Lopez defeat proves Taylor's 'plateaued', according to Prograis

Regis Prograis believes that Josh Taylor’s defeat by Teofimo Lopez proves that Taylor has “peaked”.

The 32-year-old Taylor, who outpointed Prograis in 2019 in one of his finest victories, lost for the first time last weekend, when at the theatre at New York’s Madison Square Garden he was convincingly beaten by Lopez.

He has since spoken of his desire for a rematch or to move to 147lbs, yet Prograis, who had targeted a rematch with Taylor and defends his 140lbs WBC title on Saturday against Danielito Zorrilla at the Smoothie King Centre in New Orleans, is convinced his rival’s finest days are behind him.

In Taylor’s previous fight he was widely considered fortunate to be awarded victory over Jack Catterall, who could yet prove Prograis’ next opponent, and Prograis said: “Listen, after the fight with me I think he peaked. At that time with me and [in 2021, Jose Carlos] Ramirez, I think he peaked. 

“I think that was it. I think he had a lot of inactivity, then the Catterall thing, and then this. I think that’s it, he’s plateaued, and I don’t think he can go any higher. I always felt like that, after the fight with me, I felt like I was gonna go up, and he just stayed the same, and that’s exactly what happened. 

“He plateaued, he stayed there, and he never got better. I mean, that’s what happened.”

Until losing to Lopez, Taylor’s consistency meant that he remained widely regarded as the world’s leading super lightweight. Prograis, at 34 five years older than Puerto Rico’s Zorrilla, was perhaps his biggest threat.

“I’m the best in the division, but on paper, you can say Teo is up there,” Prograis said, ahead of his first fight under Matchroom and first in his home city for five years. “But I still feel like I’m better than Teo, no matter what.

“Teo just did his thing, man. Teo really did his thing; he shined out. I think he made Josh Taylor look basic; he really did. It really surprised me. I’m happy for him. I was actually going for Taylor, because if Taylor would’ve kept the belt me and him would be even bigger, but now it makes things even spicier. 

“So, I think Teo did his thing; I’m happy for him. He really impressed me – he did for sure. Taylor was the former undisputed [champion], and Teo made him look basic; he made him look like a regular fighter.”

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