In the final of the World Boxing Super Series 140-pound tournament, Scotland’s Josh Taylor won a majority decision -- 117-112, 114-114, 115-113 -- over Regis Prograis. With the win, Taylor now holds the IBF and WBA titles at 140 pounds, making him the only man other than WBC-WBO champion Jose Ramirez to hold belts in the weight class.
For those who picked Prograis, the idea was that he would have the advantage on the inside. It was expected that Taylor would have to box at a distance, while Prograis would use good head movement and powerful body punching to create counter opportunities and slow Taylor heading into the later rounds. Prograis winning by late stoppage was a popular opinion. Instead, Taylor looked far bigger and stronger than Prograis on the inside, and he even seemed to bully the man who everyone thought held such a significant power advantage. Credit Prograis for continuing to come forward and make the fight extremely entertaining, but Taylor was simply bigger, stronger and better. While the 117-112 score was a little too wide, he deserved the decision and deserves to hold two titles at junior welterweight.
Taylor also showed a little personality after the fight. At the pre-fight press conference, he mocked Prograis for wearing sunglasses indoors, calling him a “[expletive] wanker” for doing so. The day after the fight, Taylor and Prograis met up to take a photo together, both wearing sunglasses to hide their black eyes and swelling. Taylor ended a social media post praising Prograis by acknowledging the hypocrisy of his fashion choice, writing “Who’s the wanker with the sunglasses on inside now?”
In his last four fights, Taylor has faced opponents with a combined 94-1 record -- the one blemish was Viktor Postol’s loss to Terence Crawford. That alone shows that, despite Ramirez’s undefeated record and two titles, Taylor is the best fighter in the division. Speaking of Postol, that is who is rumored to be Ramirez’s next opponent, so Taylor becoming the undisputed champion at 140 pounds is not likely to happen soon. Beyond that, there is really nobody else in the division who would excite fans. Lewis Ritson’s name is floating around, but nobody outside of the United Kingdom would care about that fight. It will be interesting to see if Taylor opts to chase one of the many well-known names at 147 pounds instead.
Stevenson Beats Gonzalez By Wide Decision
The intriguing backstory about Joet Gonzalez hating the fact that Shakur Stevenson was dating his sister and how that was going provide enough motivation to power Gonzalez to a victory over the Olympic silver medalist was not enough to overcome the vast talent gap. Gonzalez was outlanded 121 to 53 over the course of what was ultimately a 119-109, 119-109, 119-109 unanimous decision that gave Stevenson the WBO featherweight title that Oscar Valdez relinquished when he moved up in weight.
The perfect type of opponent for Stevenson to look good against is a basic, limited offensive fighter. Unfortunately for Gonzalez, he met the qualifications, so even when he managed to slow down Stevenson or trap him in a corner, he was not good enough to punish Stevenson and ended up making him look like a featherweight southpaw Floyd Mayweather.
After the fight, Stevenson called out IBF champion Josh Warrington, who has only fought outside of his hometown once since 2015. Stevenson would likely be the favorite in that fight, but it is a fight that would need to happen overseas to really move the needle, given Stevenson’s lack of star power in the United States at this point in his career. Still, it would be a compelling unification bout.
Stevenson also said that if Gonzalez wants to bury the hatchet, he was willing to do so and wants Gonzalez to get back in touch with his sister. No one got to hear a direct response from Gonzalez because he and his father stormed out of the ring without giving a post-fight interview. Still, when Mark Kriegel caught up with him in the locker room, Gonzalez claimed that Stevenson needed to show him respect and that he could not all of a sudden erase the things that were said about his family before the fight. Later, he admitted “time will tell” how the two men deal with their unique relationship moving forward.
Gonzalez lost tough fight, he if he plans to keep talking about how he does not want Stevenson to date his sister, he needs to be much clearer about why. A certain number of fans on social media came to the conclusion that Gonzalez does not want Stevenson to date his sister because he is black. Like it or not, that is a narrative floating around about Gonzalez, and he would be wise to address it in the future.
Chisora Hands David Price Seventh Stoppage Loss
David Price has never lived up to his 2012 ESPN “Prospect of the Year” billing because he has been extremely easy to knockout throughout his career. That pattern continued, as Price’s corner threw in the towel midway through the fourth round of his encounter with Dereck Chisora, seeing their fighter was on shaky legs after a knockdown.
The trouble started in the third round for Price, as Chisora landed an overhand right, then held his counterpart’s body with his left hand and chopped away with rights. Price eventually found his back against the ropes, and Chisora teed off on the 6-foot-8 fighter until the end of the round. In the fourth, an uppercut on the inside dropped Price. When he got up, his corner opted not to let their fighter wind up on the wrong side of a highlight-reel knockout and threw in the towel before Price took any more damage.
There is talk of Chisora being Oleksandr Usyk’s next opponent at heavyweight, which would serve as a great test for Usyk while not throwing him in the ring with a truly elite heavyweight before he is ready. There is also the possibility that Chisora fights Joseph Parker, the man he was originally supposed to face on this card before a spider bite forced Parker out of the match. As for Price, at 36 years old, it is hard to imagine what good could come from his continuing to get knocked out by quality fighters after convincing the world he is back by beating up on British journeyman. He should probably find something else to do.
Easter Jr. Decisions Granados Despite Massive Weight Difference
When the California State Athletic Commission came out with a rule that fighters could not be more than 15 percent heavier on fight night than the fight’s official weight, the MMA world went nuts. However, the boxing world did not seem to care, noting that huge weight cuts are an MMA thing, not a boxing thing. There are exceptions. Adrian Granados showed up 35 pounds heavier than he was at the weigh-in, weighing 167 pounds on fight night after weighing 141.5 at the weigh-in. That is about an 18 percent difference.
All that weight did not do much for Granados, as he lost a 100-90, 98-92, 97-93 unanimous decision to Robert Easter Jr. in a fight that was not as wide in the ring as it was on the scorecards. Granados was convinced he won the fight, though Showtime’s scorer had him losing, as well. While there is no way he won none of the rounds, much of Granados’ issue with the scoring likely lies in that he was the aggressor throughout the fight, even though Easter boxed pretty well. Either way, Easter won and called out all the champions at 140 pounds. With his sole loss as a professional coming to Mikey Garcia in 2018, we will have to sit back and see what the rest of his career has in store.
Lubin Decisions Gallimore, Calls For Charlo Rematch
One was an Olympic hopeful that USA Boxing was devastated to discover turned pro instead of making a run at gold, while the other did not start boxing until age 23. While not always, in this case, the fight played out exactly how you would expect it to go based on the combatant’s amateur pedigrees.
Erickson Lubin cruised to an easy 99-91, 99-91, 99-91, 99-91 unanimous decision over Nathaniel Gallimore, easily outboxing him throughout but lacking the power to stop the man who had never been stopped as a professional. After the fight, Lubin called out Jermell Charlo for a rematch. Charlo brutally knocked him out with an uppercut back in 2017, but he is looking to avenge his own loss in a rematch with Tony Harrison. Charlo is also reportedly paying for the funeral of fallen boxer Patrick Day in an extremely classy move.
Darchinyan, Benn Score Wins Over Outmatched Opponents
A couple relatives of great fighters scored some wins over opponents that were never going to give them any problems. Vic Darchinyan’s nephew, Arman Darchinyan, made his professional debut and easily stopped winless opponent Kendall Mayes-Taylor in the second round. Darchinyan is trained by Freddie Roach, which is a good sign for how seriously he is taking his career. While Nigel Benn is, insanely returning to boxing himself at 55 years old, his 23-year-old son, Conor Benn, moved to 16-0 with a fourth-round knockout of Belgium’s Steve Jamoye.
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