At Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson on Saturday night, Prograis dominated Zepeda before knocking him out 59 seconds into the 11th round. With this win, ended up winning the 140-pound championship title twice.
There was no question who was the superior combatant. Prograis said, “I trained like six months for this fight. I wanted to take him to deep waters and drown him, take him to deep waters, put my foot on him and take him down.”
Since losing his first championship against Josh Taylor by majority decision in 2019, Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) had disappeared from the public eye. After that, he won in three matches to qualify for the vacant title, although he did it in relative obscurity.
Prograis competed on Saturday in a pay-per-view match. He brought back to fans’ memories what made him one of the most admired and thrilling young stars in the world only a few years ago.
Beginning in the second round, Prograis settled into a rhythm. He kept Zepeda (35-3, 27 KOs) at the end of his rapid jab and dismantled him with a variety of precise blows to win round after round.
Instead of attempting to push his way inside or in any way make him uncomfortable, Zepeda continued to box from a distance. Prograis hadn’t really harmed Zepeda for at least ten rounds. But in an instant, it changed.
Prograis connected a devastating overhand to his opponent’s chin left that sent his opponent flying back towards the ropes. After injuring Zepeda, Prograis unleashed a flurry of powerful strikes that eventually brought Zepeda to the ground.
Regis Prograis KOs Jose Zepeda in the 11th round! pic.twitter.com/VAR1bLBc2P
— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) November 27, 2022
And it was enough to convince referee Ray Corona to call timeout without counting the bout in order to save Zepeda from receiving an unfair beating. After 10 rounds, Prograis held an unstoppable lead on the cards. The scores were 98-92, 98-92, and 97-93.
Following the match, he was asked to choose his preferred opponent. However, Prograis didn’t want to take anyone’s name. His outlook was to wait for them to approach him.
He said, “I’m not saying nobody’s name no more… At first nobody wanted to say my name. Now I’m a two-time champion, now let them say my name.”