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Prograis vs. Taylor: War of Words Before WBSS Final In London

Prograis vs. Taylor
Joseph Hammond

In an Exclusive, Former Champ Miguel Vazquez Picks Taylor to Defeat Prograis

In front of hundreds of Scottish fight fans in Canary War, a confident Josh Taylor vowed to knockout Regis Prograis in their 140 pound title unification in the World Boxing Super Series final on Saturday at London’s O2 Arena.

The fight will be for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, and the weigh-in got heated as both fighters seemed to draw inspiration from Ali in their use of mind games before the fight.

During a final face off before ring center on Saturday, the two traded profanity and vows to punish the other after Prograis had to take off his drawers to make the weight-limit after he was initially one ounce over.

“I can’t wait to do a number on this mouth piece tomorrow, I am going to shut his mouth up. He is going to go back to America with his tail between his legs,” Taylor told the crowd and media.

Prograis was equally clear that he would emerge the winner and the bad blood between the two was clearly visible during their moments together on stage as Prograis used profanity to also make his point.

Back stage, Prograis fumed at the comments Taylor made and was visibly upset–though he did stop to take photos with adoring fans.

As a child, Prograis fled New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Katrina and spent most of his formative years in Texas. Prograis, who recently moved to Los Angeles, arrived to London early for the fight to acclimate himself to London.

The fight was long-delayed and Prograis’ team originally proposed New York for the meeting. The O2 Arena offers a somewhat neutral location. London is far from Josh Taylor’s fan base in Scotland and on stage at the weigh-in the announcer admitted that, “Scots don’t always get a warm welcome in London.”

Taylor holds the IBF world Super Lightweight title and will challenge for Prograis’ WBA & WBC Diamond Super Lightweight champion. The card will also feature U.K. favorite Derek Chisora vs. David Price and Lee Selby vs. Ricky Burns, who is the first Scotsman to have won world titles in three weight divisions.

EXCLUSIVE: FORMER CHAMPION OFFERS HIS THOUGHTS

“He is strong and is a better combatant and has more potential to win, said Former IBF lightweight title holder Miguel Vázquez in an exclusive interview with Round By Round Boxing ahead of the clash.” “While Prograis might be a boxer [stylistically] I am picking Josh Taylor to win 100 percent.”

Vázquez fought Taylor in 2017 and though he was dominant in some of the early rounds, he eventually succumbed to Taylor’s superior power. It was the first-and-only stoppage loss in Vazquez’s 50-fight career thus far. Earlier this year Vazquez returned to London and lost to local favorite Ohara Davies in a fight that many thought Vazquez won (Davies, according to Vazquez, said as much after that fight).

Some Prograis supporters from the U.S. cheered for their champion and stayed politely to watch the other fighters weigh-in. A member of Prograis’s camp who knows Prograis from New Orleans spoke to RBRBoxing off the record.

He said that behind closed doors Regis is very angry about the way Josh Taylor has escalated the war of words.

Prograis, he claims, is focused on finishing Taylor as early as possible potentially even before the end of the fifth round. Whatever the truth may be, the bad blood between them has the makings of an explosive combination on Saturday night.

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