This weekend we have a very exciting match up in the World Boxing Super Series final between Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor as they put their world titles on the line, along with Muhammed Ali trophy being up for grabs! Not only that, there is also a fantastic undercard which will no doubt cause a few fireworks! Hopefully we have ‘Fight of the Year’ contender this Saturday.
Prograis vs Taylor
Now if I’m being honest, I think this is probably one of the best match ups of 2019 so far. Two undefeated world champions going toe to toe for to become unified champion, along with the ring magazine belt being on the line and the WBSS Ali trophy. It doesn’t’t get much better than this!
Now there was few points during the WBSS when we felt this fight might not even happen, especially with the legal nonsense which was going on behind the scenes between Prograis’ camp and the tournament. Thankfully this was resolved and fans will now get a cracking final where the best fight the best.
In terms of both fighters journeys, it’has been fairly straight forward to get to the final. But if I had pick who had the easier time, it would probably be Prograis. The New Orleans boxer managed a straight forward UD victory of Terry Flanagan in his first fight, while he simply managed to breakdown a vulnerable Kiryl Relikh to win his first world title in the semi-final. The question around Prograis is how will he handle someone of the class of Taylor?
The Scotsman on the other hand had a simple first fight against the Ryan Martin, who really didn’t have an answer for him resulting in a TKO. However, his semi-final fight was against a very tough competitor in Baranchyk, who comes with relentless pressure and physical strength. Taylor really showed his overall boxing class that night as he manged to show his full range of talent and power knocking him down twice as he went onto become a world champion.
What should we expect in this fight? Both of them fight out of southpaw stance which could see them clash at times. I very much expect the opening rounds will sound each other out to see how they respond to each other feints and jabs. Both will want to have control as the fight goes on, so it will be interesting to see who the main aggressor will be.
For Regis Progais, he is a very difficult customer for anyone he faces, especially at getting up close and fighting on the inside. The American will definitely try his best to apply this type of pressure on Taylor, but it’has whether the Scotsman is able to use his ring IQ to adapt to a savvy fighter who will have a few tricks up his sleeve to get up close and fight on the inside.
Looking at the stats Taylor has a big physical advantage, He’has taller, at 5’10” to Prograis’ 5’8”, along with having a slightly longer reach, 69½” to Prograis’ 67” (source badlefthook.com). This may well be a key aspect in the fight. I feel if Taylor can keep at distance, use his reach and footwork it could be straight forward night. The Scotsman did seem very confident when talking to DAZN about how his style will help him in this fight. He said:
“I’m all about my speed, reactions and timing. My footwork is very good. I can offset you with feints and timing, but I punch real hard as well for someone of my size. I wouldn’t say I was a concussive, one-punch knockout artist, but I know if I hit you, you’re either going down or you’re going to be hurt and in trouble. So, I definitely think I can do a bit of everything.”
Taylor did also state that the fight could go one of two ways:
“It might be a skillful boxing match throughout the entire fight, or we could just lock horns and fight, or a bit of both. You never know.”
I think locking horns with Prograis we be a risk and that he should avoid doing this when he can in the fight. Close range is where “Rougarou” will want take the Scottish star so he can land his vicious sharp shots up close. He will have to hope his trainer Shane McGuigan will be able to guide him in the right direction through out the duration of the fight.
In terms of my prediction, I have to go with my fellow countrymen in Josh Taylor, having seen him box in flesh a couple of time now, I can’t help but notice his intense and boxing style will help him once again here. It will be hard battle to get one over Prograis, but I just feel scene is perfect for Taylor to shine and lift the Ali Trophy as he fights on home soil. Taylor Pts Decision
The undercard is a cracker in my opinion! You’ve got an excellent heavyweight match up between Chisora and Price which is make or break for both fighters again – I can’t help but see a KO taking place at some point in this bout.
Two former world champions in Ricky Burns and Lee Selby face each other in an intriguing match up, while Lawrence Okolie returns to the ring with the aim of becoming a European Cruiserweight Champion. Conor Benn will also be returning to ring at welterweight as he continues to build up his record. Check out the undercard below along with my predictions:
Derek Chisora vs David Price – WBO inter-continental heavyweight title – Chisora TKO
Ricky Burns vs Lee Selby – lightweight contest – Selby Pts
Yves Ngabu vs Lawrence Okolie – European Curuiserweight title – Okolie KO
Conor Benn vs Steve Jamoye – WBA continental welterweight title – Benn TKO
Denis Radovan vs Luke Blackledge – super middleweight contest – Blackledge Pts
Shannon Courtenay vs Melinda Habran – super bantamweight contest – Courtenay TKO
You can watch the fight on DAZN – US/Canada and on Sky Sports in the UK.
I’ll leave you with the Prograis vs Taylor Gloves Are Off video just below:
Enjoy the fight and thanks for reading.
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