Peter Wells previews tomorrow nights world title eliminator between Regis Prograis and Julius Indongo.
A week before the full WBC Super Lightweight title is up for grabs between Jose Carlos Ramirez and Amir Imam, the World Boxing Council have opted an interim title to be fought for between Regis Prograis and Julius Indongo.
To lessen the confusion, that simple suggests that Prograis-Indongo is a final eliminator for a belt that is currently vacant.
It is tomorrow night that the pair shall meet in a division that is in need of a new leader, following Terence Crawford’s recent exodus to a money-spinning Welterweight division.
The clash is unlikely to garner the sort of attention that such a 50/50 contest would otherwise deserve.
Former IBF & WBA champion, Indongo is in fact a replacement for another former champion, Viktor Postol. But the switch in opposition has done little to alter how exciting a bout this could be.
Indongo 22-1(11KO’s) was demolished last time out, when he caught the full raft of a Crawford unifying the 140lbs division. It was in round 3 that a body shot took all the air from the Namibian champion.
It was the maiden defeat of Indongo’s accelerated career. At 35-years old, there has been no room for holding back, and he has done nothing of the sort, winning the IBF title in late 2016 with a vicious first round knockout of Eduard Troyanovsky, before adding the WBA title 4 months later. Another 4 months passed before he attempted to add Crawford’s WBC and WBO titles to his resume.
For Prograis 20-0(17KO’s), the 29-year old has been chomping at the bit for this type of opportunity. His streak of 5 straight stoppages was punctuated last time out when he walloped Joel Diaz Jr in the matter of two rounds. That was the statement win to certify Prograis as a contender.
Now, many fans will be given the chance to see the Louisiana native for the first time, and they aren’t likely to be disappointed with what they see. But one cannot help but believe he would have been in a stronger position had Postol remained his opposition for this defining clash.
To say that Indongo was exposed by Crawford would be a foolish statement. The Namibian is still a frustratingly long opponent, with power, speed and boxing ability to cause anyone in the division problems. Arguably outside of Mikey Garcia, Indongo is the best fighter at 140.
Prograis on the other hand is fast, confident and explosive. He looks composed under pressure, and from the southpaw stance he ducks low, swings his head making him an elusive target before stepping his way excellently into range.
But against Indongo it will be a far tougher ask to find his range without taking heavier artillery than he is used to on the way in.
But if anything to negate Indongo’s awkwardness from the southpaw stance, it is a fellow southpaw in the opposite corner.
Expect a dramatic contest with both fighters hitting the canvas. They both carry dynamite in the left cross and it will be often that the two fire simultaneously.
Prograis’ defence will be tighter than usual, but this is still a test that he may not quite be ready to pass. If Regis cannot hurt his man, then I cannot see him outworking Indongo either.
Therefore after a frenetic opening 4 rounds, the pace will slow somewhat, and Indongo will take enough of a grip in the contest to use his pedigree at this level to outbox Prograis from the outside.
Prograis will stay game to the end, but comes up short on the scorecards as Indongo proves he is far from the end of the line, putting all new champions in the division on watch.