Kalle Sauerland calls Prograis vs. Taylor “50-50 fight”

Promoter Kalle Sauerland says there’s no way that there won’t be a winner in this Saturday’s World Boxing Super Series tournament final between IBF light welterweight champion Josh Taylor and WBA champion Regis Prograis. Sauerland there will be a 4th judge that will score the fight in the event that the 3 judges have the fight scored as a draw.

If that doesn’t work, they’ll utilize a count back like in the amateur system to determine a winner. Other than that, Sauerland is expecting an excellent fight between the unbeaten Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs) and Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs). Most likely the fight won’t end in a draw, but if it does, Sauerland has mechanisms in place to make sure that the WBSS tourney doesn’t end without a winner.

Prograis vs. Taylor WON’T end in a draw Sauerland says

“It can do but Regis is a very slick fighter,” said Kalle Sauerland to Boxing Social about Saturday’s fight between Prograis and Taylor. “Josh is a big super lightweight, and he doesn’t struggle to make weight. When you see him on the pads, he’s a big, big guy for super lightweight. But Regis makes up for it in other ways. It’s such an evenly balanced fight. It’s a 50-50. There’s a lot of talk about what happens if it’s a draw. There is no draw for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.

“The Ali Trophy will be decided by a 4th judge. Failing that, we’ll go to a count back system. There are a lot of different mechanisms, so there will be a winner on Saturday night. Usyk-Briedis, that was decided on the last round. Not only on the normal scorecards, but had that round gone different, the fourth judge would have scored it for Briedis. Usyk would have gone out, and would Usyk be where he is today? No one knows,” said Sauerland.

Taylor’s size and boxing ability will make it tough on the shorter Prograis to get his shots in. Just being aggressive against Taylor isn’t necessarily a recipe for success, because the Scottish fighter thrives on fighting pressure fighters. Taylor is in his element when he’s facing a guy that is going after him, and he’s almost impossible to hit. If Prograis had longer arms, he’d have a shot at boxing from the outside. He’d have a better chance of winning, but he doesn’t have the reach to do that.

Sauerland: Chisora vs. Price loser may retire

“It’s a great fight, especially for the British public,” said Sauerland about Chisora vs. Price fight. “Everyone knows David Price, and everybody knows Dereck Chisora. It’s going to be interesting. Price has found that beast in himself. They’ve both had really had some bad luck in their careers, but they’ve hit form and hit confidence. And they’re both coming off wins.

“It’s all or nothing. That’s how much is at stake. We talk about the big main event between Josh Taylor and Prograis with what’s at stake. This is the same levels, but very different. Actually, the loser will likely retire,” said Sauerland.

Sauerland might be thinking of Price when he says the loser of Saturdays Chisora-Price fight might retire. It’s hard to see Chisora, 35, retiring if he loses, because he’s making good money as a gatekeeper. Chisora is a fan favorite in the UK, and they don’t seem to mind that he’s never won a world title and likely never will. He’s just an entertaining guy that can be depended upon to beat fringe contenders, but he’s not good enough to defeat the top five contenders.

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If Chisora loses, he’ll almost surely continue his career. With Price, it’s hard to say. It depends on his financial picture. He still likely can make more money boxing than he would in an outside of the ring profession. That makes it difficult for fighters like Price to walk away. The money is obviously too good to walk away just yet. If Price wins, it would be a major upset, and it would give his career new life.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is talking about the winner of the Chisora vs. Price fight potentially facing Oleksandr Usyk next.

Chisora-Price being given a MASSIVE platform to show their talent on Saturday

Tables thrown next to me. I had a close shave with a table,” said Sauerland when asked if he’d had any close calls with Chisora are past news conferences. Chasing Bulgarians through the Four Seasons Hotel. That was another classic with the Pulev event. There’s always the negotiations with Dereck. That was an event in itself. Fortunately it was never filmed.

“I’m happy they’ve got this massive platform to show what they can do. They’re both great fighters in different ways. Pricey in his prime was an amazing boxer. An Olympic bronze medalist, people forget that, but someone who can really whack. And Dereck, a person that can really come at you. And you look at Dereck and that’s exactly what you’re going to get. He’s big, and he’s going to come at you,” said Sauerland.

Chisora vs. Price is the co-feature bout on the Prograis vs. Taylor card on DAZN and Sky Box Office. There will be a lot of boxing fans that will be paying attention to the fight, but whether that helps the winner is unclear. If Hearn sticks the winner in with Usyk, it might be a bad match-up for them. It would be better for Hearn to put Chisora or Price in with someone that’ll be there to be hit. Usyk moves too much for older fighters like Price and Chisora.

Sauerland gives Oleksandr Usyk a B+ for performance in heavyweight debut

“It’s what I expected, business as usual,” said Sauerland about Usyk’s heavyweight debut against Witherspoon. “He’s a very methodical fighter in his training. He may come across as laid back, but he’s very methodical and thorough in his training. Witherspoon brought a different talent, and he dealt with that well.

‘He got a B+, but given the chance of an opponent, A+ to Matchroom for getting a replacement, a decent replacement. Also, and A+ to Usyk for changing it around. He was prepared for Spong. It’s another sad story in boxing with the doping. That needs to be cleared, but Usyk arrived, that’s for sure,” said Sauerland.

Usyk didn’t fight like someone with a B+ grade for his heavyweight debut against 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon. That was more of a C grade or even a C-. Usyk didn’t look good at all when you compare him to some of the top heavyweights. He fought like an aging 30-ish heavyweight without any punching power to speak of, and who marks up easily. There are a lot better heavyweights in the division than Usyk. He’s getting a lot of hype behind him because he won an Olympic gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, and because he unified the cruiserweight division. Usyk’s gold medal in the Olympics was controversial, as he appeared to lose to Artur Beterbiev from Russia. The judges gave Usyk a 17-13 win, but Beterbiev landed the far better punches throughout the fight. As a professional, Usyk’s win last year over Mairis Briedis was controversial.

Usyk will likely need to take another tune-up at heavyweight says Sauerland

“Yeah, for sure,” said Sauerland when asked if Usyk is ready to beat WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. “He’s had a load of amateur fights, a gold medalist, won all the titles at cruiserweight. He doesn’t need to wait around. There are no tune-ups for him. He doesn’t want tune-ups, but let’s look at the reality of the situation. Deontay Wilder is signed to fight Fury, but he’s got to bat Luis Ortiz first. Mind the Ortiz fight, because that’s a live fight. But if that fight goes the way we think it will, then we’ve to Wilder-Fury.

“He’s [Usyk] going to need to take fights in between. He’s not going to sit and wait for Wilder. Then you look at his situation. He’s rated very high with the WBO, I believe. But [Anthony] Joshua has to fight [Kubrat] Pulev after this fight. The issue is not a lot of people are going to fight Usyk on a voluntary. I’d be very surprised if the winner of the Joshua-Ruiz match fights Usyk in a voluntary. They’d have to go the WBO mandatory route, and the WBO mandatory is after the IBF, Pulev. So he’ll [Usyk] have to wait his turn. Towards the end of next year, he should be there or there about,” said Sauerland about when Usyk will get title shot.