The WBC-ordered rematch between Jose Ramirez and Jose Zepeda for their vacant 140 lb title won’t be happening, as Ramirez is passing on the bout due to an October date conflict with his wedding.
This is a fair enough reason — it’s a big life event and all — but it also means that the WBC have now ordered Zepeda to face Regis Prograis, who recently had been upset about not being ordered into any vacant title fights.
The two sides have until Aug. 30 to come to an agreement or the bout goes to purse bids. Prograis (27-1, 23 KO) is promoted by Probellum, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be hard to get a deal done with Top Rank for a fight with Zepeda (35-2, 27 KO), but it will certainly be a bit more laborious than the in-house Top Rank fight between Zepeda and Ramirez would have been.
But we know Prograis wants a big fight, and that’s good, because he’s spend the last three years of his career killing time, following his World Boxing Super Series loss to Josh Taylor. He fought Juan Heraldez in Oct. 2020 on a PBC card, Ivan Redkach in Apr. 2021 on a Triller card, and most recently, Tyrone McKenna in March on a Probellum show in Dubai.
Zepeda has won five straight since a close 2019 loss to Ramirez, beating Jose Pedraza, Kendo Castaneda, Ivan Baranchyk, Hank Lundy, and Josue Vargas.
It’s a hell of a fight, one anyone will want to see, and a fitting actual vacant world title bout.