Regis Prograis wouldn’t predict a knockout of Josh Taylor, let alone a round in which it’ll happen.
The powerful southpaw from New Orleans is completely confident, however, that he’ll beat Taylor in the final of the World Boxing Super Series’ 140-pound tournament. Prograis discussed his October 26 fight against the Scottish southpaw Monday during a press conference in London.
“I really cannot see how he can beat me,” Prograis said. “I just can’t. You know, not to be cocky, not to be arrogant, but I can’t see it. Like, he been hurt. He was, you know, his last fight with Baranchyk, he cut him up. I told him after his last fight, ‘You know, you can’t …’ ”
Taylor interrupted at that point to tell Prograis that an accidental headbutt caused the cut over his left eye during his 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over Ivan Baranchyk in the WBSS semifinals May 18 at SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
“Nah, that was a punch,” Prograis replied. “I saw it. He dropped you, too, but they ain’t call it. But whatever. And [Viktor] Postol hurt him.”
An incredulous Taylor refuted Prograis’ account of what happened when he beat Baranchyk, who was knocked down twice during the sixth round and lost on all three scorecards (117-109, 115-111, 115-111).
“What fight were you watching?,” Taylor asked.
“The same fight you was fighting in,” Prograis retorted.
Taylor then quipped, “Maybe you need glasses, bud.”
“Alright. Whatever,” Prograis replied. “What about Postol? Postol hurt him. But anyways, that’s past fights. … It’s gonna be me and him. It’s not gonna be Postol. It’s not gonna be Baranchyk. It’s not gonna be none of my fights. So that’s past fights, and I think he’ll come, he’s definitely gonna bring his ‘A’ game and I’m gonna bring my ‘A’ game. And like I said, this is gonna be one hell of a fight. So, I’m excited to come over here and, you know, this is something I’ve been wanting, you know, for a long time.”
Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs), the No. 1 seed in the tournament, and Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs), the No. 2 seed, will fight for Prograis’ WBA super lightweight title, Taylor’s IBF junior welterweight crown and the Muhammad Ali Trophy. The 30-year-old Prograis has been installed as nearly a 2-1 favorite versus the 28-year-old Taylor ahead of their bout at O2 Arena in London (DAZN, Sky Sports Box Office).
“I don’t know,” Prograis said when asked if he thinks he’ll stop Taylor. “I know we fighting for the Ali trophy, but I’m not Ali. I can’t say, you know, what round or nothing like that. I’m gonna go out there and I’m gonna do my thing. You know, just like I always say. I just go out there, I have fun, I do my thing and that’s what I’m gonna do. So, far as if I’m gonna hurt him or knock him out, I don’t know. But so far, I’ve been dominating. That’s what I plan to do, you know, October 26th.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.