ShoBox results: Regis Prograis blows out Julius Indongo, eyes 140-pound title shot
Regis “Rougarou” Prograis blew out Julius Indongo within two rounds to put himself one step closer to a title shot, and publicly announcing the arrival of a lurking monster in a wide-open junior welterweight division. The fight was the main event of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecast on Showtime, from the Deadwood Mountain Grand, in Deadwood, South Dakota.
“I had to come to make statement,” said Prograis in the post-fight interview. “The 140-pound division is mine. There’s nobody that could mess with me; they know that. I know Amir Imam and (Jose) Ramirez are fighting for the official belt. It should be mine – I got this belt – it’s cool though. (Viktor) Postol, you see why you didn’t fight me.”
Fighting out of Houston, Texas, by way of New Orleans, Louisiana, Prograis, 21-0 (18), howled at the moon in the Big Sky country after easily defeating the biggest name on his ledger, in his most important fight to date. Originally Ukrainian Viktor Postol was supposed to be the first big challenge for Prograis but a hand injury forced him to bow out. Luckily Indongo was ready and willing to take part in the fight, keeping it in line for a mandatory shot at the vacant title, which will be fought out next Saturday night between Jose Ramirez and Amir Imam.
“After the first round, I felt his punches. He couldn’t hurt me. I got a little reckless but I got the job done, so I can’t complain,” said Prograis in his Southern drawl.
Indongo, 22-2 (11), a former unified titleholder in the 140-pound class, before getting knocked out by Terence Crawford last August in the undisputed championship match, was thought to be a good replacement for Postol and tried his best to outbox Prograis on the outside with glaring reach and height advantages. Indongo kept him at bay in the first but would have a bad reaction whenever Prograis managed to land a clean shot. In the waning seconds of the first round, Indongo was dropped by a jab after a left hand grazed the side of his head. The thought of a brutal knockout loomed, as the second round started, and Indongo let Prograis get into position on the inside. It was really out of character for the Namibian but he unfurled his left in order to try and capture the past success he’s had with that hand. Prograis, also a southpaw, moved his head well enough to avoid a clean connect and, just after an exchange in the second, dropped Indongo hard with a left of his own. Within a minute to go, Indongo had to move the ropes out of the way in order to get back on his feet. Once time resumed, Prograis dropped Indongo with the only left he threw and, once he returned to his feet, the same exact sequence happened, warranting referee Ian John Lewis to immediately wave the bout off at the 2:54 mark.
“I haven’t been able to show my full arsenal yet, as far as my defense, my footwork,” pondered Prograis afterward. “I haven’t had an opponent that can bring it out of me. Shit, I get paid for the same thing for a first round or a 12-rounder, so I might as well get them out early.”
Prograis, 29, said he also planned to go to San Antonio, Texas, for tomorrow night’s Showtime card featuring IBF junior welterweight titleholder Sergey Lipinets against Mikey Garcia. Prograis said he will also be in New York City, the following week, for the Ramirez-Imam match-up, for the vacant WBC belt. Aftter Crawford decided to move up in weight after becoming the undisputed champion at 140 pounds, Prograis is looking to fill that role.
In the Showtime co-feature, Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk put on an aggressive display of power punching against veteran Petr Petrov, knocking him down three times en route to a stoppage victory in the eighth. The junior welterweight contest was scheduled for twelve.
Baranchyk, 18-0 (11), came out of the gate with the hottest of starts, landing his first punch of the fight, a jab, right on Petrov’s chin and it knocked him backward, though Petrov caught himself from falling completely. The knockdown happened in the first 10 seconds of the fight and Baranchyk was compelled to try and get the knockout, once time resumed. He threw his jab as of it were a power punch, making everything thrown at Petrov, 38-6-2 (19), laced with bad intentions. A right hand early in the second had Petrov, an opponent who came in on just a week’s notice, reeling and scrambling to find balance again in the second. This time, he was hurt and, after touching the canvas again, Petrov was given a standing eight-count by referee Mark Nelson. A body shot in the third forced Petrov to a knee, after a delayed reaction, but Nelson didn’t rule that a knockdown.
A veteran Russian who lives and fights out of Madrid, Spain, Petrov, 34, settled things down in the fourth, with great patience and persistence. His jab was starting to counter Baranchyk and created opportunities to make him back-up. Petrov continued this through the sixth until a Baranchyk right hand to the side of his head knocked him down for the third time and took the steam out of his momentum. In the eighth, Baranchyk started to wail on Petrov like he had earlier in the fight. A big right hand hurt Petrov and, while the latter was pinned against the ropes – almost sitting on them, in fact – Nelson stepped in to stop an accumulated beating from becoming a tragic one. Petrov didn’t complain.