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Regis Prograis ready for screen debut in ‘Bayou Caviar’

The 140-pound titleholder has a role in Cuba Gooding Jr’s film.

Regis Prograis is counting down to his next rumble, which will unfold October 27, as part of the World Boxing Super Series season two.

The 140-pound ace will be doing his thing in Lousiana for the second straight time. Prograis, who holds a 22-0 mark, will face off with Terry Flanagan, a 33-1 Brit, who held the WBO 135-pound crown before moving up and losing a 140-pound title fight to Maurice Hooker in June.

Prograis is a diligent sort in camp, not one to let himself be detoured into extra-curriculars or what have you. But he can be excused if in the first week of October, he allows himself a bit of RnR, to soak up the scene, Hollywood style. That’s because the man promoted by DiBella Entertainment, who holds the interim WBC 140-pound title, is making his film debut, in a production called Bayou Caviar.

This effort is directed by and stars Cuba Gooding Jr, the Bronx-born talent who boasts a presence in one of the best known sports flicks of the ages, Jerry Maguire. In Caviar, Gooding plays an ex-pug who is working now as a nightclub bouncer. And, pray tell, what role does Prograis have?

“It’s a part where Cuba Gooding is playing the main character as an ex-boxer who is now training fighters and I play the next up and coming big thing,” Prograis, age 29, told me. “It was a perfect part for me to play because it was right after my fight with Joel Diaz (June 9, 2017) and I was actually playing who I am in real life.

“The film was filmed in New Orleans and the film crew was asking if they had any up and coming fighters that could fill the part and of course I was the perfect person to play the part. Especially after my win against Diaz on Showtime!”

And what did Prograis take away from that experience?

“I took a lot away from the experience. Acting is a very hard job. Everything has to be perfect. We were in the trailers at 5:30 am and didn’t leave until around 9 pm. Cuba Gooding is a perfectionist. We did so many takes of the same thing over and over. This is his first movie that he directed and acted in it so he was running all around set with so much energy. I see why he’s a legend in his profession.

“And the main thing about him that everybody noticed was how down-to-earth he was with all the fighters there. He took a big group picture with everybody and then took individual pictures with everybody that asked. It was humbling to see somebody of that magnitude be so cool. I can’t wait to see it. The parts I played in was real action. I sparred for real and hit the bag at 100%. Can’t wait to see it!”

Regarding, real, not reel life, October 27 is a busy night, what with Danny Jacobs fighting Sergiy Derevyanchenko on HBO. Prograis’ tussle against Flanagan will stream on DAZN. Yes, “Rougarou” said, he wants to snag the buzz from any and all pugs throwing leather that night. And how difficult does promoter DiBella expect the Flanagan test to be?

DiBella poses with Gooding at a “Broadway Boxing” event in NYC, when the actor was in town doing a play and wanted to see some fights. “Cool dude, big boxing fan,” Dibella said.

“Former world champ,” DiBella said. “Tough as nails guy. Yes, it’s a stiff challenge, but I think Regis is the best 140 pound fighter in the world!”

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