Regis Prograis Heading To PBC As Both Sides Agree To Multi Fight Deal
By: Hans Themistode
Regis Prograis has officially found a new home, and it didn’t take long.
The former 140 pound titlist has confirmed with BoxingInsider.com that he has come to terms with a new multi fight deal with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
Less than two weeks ago, the New Orleans native made a somewhat surprising move when he parted ways from long time promoter Lou DiBella with one fight left on his deal.
With the freedom to sign with any promotional company, Prograis was soon fielding offers from everywhere.
While he combed over each proposal that was filled with life changing money and opportunity, Prograis found one deal more attractive than the others and wasted absolutely no time in coming to an agreement with PBC.
With Prograis coming up short in his last ring appearance against Britain’s Josh Taylor in a unification matchup, the surly knockout artist was rumored to be moving up in weight. He quickly squashed those rumors shortly after. Moving up in weight is inevitable for the 31 year old, but not before draping more gold around his now empty shoulders.
“I want to win a world title at 140 again,” said Prograis to BoxingInsider.com during an interview several months ago. “I’ll move up to 147 eventually but I need a title first at 140 again.”
With championship gold still on his mind, all signs pointed to Prograis signing with Top Rank. Reason being, they currently house every major world title at 140 pounds with both Taylor and Jose Ramirez on their roster.
Despite that, Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) has officially made PBC his new home.
The competition at 147 pounds is well known with names such as unified champion Errol Spence Jr. and former belt holders in Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter stomping around his soon to be division. With that being said, Prograis won’t be short on options in his current weight class.
The title aspirations of the New Orleans product, is still possible with a showdown against WBA regular titlist Mario Barrios. Other makeable matchups between Robert Easter Jr. and of course, former four division world champion turned rapper, Adrien Broner, would produce memorable matchups as well.
For PBC, their week just continues to get better. The news of Prograis jumping onboard comes just one day after an agreement was made with fellow former 140 pound titlist Maurice Hooker.
The Dallas native is rumored to not only be making his PBC debut in November, but also his welterweight debut against long time contender Josesito Lopez in the co main event of Spence vs Garcia.
Maurice Hooker Opens Up on Failed Regis Prograis Fight Negotiations: “He’s a Coward, I Will Slap That Dude”
By: Hans Themistode
The 2020 boxing schedule was turned upside down the moment COVID-19 announced it’s presence. Contests such as Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 3 and Teofimo Lopez vs Vasiliy Lomachenko were thought to be impossible to make until at least 2021. Thankfully for fans though, promoter Bob Arum assured the public that those contests will in fact take place.
Wilder vs Fury has a tentative date of mid December, while Lomachenko vs Lopez is currently eyed for September 19th.
Unlike those newly rescheduled matchups, a contest between former 140 pound champions in Regis Prograis and Maurice Hooker, which was originally set to take place on April 17th, at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, has gone by the wayside.
A matchup between the two former belt holders was amongst the most anticipated contests of the pre COVID-19 year. Plans to salvage the bout via a closed door event was recently discussed between both parties.
However, discussions never materialized into a new fight date as constant back and forth bickering over weight closed negotiations early.
Prograis immediately pointed the finger at his opponent, claiming that Hooker wasn’t “professional” amongst other choice words.
Now that their contest is dead in the water, Hooker has opened up about exactly what happened.
“I decided to move up to 147,” said Hooker on FightHub. “In my last two or three fights I’ve been having trouble making 140. Me making 140 takes a big toll on me on fight night. So I decided to move up to 147. I told Regis and them and he was just like he’s not going up to 147. So he said let’s do it at 144 and I told him that’s still too low. But he just kept trying to call shots like he’s Floyd Mayweather or something.”
“We both don’t have a belt so we can fight at whatever weight we want to. I told him let’s do 145 and he just kept saying nah 144 so I just left it alone. If you really want to fight me then you’ll just come up to 145. What’s one more pound? He really don’t want to fight.”
For Hooker, the back and forth discussion over weight was pointless. Making the 140 pound limit was taking a “big toll” on the 6 ft former champions body. And while 145 pounds wouldn’t be easy, Hooker was willing to acquiesce for one reason and one reason only.
“I’m willing to die making weight, just so I can get my hands on him,” explained Hooker. “I just want to beat the guy.”
Animosity in the boxing world is often manufactured as a way to sell tickets to the viewing public. But in the case of Hooker and Prograis, the genuine dislike for one another is as real as it gets.
“I will slap the shit out of that dude,” said Hooker. “He’s a coward. When he sees me in person he’s going to shut up, he won’t say shit. I promise he won’t say shit because I will slap that dude. When he sees me he better keep that same energy. And if he do, I’m a slap him.”
With their contest officially in the rear view mirror, fans can only imagine how things would have played out. For Hooker though, he doesn’t have to assume how their matchup was going to unfold. It’s clear as day for the former title holder.
“I was going to stop him. I was going to hurt him.”