While nothing BIG happened this weekend, there were at least some important notes about the three highly ranked characters. Here are the takeaways from the action this Saturday:

– I think I was pretty bad at hiding the fact that Regis Prograis is one of my personal favorite dynamic boxers. However, leading up to him beating Jose Zepeda in eleven rounds last Saturday to claim the vacant WBC junior welterweight belt, I’m starting to think that maybe I like him more in theory. is fact.

Prograis’ talent has always been on display, but a late start to the sport and a breakthrough performance that didn’t happen until he was 28 means time is not on his side when it comes to How far can his talent take him? However, he moved on well, scoring some solid wins and eventually claiming the 140 lb WBA title. A decisive defeat by a razor-thin majority to future 4-belt unified champion Josh Taylor would cost him the belt, but not his place on the world stage.

Then the dubious decision to become an ad-free agency by getting rid of advertiser Lou DiBella.

On the open market, Prograis, who didn’t yet have the name value or marketability to grow on his own, waned and then his star regressed. While on the brink of stardom, with his high-profile talent and werewolf gimmick Cajun Rougarou making him a compelling character, he almost completely fell out of the radar of fans after his death. hand advertising guide.

Wandering from a bottom card slot on a PBC show to a bottom card black hole of Triller’s Jake Paul-Ben Askren, Prograis has lost a good year of progress that, given his age, he absolutely cannot afford to lose. . And, in boxing, as everyone knows, lack of connection goes hand in hand with lack of opportunity.

He then signed with Probellum, the advertising agency headed by former Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, in October 2021. The promise was to make an international debut, three matches a year, and cons. The path to the world title attracted him to the contract. However, his new promoter has only delivered the last one so far. And, even then, they will lose their wallets to enter the match against their boxer, giving less than half the purse that the eventual auction winner Legendz Entertainment offered.

But, business is cursed.

Prograis performed like an elite boxer Saturday against a stellar Zepeda, winning eight out of 10 rounds on my wildly unofficial scorecard before stopping the tough Californian in the eleventh round.

This is a declared victory if ever. And that claim is– Regis Prograis is back and, good promoter or not, he can’t be ignored anymore.

– Normally, John Ryder would spend as much space in this column as reports of an empty-handed boxing match. It’s not that Ryder is a bad fighter, it’s just that he’s a “meh” fighter to me. To me, he’s a top level UK regional talent battling on afternoon cards which normally doesn’t help me much. Like I said, meh. If he’s at world level, then it’s just a sideline candidate.

Ryder’s win over Zach Parker on Saturday (via RTD in fourth round Parker was uninjured) earned him the interim super-middleweight WBO title, but more importantly, it could help him won the Canelo Alvarez lottery ticket for the Mexican star’s post-injury “tone” on Cinco de Mayo Weekend.

While nothing is official, Ryder seems like the ideal match for an Alvarez, who has pretty much said he’s looking for something a little less daunting this May following neck surgery. hand. Ryder is good, but not spectacular; tough, but not killer; talented, but incapable of taking the next level. And with this win over Parker, alongside a close win over Daniel Jacobs in February and a “should have won” loss to Callum Smith in 2019, the London-born player has a high enough record to deserve it. B-side award. viewing slot.

In reality, he doesn’t have much of a chance against Alvarez– he’s still a loser to Canelo’s victim, Rocky Fielding– but he’s going to fight and make the outing less like a meal stealing and more just like a regular boxing match.

– Dillian Whyte had a tougher time than expected against the unannounced American Jermaine Franklin on Saturday at Wembley Arena in the UK. Usually that doesn’t bode well for the immediate future of a veteran who’s going to lose a lot, but still hang around in the Top 7 or so. But actually, Franklin is better than I thought and definitely tougher than anyone imagined.

Franklin, 29, from Saginaw, Michigan, was handpicked by Whyte’s team for an impressive 21-0 record on paper, but overall the job was low. Franklin’s most impressive win came against Jerry Forrest and Rydell Booker in 2019, and just six months ago, he literally fought at a United Steelworkers party hall in Gary, Indiana.

However, despite lacking the strength and high-end talent to beat a world-class opponent, he performed well against Whyte and some suggested he might even deserve a close victory. knot.

So what does all of that tell us about Whyte, who, let’s face it, move on to bigger and more lucrative things regardless of what happened on Saturday? Is it the case that Franklin is better than anyone imagined and Whyte dismisses him as a prelude to a big-ticket Anthony Joshua rematch next year? Or is Whyte clearly falling after being stopped by Tyson Fury for six rounds this past April and traded KO losses to Alexander Povetkin in the previous two fights?

We’ll get some answers when he takes on Joshua next year, but again, maybe not a definite answer as Joshua himself is dealing with a variety of issues.

In the meantime, at least Whyte holds the mic very well and makes some interesting headlines.

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