Regis Prograis inks with Eddie Hearn, defends against Liam Paro on June 17 in New Orleans

By Boxing News - 05/07/2023 - Comments

By Brian Webber: Regis Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) has officially inked an unspecified long-term deal with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and will defend his WBC light welterweight title next month on June 17th against unbeaten highly ranked contender Liam Paro (23-0, 14 KOs) on DAZN at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana,

With the stroke of a pen, the wunderkind Eddie Hearn has picked up the #1 light welterweight in the division,  Regis Prograis, and also inked 2020 Olympic Cuban gold medalist Andy Cruz, who could be the next superstar at 135. As the saying goes, ‘The rich get richer.”

The 34-year-old Prograis had previously talked with Top Rank about joining their stable but ultimately went with Hearn’s Matchroom.

Prograis, who has dealt with many inactivity problems since losing his WBA 140-lb title to Josh Taylor in 2019, is thrilled that he’s already been given a fight after just one month of signing with Matchroom.

In Prograis’ last fight, he stopped Jose Zepeda in the eleventh round to capture the vacant WBC light welterweight title last November in Carson, California. Prograis had hoped recently to defend his WBC belt against Jose Ramirez or Teofimo Lopez, but neither of those fighters showed interest in facing him.

“Now it’s official. I am with Matchroom,” said Prograis. “I’d been contemplating which move I should make next. I had a lot of good offers on the table, but I feel like Matchroom is the best for me.”

Prograis joins Matchroom stable

“140-lb champion Regis Prograis and his new business partner Eddie Hearn, signing with Matchroom Boxing. Your first fight will be June 17th against Liam Paro. How do you feel about this relationship?” said Chris Mannix.

“I can’t wait. Eddie came to Houston a few days ago, and already I have a fight date on June 17th in New Orleans at the Smoothie Kings,” said Prograis to DAZN Boxing. “It’s in New Orleans, a party city, and I know they can’t wait for this, my homecoming.”

“Eddie, you’ve flirted with the idea of signing Regis Prograis over the years, and even had against Maurice Hooker a couple of years ago. Why was now the right time to bring him in? said Mannix.

“Because now he’s a world champion. 140 lbs, for me, is the glamour division coming up in world boxing,” said Hearn. “We see a lot of great fighters there already, you’re seeing a lot of great 135-pounders coming up, and we got him [Prograis].

Liam Paro next for Regis

“The #1 star in the 140-lb division, the WBC king, and on June 17th, we take him straight home to New Orleans to a big party on a huge night against Liam Paro, one of the top Australians. This man is the man to beat in the 140-lb division.

“It’s a massive, massive signing for us. He’s one of our top fighters, we’re going to make him a huge star, and it all begins on June 17th, live on DAZN,” said Hearn.

“Regis, it was widely reported, had a few different options to sign with. Why was this the right one for you?” said Mannix.

“I just felt like it was home,” said Prograis. “We had things going back and forth for three or four weeks, but I just had this gut feeling that this is where I belong. I still feel like that. From the beginning to the end, this is where I belong.

“Obviously, I’m a two-time world champion a lot of people wanted me, and it was back and forth, but I feel like this is home. This is the best move for my career. I feel like this is where I need to be,” said Prograis.

Prograis wants Ryan Garcia & Gervonta Davis

“So you get Liam Paro first. What’s the end game for you? What’s the big fight out there on the horizon that you hope to get?” said Mannix.

“First off, I want to get a lot of big fights. Ryan Garcia and maybe Gervonta Davis” said Prograis. “After I get some big fights, I want to clean up the division. I do what to be undisputed by the time it’s all said and done.”

“Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia, you’re really aiming low there, Regis, going for the lowest,” said Mannix jokingly.

“Well, hold up. Me and Gervonta, we had some words. Ryan said he wanted to fight me,” said Prograis in defending his choice of wanting those two stars.

“You’re right; let me stop picking on the small guys. Josh Taylor rematch, I definitely want that. Rolly [Romero] might [want to fight], and [IBF light welterweight champion Subriel] Matias, something may happen with Matias. I definitely want that fight. Yeah, I want to get some big fights and then become undisputed [at 140],” said Prograis.

“Alright, congratulations on the new deal, and Eddie, congratulations on the signing,” said Mannix.

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