Regis Prograis and Nonito Donaire both produced masterclass performances to reach the finals of the World Boxing Super Series where the Ali Trophy awaits the winners.
Prograis, the unbeaten southpaw boxer from New Orleans and super- lightweight bracket No. 1 top seed picked up the first big title, the WBA belt, when he scored a six round stoppage over Kiryl Relikh of Belarus in their WBSS semi-final Saturday at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La.
“I told y’all beforehand, I’m the real deal. These boys can’t f*ck with me,” Prograis said after picking up the WBA World title. “I f*cking just dominated the whole time.”
Filipino-American Nonito Donaire, the four-division champion and reigning two-time bantamweight titlist also impressed when he scored a one-punch 6th round knockout of American Stephon Young in their bantamweight tournament semi-final; a devastating left hook put Young down and out.
“Stephon is a slick fighter so it was tough to come up with a particular game plan,” said Donaire who originally was going to face South Africa’s Zolani Tete, who had to pull out of the fight due to a shoulder injury.
“There was one thing I saw which was the straight, he kept throwing it, so I kept timing the hook, and one way or another I paid for it with scratches on my right eye and hand, but it paid due because I was able to figure out the timing and distance in the fight. I take the damage to earn the victory.”
“It was a matter of time until I figured out that distance, so I kept pressuring him, and I kept taking him down until the right moment I could counter with a left hook, and that’s what happened.”
Donaire will face either Naoya Inoue or Emmanuel Rodriguez while Regis Prograis can look forward to fighting Josh Taylor and Ivan Baranchyk. On 18 May, they will know.
Tickets for the Monster WBSS Semi-Finals night, Ivan Baranchyk vs Josh Taylor and Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez on 18 May at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland are on sale now from TheSSEHydro.com
Nonito Donaire & Regis Prograis Post Fight Quotes
In an exciting night of boxing at the Cajundome, the new WBA World Super Lightweight Titlist Regis Prograis stopped Kiryl Relikh to remain undefeated and advance to the Super Lightweight final of the World Boxing Super Series. Nonito Donaire had a dominant performance, knocking out Stephon Young to claim a spot in Bantamweight final with a chance to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Regis Prograis will face the winner of Josh Taylor vs. Ivan Baranchyk, and Nonito Donaire will go up against the winner of Naoya Inoue vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez on May 18 in Glasgow, Scotland.
On his performance and adding another world title: “You know what, I love it. Thank you Lafayette for coming out. These boys cannot f*** with me. I f***** just dominated the whole time. They can’t mess with me.”
On being able to dominate: “I’m not surprised at all. I’m a different animal. He already knew from the get-go. I knew that whoever they put in front of me, they’re going to get the same treatment.”
On his defense: “It was the same thing as the last fight. I worked on my defense. People have been saying I get hit too much, but this fight I barely got hit, and I stopped him. What else can you say? Nothing.
On next opponent choice: “You know, it doesn’t matter. I honestly want to fight Josh Taylor more because some people say he can beat me, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.”
On being pound for pound: “I feel like they have to put me in there. I’m running through everybody. This is my 24th fight, and I’m running through everyone. That’s the world champion undefeated. You look at Maurice Hooker, Jose Ramirez, put me in pound for pound. “
On possibly being a knockout of the year: “It was great, but I want to say thank you to Lafayette, you guys are amazing. First, we came in here with a good game plan and things happen. Stephon is real slick fighter, so it was difficult to come up with a particular game plan. There was one thing I saw which was the straight, he kept throwing it, so I kept timing the hook, and one way or another I paid for it with scratches on my right eye and hand, but it paid due because I was able to figure out the timing and distance in the fight. I take the damage to earn the victory.”
On staying in the pocket: ‘I knew from the second round when I was pressuring him that he was getting winded, so I said I’m going to keep up with this and figure out that timing, and so I kept pushing and pushing and I know when I punch, he throws that right and he leans. It was a matter of time until I figured out that distance, so I kept pressuring him, and I kept taking him down until the right moment I could counter with left hook, and that’s what happened.”
On who he would like to face in the finals: “I know both guys are amazing. There was an unspoken respect between me and Inoue that we’re going to the finals so it was always important for me to get to the finals and I’ll be supporting him to get to the finals so that we can face off. I’ll be there.”
12-Round WBSS Super Lightweight Semi-Final Bout @ 140 lbs.
Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) defeats Kiryl Relikh (23-4, 19 KOs) by TKO at 1:36 of Round 6
12-Round WBSS Bantamweight Semi-Final @ 118 lbs.
Nonito Donaire vs. Stephon Young
Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26 KOs) defeats Stephon Young (18-2-3, 7 KOs) by KO at 2:37 of Round 7
Boxing on DAZN returns next Saturday with Middleweight King Canelo Alvarez taking on Middleweight Champion Daniel Jacobs for the WBC, WBA, Lineal, Ring Magazine and IBF Middleweight World Titles from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.