In an interview with DAZN’s Ak & Barak, former super-lightweight champion Regis Prograis aired his frustrations with Al Haymon and PBC, and at what he perceives as a lack of follow-through on matchups promised to him.
Following his TKO victory over Juan Heraldez on the undercard of the Gervonta Davis - Leo Santa Cruz PPV on October 31, 2020, “Rougarou” claims PBC had promised him an opportunity to face Mario Barrios for his “secondary” “title,” only for Barrios to then claim unequivocally that he was no longer able to make the weight. Prograis said he then passed along his interest in fighting for the vacant “belt,” before learning that Barrios would remain at the weight and fight Gervonta Davis instead.
“I understand it’s a business decision, it’s a way bigger fight on his resume, he’ll get paid way more probably. I understand that. But, still, for me and from my eyes, that was some b******* s*** that he did.”
Prograis also suggested that he may have been promised a fight with Adrien Broner.
“Then I think we was promised Adrien Broner, but of course that didn’t happen. So then it was like none of the promises came true, so what are we doing? From what I understand, we haven’t heard back from Al Haymon or that side yet.”
It bears noting that Prograis is still a promotional free agent, which he made sure to clarify throughout the interview. His irritation stems from broken promises, rather than a breach of contract. In all honesty, if Prograis was in fact promised a fight with Adrien Broner and he believed that to be a sincere offer, that’s more on him than anyone else. Nobody on team Broner would for even a second consider putting him in with Prograis, and hardcore fans will know why that is.
“I know in the boxing world, a lot of people look at Adrien Broner as being washed up. But the average fan, they’re not the boxing world, they don’t know s*** about boxing. They still think Adrien Broner is Adrien Broner, so I think it’ll be a huge fight.”
For what it’s worth, Leonard Ellerbe pushed back against Prograis’ claims in the interview, tweeting “Sure would love to see the agreement on this one, probably needs to chk with his team. I can assure you none of this ever happened. Promised these fights based on what? He fought one undercard fight and then went and fought with another entity.”
It’s fine and good for Prograis to push for what would be a massive payday and an easy night at the office, but the obviously more realistic (and still lucrative) option is Mikey Garcia.
Asked for his opinion on Floyd Mayweather’s statement that they would only be looking at in-house opponents for Gervonta Davis rather than testing him against the elite at 135, Prograis agreed that it made sense from a risk/reward perspective, but was nevertheless bad for the sport.
“They look at boxing more like a business than anything. Floyd is an excellent business man, but that doesn’t make the best fights. Let him fight the best fights. But they’re not gonna do that.”
Prograis also shared his thoughts on who he considered to be the best in the 135-pound division.
“For me, it’s Teofimo because he beat Lomachenko. But I think that Devin Haney could give Teofimo, and Gervonta some problems, because of his defense. But for me right now, the best at 135 is Teofimo.”
The interview wrapped up with Prograis talking Jake Paul vs Tyrone Woodley and Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder.
“If he [Jake Paul] can beat Tyrone Woodley, I’ll give him more credit. I think a lot of the boxing world is hating on him because he’s making so much money so fast, but it’s not his fault. He’s popular, and I think whatever sport he would have went into, if he went into tennis, or race-car driving, people would have tuned in. He just happened to choose boxing. And I know he’s taking it serious.”
On fickle American fans:
“I’m picking Wilder again. You know why... they [UK boxing fans] stick behind their fighters a hundred... one thousand percent. You could be 0-100, and they’re gonna stick with you. With us, we don’t stick with our fighters. I don’t know, we just don’t. We ready to write everybody off.”