For years, Regis Prograis has been trying to find any alternative to get again to the standard of fights he felt he deserved as one of many world’s elite fighters. Prograis’ alternative got here on Saturday night time and he made the perfect of it, knocking out Jose Zepeda within the eleventh spherical to seize the vacant WBC junior welterweight championship.
The early rounds noticed each fighters give attention to working off the jab, making an attempt to determine timing and distance. Zepeda received the perfect of issues within the first spherical, however Prograis appeared to determine Zepeda halfway via the second as he discovered success with laborious left-hand counters from his southpaw stance and put some additional steam on his lightning-quick jab.
A notoriously gutsy fighter, Zepeda continued to attempt to search for solutions, whilst Prograis’ assault picked up steam. By the tip of Round 4, Prograis’ stress appeared to be overwhelming Zepeda, who additionally suffered a minimize over his left eye within the body.
In the center rounds, it was clear Zepeda wanted to make some dramatic in-fight changes. Instead, he continued to attempt to win the struggle off his jab, a technique that had clearly not labored because the earliest moments of the struggle. With Zepeda making an attempt — and failing — to beat Prograis to the punch, Prograis was in a position to additional tighten his grip on the motion.
Zepeda had a sudden burst of offense in Round 10, seeming to buzz Prograis with a large overhand left and managing to comply with up with some extra clear photographs. A return left from Prograis led to a wild brawl that introduced the motion many had fantasized about because the bout was introduced.
Zepeda’s resurgence was short-lived, nevertheless, as Prograis landed a heavy left hand that put Zepeda on rubber legs. Prograis wasted no time closing the present, flurrying with Zepeda towards the ropes, practically knocking him via the ropes earlier than one closing left hand despatched Zepeda to the canvas because the referee was stepping in to cease the struggle.
The end got here on the 0:59 mark of Round 11. Prograis outlanded Zepeda 156 to 66 in keeping with the CompuBox punch stats.
The win kicks off Prograis’ second stint as a world champion. Prograis beforehand gained the WBA title earlier than shedding it by majority resolution in a improbable bout with Josh Taylor within the 2019 World Boxing Super Series finals.
Since that loss, Prograis has discovered himself frozen out of massive fights, with fighters and their managers showing to exit of their option to not must face off with the New Orleans native. Even the chance to struggle for the vacant title towards Zepeda solely got here when Jose Ramirez withdrew from the struggle because of conflicts together with his wedding ceremony.
After the struggle, Prograis made it clear he now not needed to name for the massive names. The huge names will now must name for him, and he has all the ability with a world title round his waist.
“I’m not gonna say no person’s identify,” Prograis mentioned. “At first, no person needed to say my identify, however now I’m a two-time world champion, now everyone’s gonna wish to say my identify. I’m gonna allow them to.”
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