After starting the second season of the World Boxing Super Series in Japan and then Russia, the tournament will stay in the United States for the second straight week.
Instead of Orlando, the WBSS now heads to New Orleans where two more boxers are going to punch their tickets to the semifinals of the junior welterweight tournament. The main event will see interim WBC champion Regis Prograis fight former lightweight world champion Terry Flanagan while Ivan Baranchyk and Anthony Yigit fight for the vacant IBF title.
Prograis, the top-seeded boxer at 140 pounds, has been riding a wave of momentum after making a statement in March with a quick knockout win over former unified champion Julius Indongo. Prograis had been hoping to get a fight with full WBC champion Jose Ramirez after becoming the interim champion, but after that fight never looked unlikely to happen anytime soon, the opportunity to compete in the global tournament arrived. Despite not getting to fight Ramirez, winning the tournament would mean becoming the WBA and IBF champion and make a strong case to be the best boxer at junior welterweight.
Flanagan was at one point one of the best boxers at 135 points, holding the WBO title from 2015 to 2017. After Terence Crawford vacated his WBO junior welterweight title last year, the road for Flanagan to become a two-weight champion is clear. But when Flanagan got his shot to fight for the title, he suffered an upset loss at the hands of Maurice Hooker. Since then, Flanagan’s entry into the World Boxing Super Series serves as redemption for the former world champion.
As for the co-main event, the fight will crown a new IBF champion at 140 pounds after Mikey Garcia vacated the belt earlier this year. Had Garcia kept the IBF title, he would have had to face Baranchyk, who earned a shot at the title on the same card Prograis won the interim WBC belt. Baranchyk, who has had an extremely successful career as an amateur, made a meteoric rise to contendership less than five years into his career.
But Baranchyk will have to face arguably one of the best European junior welterweights today in Yigit. Like Baranchyk, Yigit also had a successful amateur career before turning pro. Although not a knockout artist, Yigit has yet to lose as a pro and with Garcia vacating the title and the World Boxing Super Series having a tournament at this weight class, Yigit may have hit the jackpot and could potentially crash the tournament as a dark horse.
Tale of the Tape: Regis Prograis vs. Terry Flanagan:
Record: 22-0 (19 KO)
Titles Won: NABF Junior Welterweight, Interim WBC Junior Welterweight Titles
Signature Fights: Joel Diaz Jr., Julius Indongo
Record: 33-1 (13 KO)
Titles Won: BBBofC English Super Featherweight, BBBofC British Lightweight, WBO European Lightweight, WBO Lightweight World Titles
Signature Fights: Maurice Hooker, Petr Petrov, Diego Magdaleno
Tale of the Tape: Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit:
Record: 18-0 (11 KO)
Titles Won: Belarus National Welterweight, WBC USNBC Junior Welterweight, USBA Junior Welterweight Titles
Signature Fights: Petr Petrov, Abel Ramos
Record: 21-0-1 (7 KO)
Titles Won: WBC Baltic Junior Welterweight, WBC Baltic Welterweight, EBU European Junior Welterweight
Signature Fights: Joe Hughes, DeMarcus Corley
Betting Odds (Provided By PaddyPower.com):
Regis Prograis Win: 1/10 (Betting Favorite)
Terry Flanagan Win: 5/1 (Betting Underdog)
Fight Ends In A Draw: 25/1
Ivan Baranchyk Win: 2/9 (Betting Favorite)
Anthony Yigit Win: 3/1 (Betting Underdog)
Fight Ends In A Draw: 22/1