Ryan Garcia is expected to face Gervonta “Tank” Davis on April 15 in Las Vegas, following Davis’ win over Hector Luis Garcia on Saturday night, but the social media celebrity/boxing star has another beef building, too, with 140 lb titlist Regis Prograis.
Prograis and Garcia got into it on Twitter over the last couple of days. Prograis, who won the WBC title in November, had recently Tweeted that he hoped he could get Garcia or Teofimo Lopez for his next opponent. On Friday, Garcia threw out a quick Tweet:
No Regis you aren’t as good as you think, you got the mentality kid so that’s a plus.— RYAN GARCIA (@RyanGarcia) January 6, 2023
Within two hours, Prograis responded, and it went from there.
Yea ok. We’ll I know along with the rest of the world that mentally your weak. I’ll break your spirit. https://t.co/M27uvnWusy— Rougarou (@RPrograis) January 6, 2023
You keep believing that. You’re a champion and nobody knows who you are, plus you step into the ring fat. Shut your ass up https://t.co/1qTLFCnIBt— RYAN GARCIA (@RyanGarcia) January 7, 2023
You know exactly who the fuck I am. Go with your move and try me Twitter bitch https://t.co/2JJUjltdO3— Rougarou (@RPrograis) January 8, 2023
To sum up:
Garcia: “No, Regis, you aren’t as good as you think. You got the mentality, kid, so that’s a plus.”
Prograis: “Yeah, OK. Well I know along with the rest of the world that you’re mentally weak. I’ll break your spirit.”
Garcia: “You keep believing that. You’re a champion and nobody knows who you are, plus you step into the ring fat. Shut your ass up.”
Prograis: “You know exactly who the fuck I am. Go with your move and try me, Twitter bitch.”
Prograis (28-1, 24 KO) definitely has superior credibility in the boxing ring, because he’s simply fought better competition and competed at a higher level, but Garcia (23-0, 19 KO) is also absolutely the bigger star and draw. There’s really no question about that.
Still, Garcia at some point is going to have to accept that he will have to face people who, no, aren’t BIG names and maybe don’t have much or any commercial heat beyond the diehard boxing audience, and also carry a risk. Otherwise he’s just never going to fight anyone good, other than Davis and maybe Teofimo Lopez.
The Davis fight is happening (we’re pretty sure!) because he and Garcia both have legitimate, strong fan bases that go beyond the normal boxing reach. It will be a major, major event, and could wind up being the biggest event in boxing this year. But what then? The only other guy around their weight whose fan base can reach past the boxing world is Teofimo, and his star has taken a hit in the year and change for sure.
There are plenty of credible fighters at 135/140, but if Garcia is going to dismiss Prograis because “nobody knows him,” what stops him from dismissing anyone else other than Tank and maybe Teofimo?
None of the Tweet back-and-forth is bad, though, especially not for Regis. Just by having the beef with him, Garcia has put Prograis’ name in his fans’ minds to go along with the “real” boxing audience that already knows Regis and probably would like to see the fight.
We know what Garcia is planning to do next, but Prograis is finding it harder to get a target. Jose Ramirez recently turned down a mandatory shot at Regis’ WBC belt because he was apparently shocked and/or dismayed by normal purse bid splits (the fight had not gone to purse bid); there’s a chance that could still happen, for sure, but it’d be later this year, not next, at least not for Ramirez, who probably will fight on March 25.
Prograis could wait to see what happens with the Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall rematch on March 4. If Catterall wins, a two-belt unification could get done. That would have Prograis waiting until the late summer at best, probably, but he’s had waits before.
The aforementioned Lopez would seem to be his biggest option, and Teofimo’s win over Sandor Martin, however controversial, was billed as a WBC eliminator. Otherwise, the most recent WBC top 15 — which is pretty out of date at this point — would suggest Sandor Martin, Sergey Lipinets, Shohjahon Ergashev, Lindolfo Delgado, or Yves Ulysse Jr as the highest-rated, most available contenders.