Regis Prograis is a coming man. And he’s come to Matchroom and DAZN. So this fight, for his WBC Lightweight strap, had to be powerful, populist, and incontrovertible.
No one gave Danielito Zorrilla the memo.
There were some boos during this fight. The Prograis camp had said they thought this would be a fist-swinging fire fight, commentators thought so too. But that wasn’t the Zorrilla who turned up.
This was a difficult, disciplined opponent who stuck to his plan. Those who booed did so because there wasn’t enough engagement, but for those who like a boxing chess match, this was absorbing stuff.
And even though Regis told Boxing News 24/7;
WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) says his opponent Danielito Zorrilla (17-2, 13 KOs) was just running around all night instead of standing and fighting last Saturday night at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.’
that wasn’t quite the way I saw it.
Zorrilla set one for Prograis to solve. He had the reach advantage, so what if he stayed out of range coming in occasionally to land some shots, frustrating Prograis and stealing rounds.
It very nearly worked and might have but for 2 things;
He was knocked down spectacularly, folding up like a cheap garden chair after taking an overhand left in round 3.
Prograis hadn’t been so savvy in the 1st Round. He was tagged and buzzed by a shot and immediately held onto Zorrilla as soon as he felt himself turning into rubber leg street.
Elsewhere, the champ struggled to unpick what Zorrilla presented. He even took it to Prograis off the ropes, just when you thought he was in trouble, he came roaring back; this was some of the only Zorrilla concerted engagement, mostly it was Prograis trying to lure him into making a mistake, but not making it tasty enough for his opponent to bite.
It must have been frustrating for Prograis beavering away and getting no discernable results – Chris Mannix at ringside had it even by round 10 and even though the champ laid in body shots, one followed by an overhand right in round 5, Zorrilla countered with a right hook.
Taking the fight on short notice, the contender’s odd stance and surprising power were so problematic to the champ; he even lost his legs briefly after a right hand in the 8th.
Zorrilla felt confident, talking to the ref, chatting to Prograis, banging his gloves together as a request for action, ironically.
Zorrilla stared at the camera with a mixture of disbelief and disgust. He was right; one of the cards had it 114-113 for him, the other two judges 117-110 and 118-109 for Prograis.
Which of the previous rounds were widely advantageous to one combatant?
Even in the knockdown round, Zorrilla fought back and although they traded more later on and both tried to do more work at the 10-second mark to try to take rounds, it was actually Zoerillla who seemed to cause more problems.
As Allen Fox wrote for Boxing News 24;
‘WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) had a devil of a time beating the faster, more skilled, and surprisingly more powerful Danielito Zorrilla.’
Prograis has talked trash with Devin Haney after the fight, which is tasty but ultimately Haney will decide as he moves up to 140; there’s danger in all fights but, from what he saw of Prograis labouring tonight, it’s a fight he might want to make.
Bad Left Hook had it right;
‘…it sure didn’t come in the fashion he would’ve hoped.’
Zorrilla set the puzzle, Prograis couldn’t really find the instructions.