In a battle of undefeated super lightweight prospects, it was the impressive Regis Prograis who made a big statement at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, New York, USA. Californian boxer Joel Diaz Jr., entered the ring with a record of 23 wins, with 19 KOs. He left with his first defeat.
Diaz started the first round fast, throwing combinations that were mostly caught on Prograis gloves. Fighting out of Houston, Texas and known as Rougarou – Regis Prograis started the fight calm with a high guard, looking to get his southpaw jab to work. Diaz was throwing a lot, looking to make an impression with straight left-right combinations from the orthodox stance.
At the beginning of the second round, Prograis landed a straight left that dropped Diaz for a count. Prograis continued to walk his opponent down and the left proved to be the ‘honey’ punch dropping Diaz two more times. No three knockdown rule in effect. Regis continued to batter his foe until a left hook sent the former Olympian to the canvas, for a fourth and final time.
The bout was aired on Shobox, in the US, on a relatively quiet weekend for boxing. 2017 has been a big year for boxing. Going into the fight, Regis Prograis was only ranked by the WBC (No.4), while Joel Diaz held rankings with the WBA (No.9) and IBF (No.13). The main belts are held by P4Per Terence Crawford (WBC & WBO) and Julius Indongo (IBF & WBA). Those two look set for a unification fight, which I believe Crawford wins. After that, the lure of big money fights at welterweight is likely to see Crawford vacate. That would leave a massive scramble for the vacant belts – with the likes of Amir Imam, Viktor Postol, Rances Barthelemy, Sergei Lipinets, Jason Pagara and Maurice Hooker in prime position. The 28-year-old Prograis (20-0, 17 KOs), could more than hold his own against any of those names. He’s already racked up good wins against the likes of Amos Cowart, Abel Ramos and Aaron Herrera and now has shown his ability on Shobox. He possesses the skills and the power to make his mark in the division.