Pick It: TBRB #2 Regis Prograis vs. #3 Jose Zepeda (Saturday, PPV/FITE, 8:00 PM EST)
On paper, this is one of the best fights of the red hot Jr. the welterweight division can deliver. 33-year old former WBA titlist Regis Prograis (27-1, 23 KO) has won three straight since losing a unification bout in a World Boxing Super Series to Josh Taylor. For the first time since 2019 Prograis will get to scratch twice in the same year with the vacant WBC belt on the line. Taylor gave up some of his four belts, although he remains the lineal and rightful king of the division. On the other side of the ring, 33-year-old Jose Zepeda (35-2, 27 KO) will try to finally capture a major belt having won four in a row. Included in those four, Zepeda outlasted Ivan Baranchyk in what remains the leader for the fight of the decade right now. For a low profile PPV, this is a solid show also featuring Jr. middleweight Charles Conwell, Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Bakhodir Jalolov, and a clash of champions as unified Jr. flyweight titlist Evelyn Bermudez defends against unified strawweight titlist Yokasta Valle.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Friday – Salcedo vs. Talavera (Estrella, 9:00 PM EST)
Jr. featherweights are in this main event from Mexico. 19-year old Hafit Talavera (9-0, 1 KO) hasn’t had much luck getting done early to date and gets a more experienced foe here. 25-year-old Ernesto Salcedo (14-2, 11 KO) has been stopped once and enters off a win after two straight losses.
Saturday – #6 Ryder vs. Parker (ESPN+, 2:00 PM EST)
With a little different luck, 34-year old John Ryder (31-5, 17 KO) would already have won a title. It appeared to many he did enough to upset Callum Smith in 2019. The judges felt otherwise. He gets a step closer to another chance here with an interim WBO belt up for grabs. 28-year old Zach Parker (22-0, 16 KO) stands in Ryder’s way and will be a formidable obstacle.
Saturday – #5 Whyte vs. Franklin (DAZN, 2:00 PM EST)
If heavyweights are more your speed on Saturday afternoon, 35-year old perennial contender Dillian Whyte (28-3, 19 KO) will be looking to pick up the pieces. After years without a title shot, Whyte got his crack at lineal king Tyson Fury earlier this year…and got cracked right on the jaw. Whyte suffered his third knockout loss, and second in three starts. Does he have it in him to start another climb? 29-year old Jermaine Franklin (21-0, 14 KO) has a chance to force Whyte to think about retirement and start his own ascent.
Sunday – Azim vs. Charlton (FITE, 10:00 AM)
If the boxing jones kicks in early Sunday morning, there will be a Jr. welterweight fix available. 20-year-old Adam Azim (6-0, 5 KO) might be one to keep an eye on, a long-framed UK battler with time on his side. 30-year old Ryan Charlton (9-3-1, 4 KO) enters off a loss but has been stopped only once.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]