In addition to crowning the winner of the Muhammad Ali trophy, the WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles will also be unified when the number one seed Regis Prograis faces number two seed Josh Taylor in the final of the World-Boxing Super Series at the 02 Arena in Greenwich, London.
The bout represents one of the most mouthwatering matchups of the year between two highly skilled, undefeated southpaw operators determined to assert themselves as the best fighter in the division.
Indeed, Prograis has looked positively sensational on his route to the final, outclassing former WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan over twelve before pummelling WBA champion Kiryl Rellikh into submission after six rounds of one-sided punishment.
With his consistently impressive and skilful displays, ‘Rougarou’ – as he is nicknamed – has heightened his profile in his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana and has established himself as one of American boxing’s superstars.
Taylor, the self-styled Tartan Tornado, has looked similarly impressive – blitzing previously undefeated Ryan Martin in seven rounds before outpointing Belarussian IBF champion Ivan Baranchyk in his last fight, to become a world champion.
Like Prograis, the Edinburgh native has already beaten several notable names in a career spanning only fifteen fights, including domestic rival Ohara Davies, seasoned veteran Miguel Vazquez, and Ukrainian former WBC champion Viktor Postol.
A rapid-fire combination puncher with a penchant for brutalising his counterparts to the body, Taylor, a marginal underdog, believes that his experience – both as a professional and a former amateur medallist – will stand him in good stead for the biggest fight of his career.
His American counterpart, meanwhile, has showcased different dimensions to his game throughout the last couple of fights with slick upper-body movement and surgical counter punching in addition to the devastating punching power he displayed last year, obliterating Nambia’s former unified champion Julius Indongo inside two rounds.
Ultimately, expect a closely-contested shootout where neither fighter is dominant, and for Prograis to be the beneficiary of a close verdict in his favour after twelve rounds, courtesy of a decisive knockdown scored in the later rounds.
Taylor will look typically lively in the early rounds and enjoy sustained periods of success with his volume-punching approach, before Progais – gradually working his way back into the fight with his exquisite timing coupled with his more powerful single shots – is declared the winner by the narrowest of margins.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________