Prograis vs Taylor: The Fight City Picks

Another week, another best-vs-best match that unifies belts and adds some always needed clarity to the boxing landscape. Enjoy it while you can, fight fans! As we all know, this is not the norm. Last week it was Artur Beterbiev vs Oleksandr Gvozdyk; on Saturday it’s the latest showdown from the good people at the World Boxing Super Series, the final clash in their tournament for the 140 pound division. It comes down to Josh Taylor vs Regis Prograis; both undefeated, both boast shiny hardware, both are in the conversation when it comes to the best boxers in the world. And so the fight fanatics at your preferred independent website are of course ready and willing to give you their picks for one of the year’s best match-ups. Check ’em out:

Both Prograis and Taylor have clearly demonstrated their worth to the junior welterweight division, making a showdown between them one of this year’s most highly-anticipated fights, and a rare best vs best matchup where promotional, managerial or some otherwise extracurricular bullshit doesn’t enter into the equation. It’s a real fight, and one that should truly be interesting, if not explosive. Between them they have 39 fights, with 32 ending early. This one may hurt a bit. Call it more hunch than anything, as this match-up is relatively tough to figure on paper, but Prograis is on a tear and I’m looking for him to overwhelm Taylor down the stretch after weathering some difficult moments early on. Prograis by late round TKO.         — Patrick Connor 

I can see either man winning. The power and agile explosiveness of Prograis could overwhelm Taylor. On the other hand, the taller Scot might have the length and skills to largely keep “Rougarou” at bay. Best guess is that Taylor is able to do just that, but he’ll likely have to endure some scary moments, and possibly even a knockdown or two. Taylor by close decision win.             — Hunter Breckenridge

As with most southpaws, Taylor uses his right jab to battle a directly opposing left jab. But with the path clearer in a southpaw vs southpaw match, Taylor will be committing more to his jab, aiming for the head, to keep Prograis at bay. From the outside, I believe this will make him susceptible to Prograis’ proactive upper body movement, which keeps opponents guessing and creates counter-punching opportunities. I also envision Prograis finding the mark with an overhand left set up by a body jab, another tactic made more effective by the southpaw vs southpaw dynamic. But if the action unfolds on the inside, Regis is the more skillful and shrewd in-fighter. (Watch as he places his head under the opponent’s chin, deftly eliminating punching room while creating more space for his own body attack.) Combined with his underrated physical strength at 140, this should enable him to nullify the naturally bigger Scotsman. Similar to Lomachenko vs Campbell, I foresee a competitive fight, but not a close one. Prograis by decision or late stoppage.        — Lee Wylie

This will be an absorbing chess match that might turn physical as the contest wears on, especially if Taylor has his way and then draws on the crowd’s energy. I can’t see either man dominating, but I do lean very slightly towards Prograis, who has been the picture of cool in the build-up. It’s his speed, slickness and timing versus Taylor’s engine and offence, and it could go either way. With no great deal of confidence, I’ll take Prograis by split decision.          — Ronnie McCluskey

While Prograis’s bravado manifests itself in his aggressive style, he has recently shown crafty skills against Terry Flanagan and Kiryl Relikh. As if an aggressive southpaw with two-fisted power isn’t enough, Prograis is also deceptively hard to hit. I expect him to come out strong and hold the upper hand early. But Josh Taylor has demonstrated more than once his impressive ring IQ. His intelligence is almost unparalleled for a boxer with only fifteen pro bouts, as he has shown multiple dimensions to his game against Viktor Postol and Ivan Baranchyk, both giving him trouble early. I expect Taylor to make adjustments and catch up to Prograis in the middle rounds, unless “Rougarou” tags him with the kind of big shot that completely alters the match.

But I won’t be surprised if this one is decided by who wants it more in the late rounds. It might start slow and technical, but I expect a “Fight of the Year” type war to break out, with Taylor ultimately coming out on top by a close decision. I just think there’s slightly more dimension to his game, which will be critical in such an evenly matched affair.            — Alden Chodash

Taylor tags Postol.

Regis Prograis seems to be the goods and while Taylor has the skills to outbox the American, I don’t see him being able to do so for the full twelve. Prograis is going to get inside and do damage and I don’t see Taylor withstanding the firepower coming his way. Prograis by late round stoppage.        — Jamie Rebner

Taylor by decision. I see him starting fast, setting a whirlwind pace, and forcing Prograis to continually reset as the Scotsman sticks and moves and mixes up his shots to both body and head. He will get off first and then finish the exchanges, all the while pumping the jab. Prograis will have his moments but this will be “The Tartan Tornado’s” grand night, the night he becomes a genuine sports star and a hero in Scotland. Taylor by decision.       — Robert Portis 

“Rougarou” can bang.

Prograis and Taylor can both bang, and have a combined knockout ratio of over eighty percent, but the American is generally regarded as the bigger hitter. Taylor is more mobile, with great bilateral movement, and he’s faced some stiff competition in Viktor Postol and a then-undefeated Ivan Baranchyk, but Prograis, for me, is on the cusp of pound-for-pound status. It’s a big step up, even for a man who will one day stand with Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt in the pantheon of great Scottish boxers.

‘The Tartan Tornado’ has fought his last few matches at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro, and though he will technically be the home fighter in London, he cannot expect his usual raucous support. He has a higher punch output, but Prograis picks his shots well. The Scotsman will outbox him for stretches, but a big Prograis counter will send him to the late. I’ll be watching from Taylor’s home city of Edinburgh, and would love for him to win, but I’m predicting a close points win for the American.             — Rob Lownie

This is pretty close to a fifty-fifty match-up and I’m tempted to take the experience of Prograis as the difference, but I keep coming back to Taylor. The Scotsman is world class, as is the American, but Taylor has a size advantage, and his uppercut is spectacular. I can see Taylor landing some flashy shots, knocking Prograis’ head back, and taking rounds like that. Also, I used to live in Edinburgh, so I can’t help but support the local. Taylor by close decision.              — Joshua Isard

Despite only 15 pro bouts, Taylor has no shortage of elite-level experience.

Another weekend, another unification fight, another extremely tough call. I like “Rougarou’s” mixture of upper body movement and power and he’s clearly the heavier hitter. The question is whether he can land his left often enough to hurt Taylor and get the stoppage, or at least back him up and consistently outfight him over the distance. Taylor’s bouts with Baranchyk and Postol, two solid twelve-round wins, should stand him in good stead and I see this being a distance fight. No doubt both will have to go through some rough patches, but I think Taylor can dig in and fight on even terms when needed, avoid the worst of Prograis’ left hand counters, and then get off fast combinations. Taylor on points in an excellent fight.               — Matt O’Brien

I think I may regret putting this down for the record, but as things stand, I simply feel Taylor is the sharper all around boxer. Prograis is talented, but that low hanging left, coupled with his opponent’s razor sharp ring generalship, leads me to feel Taylor will take it by decision.            — Sean Crose

I see “Rougarou” eventually landing some heavy artillery and that being the difference. Taylor will keep getting up and fighting back, but he’s going to take some serious punishment and just barely survive. Prograis by wide decision if Taylor’s corner doesn’t stop it.       — Neil Crane

Best vs Best: this should be a great one.

The very purpose of the World Boxing Super Series was to birth bouts of this quality. Taylor’s performances over the last eighteen months have shown the Edinburgh native can adapt. He’s been forced to rough up opponents, but has also shown tremendous boxing at range, mixing sneaky pivots with shots deceivingly spread between head and body. Although Prograis is giving away a few centimetres, his aggressive, springing style could cause Taylor some issues early on. He’s always looking to punish opponents and is as game as they come. But after six rounds, I think Taylor will have dissected the man from New Orleans’ approach and made the necessary amendments. Taylor by unanimous decision.          — Craig Scott

This is a good, old-fashioned pick ’em fight, as in flip a coin; either man could take it. Certain intangibles, such as the bout happening in the UK, had me leaning towards “The Tartan Tornado.” He’s proved himself and has shown the ability to adapt during fights and overcome adversity. That said, while I admire the Scotsman’s skill and heart, I don’t think either will allow him to withstand the raw power of Prograis. At some point Taylor is going to get nailed and hurt, and “Rougarou” won’t hesitate to go for the finish. That said, as long as it lasts, Taylor will give it all he’s got and I’m anticipating a terrific battle. Prograis by TKO.        — Michael Carbert

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One thought on “Prograis vs Taylor: The Fight City Picks

  • October 24, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Taylor by controversial split decision


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