Regis Prograis is convinced he is a much improved fighter from the version he was in 2019.
He can’t say the same for longtime nemesis Josh Taylor.
Prograis, the newly crowned WBC 140-pound titlist from New Orleans, thinks Scotland’s Taylor, the WBO titlist, has plateaued as a fighter, saying he has not seen any tangible improvement from the Scotsman since their highly competitive junior welterweight unification bout three years ago in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series tournament. Two judges scored it for Taylor (117-112, 115-113), while one had it a draw (114-114).
While Taylor would go on to become the undisputed champion at 140 with a win over Jose Ramirez in May 2021, he has not fared well since then. Taylor’s last win, a split decision over England’s Jack Catterall, was highly controversial and prompted cries of corruption. Taylor has since relinquished three of his belts in order to focus on settling the score with Catterall in a rematch, reportedly set for early February in Glasgow.
Prograis, meanwhile, became a two-time champion at 140 last Saturday night in Carson, California with a stoppage over Jose Zepeda to become the WBC beltholder, which was one of the titles vacated by Taylor. The win was all the more satisfying for Prograis as he had been frustrated by his inability to land major fights since the loss to Taylor. After the win over Zepeda, Prograis insisted his top priority is to get in the ring once more with Taylor to even the score.
Prograis, 33, does not think it will be close a second time around.
“He hasn’t gotten better,” Prograis said of Taylor in an interview with FighHubTV. “I think he hasn’t gotten better. I think he’s the same fighter. For me, I’m constantly improving, bro. I just wanna be like Bernard Hopkins or something. I’m constantly improving. I’m constantly getting better. I’m like fine wine. As I age, I’m gonna get better. That’s what I kind of did. For three years, I worked, I worked, I worked. I feel like I’m better. If me and him do fight again, I can guarantee I’ll beat him.”
The heavy-handed Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) believes he may even earn a stoppage over Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) if they fight again.
“I’ll beat him—I might stop him,” Prograis said of Taylor. “I feel like I might stop him. I just feel like I’m superior, bro. I’m way better. I’m superior … Mentally-wise I’m not the same fighter anymore. I’m more serious about training.”