By Craig Daly: Regis Prograis says his rationale for signing with Matchroom Boxing over Top Rank was based on their ability to get him into the ring soon and deliver him huge money right.
Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) states that although Top Rank has a deeper stable than Matchroom at 140, with Josh Taylor, Teofimo Lopez, Arnold Barboza Jr, and Jose Ramirez, he felt they wouldn’t be able to provide with most of those guys.
Prograis says the third fight with Matchroom should be a big one, but he’s short on particulars on who that might be. The only fighter that Progris mentions that he could potentially be fighting is IBF 140-lb champion Subriel Matias, and that’s not exactly a huge fight. Matchroom has no famous fighters in their stable at 140 or 135.
Although they recently signed 2020 Olympic gold medalist Andy Cruz, he’s not well known, and he will be fighting at 135, not 140.
The only one that Prograis felt that Top Rank could match him against is Barboza Jr, and he’s not a big name. Prograis says Teofimo only has one fight left with ESPN, and Ramirez’s contract expires with Top Rank after one fight.
As for Josh Taylor, Prograis says he’s going to move up to 147, so he won’t stick around at 140 to fight him in a rematch.
Besides, if Taylor wanted to fight Prograis again, he would have done it by now afteer beating him by a questionable 12 round majority decision in London, England, in 2019. Taylor has had four years to fight Prograis again and has chosen not to.
The 34-year-old Prograis will debut with Matchroom next month against unbeaten Liam Paro (23-0, 14 KOs) on June 17th t the Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana. Prograis vs. Paro will be shown live on DAZN.
Regis is coming off an 11th round knockout win over Jose Zepeda last November in a fight in which he captured the vacant WBC 140-lb title.
Prograis felt Matchroom offered better deal
Chris Mannix: “It was widely reported over the last couple of weeks that you had two major suitors, Matchroom and Top Rank,” Mannix said on his Youtube channel. It was reported that Matchroom offered you a three-fight deal, and Top Rank offered you a five-fight deal. Are those deals effectively true?”
Regis Prograis: “No, at first, Top Rank offered me a five-fight deal, and then they brought it down to a four-fight deal. Matchroom always stuck with a three-fight deal.”
Mannix: “Okay, why was this three-fight deal with Matchroom the right deal for you?”
Prograis: “Well, it was first off more to the level of when I met with Eddie [Hearn], it felt right. When you have a gut feeling, I’m a person that goes off instincts, and it’s a delayed gratification type of thing.
“Eddie told me, ‘Listen, we’re going to fight this year; we’re going to keep you busy, and most likely, in the third fight, it’s going to be a super fight, and the numbers are going to be crazy when you get that super fight.
“So what the deal with Top Rank was, they wanted four fights, and the first name was [Arnold] Barboza in August, and Eddie told me that I was going to fight Liam Paro in June.
“This before I even signed the deal. He said, ‘Listen, most likely you’ll be fighting in June.’ So for me, automatically, that’s one thing that pulled me in. I’d rather fight in June than in August. Automatically right there. They said, ‘We’re going to do it in New Orleans.’
“I think Top Rank said the same thing. ‘We’ll do it in New Orleans. We’ll do a homecoming for you.’ That’s one thing that pulled me in. Then after that, the opponents were Barboza, [Jose] Ramirez, Teo [Lopez], or Josh Taylor,” said Prograis.
Regis doubted Top Rank would deliver
“Obviously, I want all those fights. Barboza, he’s whatever, but Ramirez, I’ve been wanting to fight him for a long time,” said Prograis. “Josh Taylor, of course, I want Josh Taylor. Teofimo, I definitely want Teofimo. The thing with that is that I want to clarify with people. Ramirez has one more fight on his deal with Top Rank.
“Would I fight Ramirez? Right now, I don’t think Ramirez will ever fight me because he had a chance to fight me a bunch of times and never fought me. I think if I went to Top Rank, Ramirez might come to Matchroom. He’ll do anything he can to run away from me.
“Teofimo, he has supposedly one more fight on the deal too with ESPN, so that’s not guaranteed. So Josh Taylor is probably going to go up to 147. So now I’m just left with Barboza. That’s all.
“Obviously, these are all things that can happen or could happen. Like I say, I don’t know. But with Eddie, he’s going to give me some fights, and the third fight is probably going to be a super fight. Maybe even the second fight is going to be a super fight.
“I know he’s talking to [IBF light welterweight champion Subriel] Matias, and he has a belt. That’s a fight I want. That’s a big-money fight, and it’s a big fight because he has a belt.
“I think we’re the most feared people in the division right now. So, I just think it was a better overall thing to go with Matchroom,” said Prograis.