WBC super lightweight titleholder Regis Prograis has been getting into social media exchanges with Arnold Barboza, who don’t appear to be getting ready to fight as a replacement for Liam Paro who withdrew due to injury.
Prograis would say he wants to face Barboza — who he thinks should be thrilled for a chance to contend for a world title, even if on short notice — while calling him out for his privately turning down the fight behind the scenes. Check out some of the exchanges between the two here.
“Liam Paro, he pulled out, he had an injury right,” Prograis said. “His replacement is supposed to be Arnold Barboza and, you know, we gonna see if he take the fight or not. I know for a long time he been calling me out, he say he wanted to fight, so now’s his shot.
“I know some people said if it’s the right opportunity or not, well listen, if you believe you can win and you fighting for the WBC belt, there’s no such thing as the right opportunity. So, let’s see if he gonna take the fight. I’m calling you out right now, Arnold Barboza. You’ve got a chance to fight for the belt and you been calling me out, so let’s see if you actually gonna take the fight or you gonna hide behind the business side of things.”
Barboza, who would see Prograis’ message to him, would then respond with one of his own.
“I’ve seen Regis’ little video,” Barboza said. “Like I said, I got respect for dude but fuck outta here bro, with that ‘don’t hide behind the business side of things.’ When you were supposed to been signed with Top Rank, when that fight was pretty much guaranteed to me once you signed — once you put pen to paper that fight was gonna get made...but you decided to go another route because the business side of things, because it’s better for you, right?
“So don’t come at me with ‘business side of things,’ come on man, don’t do that. All of the sudden you have no dance partner, you want me on three week notice, that’s fine. I want the fight, we’re gonna get it. Talk to Eddie Hearn, tell him to send the right number and let’s do it.”
Prograis would then go on Twitter to say Barboza has already tuned down the fight behind the scenes.
Stop making videos and tell the people you already turned the fight down. And don’t wait to talk to your manager before responding. That’s not even your words lol https://t.co/K1B12s3WAS— Rougarou (@RPrograis) May 19, 2023
“If you got a title shot and you about to fight for the WBC belt, you gonna turn it down?!” Prograis would say. “What is wrong with ya’ll, bruh. People be saying they want smoke, and they wanna fight, and they want this and they want that, but when the shot come they hold that shit in front of they face, they scared. They not trying to fight. Come on, bruh. If I had a title shot, I’m taking it. For the WBC? I’m taking it. Ya’ll fuckin’ scary.”