From Regis Prograis’ perspective, at least the Georgia Athletic & Entertainment Commission changed the result of his fight with Ivan Redkach from a technical decision to a technical-knockout victory.
It would’ve bothered the former WBA super lightweight champion if he didn’t get what he feels is the proper credit for his defeat of Redkach. Prograis still can’t quite believe the lengths to which Redkach went to sell a low blow that Prograis never landed Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
New Orleans’ Prograis discussed that strange scene during an appearance Monday on SiriusXM’s “At The Fights,” co-hosted by Randy Gordon and Gerry Cooney.
“When he was rolling on the ground and stuff like that,” Prograis said, “I was like, ‘Man, he just wanted a way out.’ You know how that goes. He didn’t wanna get knocked out. He just wanted a way out. He was getting beat every round. And so, in that round, I think it was the sixth round, right before the round started, I told my coach, ‘All right, I’m gonna start putting it on him. I’m gonna start walking him down. I’m gonna start putting it on him.’ Because he didn’t hit me, man. Look at my face. Like, I didn’t get hit. I really didn’t get hit. I’m too pretty. You know, I’m talking about I did not get touched. He did not hit me.”
The powerful Prograis (26-1, 22 KOs) was beating Redkach easily entering the sixth round on the Jake Paul-Ben Askren undercard.
Once his right hand grazed the side of Redkach’s body, the Ukrainian southpaw fell to his gloves and knees. Then Redkach held his groin and rolled around on the canvas, as if Prograis hit him low.
Referee Jim Korb granted Redkach (23-6-1, 18 KOs, 1 NC) the standard five minutes to recover from what was ruled an accidental foul. When Redkach declined to continue, Prograis initially was ruled the winner by technical decision (60-54, 60-54, 59-55).
Medical personnel removed Redkach from the ring on a stretcher. The result later was changed to a TKO win for Prograis.
Prograis is convinced Redkach knew he was about to get knocked out and simply didn’t want to suffer that fate.
“He couldn’t hit me and, you know, he didn’t have power,” Prograis explained, “and I was just like, ‘All right, it’s time to close the show.’ So, you know, I started walking him down and, you know, I started hitting him and he knew that was coming. So, he looked for a way out. And if you look at the commentary, even Snoop said, you know, it was probably about 15 seconds before that happened, Snoop Dog said, ‘Yeah, he’s looking for a way out. I think he’s looking for a way out now.’ And that’s exactly what happened.
“Listen, I didn’t even hit him with a hard shot. It barely even landed, but he wanted a way out. You know, so when I was over there, I was looking on the screen, I’m talking to the crowd, because it was a small crowd, so you could hear everybody in the crowd. His wife was cursing me out. She was like, ‘F--- you! F--- you,’ all that. I was like, ‘What?’ His wife was cursing me out and stuff like that. And I was like, ‘I didn’t even hit him low. You know, he’s acting.’ ”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.