Prograis vs. Taylor Fiery Final Press Conference
USA’s Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) and Scotland’s Josh
Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs) were both in a confrontational
mood at Thursday’s press conference before their WBSS
Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final on Saturday at The O2
"He's 24-0 but has fought no real live opponents,"
Prograis interrupted: "They can't hurt me if they can't
Taylor demanded: "Take your sunglasses off, you're
indoors you fuc*ing w*nker!”
And so the verbal blows went back and forth with both
combatants oozing confidence at the press conference top
table. But also words of mutual respect.
“Josh is the best in the world - apart from me,” said
Prograis, the WBA ‘Super’ World Champion and WBC Diamond
Champion. “He's taller, he's longer. Does he hit harder?
Maybe, maybe not. Is he faster? Maybe, maybe not. Better
chin? Maybe, maybe not. The tale of the tape never
matters. What matters is heart and boxing IQ, and mine
is so high. That will be the difference.
“We are here for the belts, the trophy, the money. But
the main thing for me is to prove I’m the best.”
The ‘Rougarou’ insists he has seen cracks in the armor
of ’The Tartan Tornado’.
“He gets hit. Josh has been hurt against Ivan Baranchyk
and Viktor Postol who aren't punchers like me. They're
not sharp, crisp like me, they don't have the timing
that I do.”
Prograis arrived in London three weeks ago for the
fight: "The UK fans have embraced me, I feel like I'm
home. On the streets and walking the malls, people are
coming up to me to take pictures.”
“In was a good decision to come here early. I got
adjusted to the time, the weather, the food, the
culture, the people. So now, I’m just comfortable.”
Said Josh Taylor, the IBF World Champion and WBC Silver
"I don't think he does anything better than me. I just
want to get there and get it done now. I 100% believe I
can knock him out.
“He is a good fighter and a world champion but he is
going to get it on Saturday night. His 24 wins have come
against nobodies, none of them have been in there to
hurt him or rip the belt away from him, I am.”
The battle of words culminated in a tense stare-down, in
which Prograis removed his sunglasses.
"My mindset is starting to change now, I'm in fight
mode. I'm sick of the sight of him,” Taylor told
Eddie Hearn, Director of Matchroom Sport:
"The Ali Trophy is on the line in this fight but also
the World Championship belts of both men and the vacant
Ring Magazine belt as well! Whether you feel that the
titles, the Ali Trophy or the Ring Magazine belts carry
the most weight in boxing, they’re all on the line in
this fight, so everybody should be happy that we’re
getting the best vs the best.”
Kalle Sauerland, Chief Boxing Officer of the World
Boxing Super Series:
“This is it, the Super-Lightweight final for the
Muhammad Ali Trophy! Two great athletes, warriors, and
fighters contesting the greatest prize in boxing - on
Saturday we will see the best vs the best in the
Champions League final of boxing.”
“This winner of this final will be the best in the
division. We saw that in Season I with Aleksandr Usyk
and Callum Smith.
“Both finalists fought the best to be in the final. Both
Prograis and Taylor became world champions in their
semi-finals and now we have it at what we believe is one
of the best stages in world boxing, The O2. Like I’ve
said before; this is the caviar of boxing.”
The WBSS Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final at The O2 in
London on October 26 is shown live via Sky Sports Box
Office in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.
At stake on Saturday:
WBSS Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final with the WBA,
IBF & Ring Magazine World titles on the line.
About the Muhammad Ali Trophy:
Muhammad Ali, The Greatest of All Time, gave his
blessings to the WBSS and agreed to give his name to its
prize, The Muhammad Ali Trophy. The trophy was created
by the late world-renowned artist Silvio Gazzaniga who
also designed the iconic FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Ali Trophy winners:
2018: Aleksandr Usyk (Cruiserweight), Callum Smith