Regis Prograis Dominates and Stops Tyrone McKenna in Six!
On March 19, at the Duty Free Tennis Stadium in Dubai, former WBA 140-pound champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (27-1, 23KOs) and Tyrone “The Mighty Celt” McKenna (22-3-1, 6KOs) settled their months-long feud. This matchup featured two world-ranked fighters. Prograis was ranked seventh (WBO), fifth (IBF), third (WBC), and sixth (WBA), while McKenna was ranked tenth (WBO) and twelfth (WBA).
Since his loss to undisputed 140-pound champion Josh Taylor in October of 2019, Prograis has fought sparingly. Primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic and his inability to secure the marquee fights he’s been seeking. The lack of big fights forced him to settle for fights against Juan Heraldez in 2020 and Ivan Redkach in 2021, stopping both fighters.
As for McKenna, this was the big fight he was seeking. He came into the fight having defeated Jose Felix via a unanimous decision in August of 2021. In the lead-up to this bout, there was tons of trash talk and bold predictions from both men.
Sporting a six-inch height advantage, McKenna started the first round by pumping his jab, hoping to keep the power-punching Louisiana native at bay. Conversely, Prograis came out relaxed behind his jab, slowly working his way in to establish the proper distance to fire off his offense. With about thirty seconds left in the opening round, Prograis would start to land some powerful shots, in particular left and right hands to the body of McKenna.
Round two was all Prograis, as he yet again came out pumping his jab. Fifteen seconds into round two, a beautiful counter overhand left by Prograis would drop McKenna like a sack of potatoes!
As the fight continued, rounds three and four mirrored each other. Prograis maintained his dominance over McKenna, abusing him to the body and head with head-snapping shots and gut-wrenching body punches. Round five was by far the best round for the Mighty Celt. He was able to land some eye-catching combinations on Prograis.
After regaining full domination in the first half of round six, a body shot by Prograis forced McKenna to step back and take a deep breath. McKenna was suffering from a nasty cut over his right eye that occurred earlier in the fight. Seeing how bad the cut was, the referee decided to halt the action and have the ringside doctor take a look at the eye of McKenna. After a brief deliberation, the ringside doctor decided that the cut was too bad for the fight to continue on. With that decision, Prograis earned the twenty-third stoppage of his career.
Overall, this was an excellent performance by Prograis. He showcased patience, a good jab, good defensive movement and, of course, his power. With the win, he’s now the WBC mandatory. With rival Josh Taylor expected to move up to welterweight, the WBC title will become vacant. That could mean a title fight between Jose Zepeda and Regis Prograis, as Zepeda is ranked first in the WBC.
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By: Jerrell Fletcher