Regis Prograis won another world title tonight, dominating Jose Zepeda for the most part en route to winning the round 11 stoppage in Carson, California.
It wasn’t a really exciting fight that some of us had expected, though it wasn’t boring either. What we’ve really seen is just how good Prograis (28-1, 24 KO) is when he’s fully dialed. After feeling Zepeda (36-3, 27 KO) knocked out in the opening round, it’s almost all Prograis from there, when “Rojaro” settled in, found his groove, and gave Zepeda the ultimate bout.
After Zepeda got up a bit and had a very good tenth round, after losing everything on our card from two to nine, Prograis pounced early on the 11th, hitting Zepeda and knocking him down, and the fight was over.
Prograis began his post-fight comments with great respect for Zepeda, saying, “This guy is tough, tough, tough. He came to fight, and he might have given me one of the toughest fights, I won’t even lie. This guy is tough, brother. I have so much respect.” Yours. You set me up to get that belt and I hold that belt. I congratulate you. All the best to you brother. Don’t stop, I feel like you can still be a world champion.”
“I wanted to go out and play it. But maybe in the second or third round, I started to pick up my rhythm.” “But he got it, so I blushed again. I know I trained hard. Just take him into the deep waters and drown him.”
Prograis admitted that Zepeda was, in fact, a faster and better puncher than he expected, as Zepeda said before the fight.
Progress said he plans to take a short break for the holidays, adding, “I’m not going to say anyone’s name. At first nobody wanted to say my name, but now I’m a two-time world champion, and now everyone wants to say my name. I’m going to let them.”
To be clear about this, former player Jose Ramirez has been guaranteed the winner of this fight by the WBC, and Ramirez is #1. Promoted fighters with power by any name get what they promise. Prograis vs Ramirez is likely next, which may not be the easiest thing to do and may go into a bid buy, but this is probably the next battle.
Zepeda vs Prograis highlights
- Yucasta Valley MD-10 Evelyn Bermudez: Scores were 95-95, 97-93, 99-91. BLH got 97-93 for Valle, who now has the IBF and WBO belts at 108, as well as the IBF and WBO belts at 105. So she has options! Good fight, no lulls in play, Vale (27-2, 9 KO) seems to have the best all-around work rate for me, so often in 2-minute rounds, competitive fighting like this, I end up leaning like this on combat orbit. This is just a habit I admit I have, but I can see how the referees were all over the place with this one. Bermudez is now 17-1-1 (6 KO), got her first L. She’s now 0-1-1 out of Argentina, but she sure can fight, that was really competitive.
- Bachoder Jalulov TKO-4 Curtis Harper: I think I’d be about a 10,000 favorite playing one-on-one vs. average basketball in fourth grade. Not a fourth-grader who plays a lot of basketball, maybe even casually, not among the best guys in their friend group. If that happens, and it dominates as expected, I’d like Ray Flores to come call the game. Gallulov goes 12-0 (12 KO). Perhaps the highlight was Harper (14-9, 9 KO) when he was given a point in the second round for a ridiculous headbutt.
- Charles Conwell MD-10 Juan Carlos Abreu: Normally when Team A wins by majority decision and the scores are 95-95, 96-94 and 98-92, you’d expect the 98-92 ruling to be too roomy for Side A. I don’t think that’s the case here, I think the other two were much closer than they are. He really had this fight. BLH scored the fight 99-91 to Conwell on our unofficial card. By no means was Conwell’s best performance (18-0, 13 KOs) and it was clear he needed to get fresh and maybe make some changes in 2023, but he won this fight without question, even struggling a bit. The cut came from a clash of heads late in the first round. Abreu (25-7-1, 23 KO) landed some decent shots but it’s hard to find more than the two rounds he should have had. This is my opinion, however, and as we always say, to be fair, the judges have fixed positions from which they watch the fight. I don’t know exactly what it looked like for those two judges all night.
- Fernando Vargas Jr. TKO-2 Alejandro Martinez: If you thought, “Didn’t I just see Fernando Vargas’ son two weeks ago on ESPN+,” I did, but he was a younger son and different, with a lot of upsides and potential. This guy is a 26 year old 147/154 of sorts, now 7-0 (7 KO) after wiping out two rounds by Martinez (3-3-1, 2 KO), Vargas guy towering over him probably shouldn’t be his opponent tonight nor He really belongs to fighting at this weight. There wasn’t much to see, in all honesty, and it’s hard to be impressed, but they yelled at the TV as usual. But being completely fair to Vargas, while excited to win, he wasn’t suddenly calling out to the world or anything; He looks like a kid with a good head on his shoulders and knows there’s a lot of building to be done. He has a good run and his dad is in his corner too, Fernando Sr. has definitely been put through the boxing wringer, so he knows mistakes going very quickly.