was negotiating a multi-fight deal with PBC after that victory but ultimately opted for a one-fight deal to appear on the Triller Fight Club pay-per-view card headlined by the novelty fight between YouTube personality/novice cruiserweight Jake Paul (3-0, 3 KOs) and former Bellator and ONE champion Ben Askren, who crossed over to make his boxing professional debut and got drilled in the first round.
Katkovski said the win over Redkach put Prograis in a good position.
“We’re a promotional free agent and we’ll explore the next fights and opportunities,” Katkovski said. “Regis wants to fight (former four-division world titlist Adrien) Broner, but what he really wants is the rematch with Taylor if he beats Jose Ramirez. He just wants the winner of that fight and to show he’s the best 140-pounder in the world. If they’re not available, we’ll explore our other options or maybe move up to 147. We’re hoping to fight three times this year. If somebody calls us for a fight in July we’re ready.”
Taylor and Ramirez, who are both promoted by Top Rank and fight on ESPN, meet for the undisputed title on May 22 in Las Vegas. Broner is with PBC as are most of the top welterweights. Katkovski said he has a good relationship with Top Rank and PBC and would consider deals for Prograis with either company.
Dan Rafael was ESPN.com's senior boxing writer for fifteen years, and covered the sport for five years at USA Today. He was the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism.