Regis Prograis held onto his WBC super-lightweight belt by securing a points victory over Danielito Zorrilla. However, the win didn’t send a shiver of intimidation through the 140lbs and lightweight divisions.
Performing in the heart of New Orleans amidst his passionate fans, Prograis encountered frustration at every turn. Yet, his relentless pursuit to corner Zorrilla didn’t go unnoticed by the ringside judges. They gave Prograis a nod with scores of 118-109 and 117-110, outweighing a 114-113 score in favor of Zorrilla.
The bout got off to a dramatic start. It seemed Zorrilla had an early upper hand, flooring the champ. Yet, the referee dismissed this as a slip rather than a knockdown, leaving a moment of triumph unacknowledged.
As the fight progressed, it dawned on Prograis that Zorrilla was in it for the long haul. Rather than aiming for a flawless finish, he tapped into his stamina reserves.
Closing in on Zorrilla and unleashing his punches seemed like the right strategy. This tactic indeed paid off, earning him a victory by a razor-thin split decision.
As for me, the fight was close, I scored it a draw. Zorrilla threw cleaner punches, was able to maintain a distance from Prograis, and successfully managed to put Prograis on the defensive.
After the fight, Prograis acknowledged the tough challenge posed by Zorrilla and offered an apology to the audience who showed their displeasure with the action, or rather the lack thereof, from the 8th round onwards.
Prograis seemed off-balance following the initial knockdown blunder and didn’t capitalize on his opportunities. Also, Zorrilla did an excellent job of restraining Prograis when they got close, despite the referee warning him against holding.
Eddie Hearn, the Matchroom Boxing promoter, did not hide his disappointment after the fight. He had recently signed Prograis with hopes of him making a big impression. But the lackluster performance seems to have dampened Hearn’s enthusiasm, triggering possible second thoughts.
Considering the controversial outcome, Zorrilla might have a good case for a rematch. His performance was more than commendable and he made Prograis appear far from invincible.