For years, Regis Prograis has been looking for 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 most effective 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 most effective of issues within the first spherical, however Prograis appeared to determine Zepeda halfway by way of 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 Spherical 4, Prograis’ stress appeared to be overwhelming Zepeda, who additionally suffered a lower over his left eye within the body.
Within the center rounds, it was clear Zepeda wanted to make some dramatic in-fight changes. As a substitute, he continued to attempt to win the battle off his jab, a technique that had clearly not labored for the reason that earliest moments of the battle. With Zepeda making an attempt — and failing — to beat Prograis to the punch, Prograis was capable of additional tighten his grip on the motion.
Zepeda had a sudden burst of offense in Spherical 10, seeming to buzz Prograis with a large overhand left and managing to comply with up with some extra clear pictures. A return left from Prograis led to a wild brawl that introduced the motion many had fantasized about for the reason that bout was introduced.
Zepeda’s resurgence was short-lived, nonetheless, as Prograis landed a heavy left hand that put Zepeda on rubber legs. Prograis wasted no time closing the present, flurrying with Zepeda in opposition to the ropes, practically knocking him by way of the ropes earlier than one closing left hand despatched Zepeda to the canvas because the referee was stepping in to cease the battle.
The end got here on the 0:59 mark of Spherical 11. Prograis outlanded Zepeda 156 to 66 in response to 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 choice in a incredible bout with Josh Taylor within the 2019 World Boxing Tremendous Sequence finals.
Since that loss, Prograis has discovered himself frozen out of massive fights, with fighters and their managers showing to exit of their strategy to not need to face off with the New Orleans native. Even the chance to battle for the vacant title in opposition to Zepeda solely got here when Jose Ramirez withdrew from the battle as a result of conflicts along with his wedding ceremony.
After the battle, Prograis made it clear he now not needed to name for the large names. The large names will now need to name for him, and he has all the ability with a world title round his waist.
“I am not gonna say no one’s identify,” Prograis stated. “At first, no one wished to say my identify, however now I am a two-time world champion, now all people’s gonna wish to say my identify. I am gonna allow them to.”