He was 24-0 going into the ring that night in London. All but five of his fights had ended in distance. Additionally, the man’s Creole accent and colorful Louisiana background made for good television (part of the reason he had been an HBO star). Most importantly, Regis Prograis was fighting a great opponent that night – 15-0 Josh Taylor – for the unified junior welterweight championship. Prograis held the WBC crown while Taylor held the IBF. The bout could have been considered a disaster going into it. Needless to say, Prograis walked out of the ring after the fight that night with his first loss to him on record and without possession of his WBC belt. He had fought well, but Taylor surpassed him.
In normal times that wouldn’t have been a big deal. In 21st century boxing, however, a defeat can be the death knell for one’s career. In the UFC a loss is a loss, in contemporary boxing it’s a stain. Ridiculous, sure, but it is what it is. Apparently Rocky Marciano, Floyd Mayweather and a handful of others are the real greats. Names like Ali, Leonard, Pacquiao, Dempsey, Robinson, Louis and countless others need not apply. Fortunately, Prograis has chosen to ignore this preposterous narrative. Of course, the man has continued to fight since the Taylor fight, going 3-0, all by stoppage. What Prograis doesn’t seem to have done, however, is let the one L on his resume bend his psyche.
Leading up to his fight this weekend with Jose Zapeda, Prograis has been quiet and confident. Even a menacing grin from Zapeda during this week’s final press conference face-off didn’t faze the man. One would think Prograis would be at least a little anxious at the moment, given that his scheduled 12 round at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson California this weekend is for the WBC junior welterweight belt. Here he is, with the ability to once again have a green belt around his waist, and he’s just chilling out. That, however, is just Prograis.
“I’m going to do my job on Saturday night,” she said ESNEWS after the staredown with Zapeda. “That’s when I’ll do what I have to do.” No bells. No booing. Boxing only. “It’s not me,” he said of the pre-fight antics. “For the most part, I’m quiet. I don’t need to say anything. One thing is certain, Prograis does not lack confidence. “It’s going to be a dominant twelve-round performance,” he said of this weekend’s fight.