SAN ANTONIO – An OK fighter.
That was Regis Prograis’ less-than-complimentary assessment of Juan Heraldez, his opponent Saturday night. Prograis stopped short during a press conference Wednesday of completely marginalizing Heraldez because the former WBA super light champion didn’t “wanna sh-t on him.”
The undefeated Heraldez, who is promoted by Floyd Mayweather’s company, doesn’t believe Prograis thinks that little of him.
“I don’t think he’s overlooking me,” Heraldez told BoxingScene.com following the press conference. “He’s selling the fight and he’s gonna talk this crap. But if he did his homework and watched a little bit of videos on me, he knows I can box, he knows I can fight, he knows I can punch and, to me, that’s something that he’s not ready for.”
New Orleans’ Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) and Heraldez (16-0-1, 10 KOs), of North Las Vegas, Nevada, both will end long layoffs when they square off in a 10-round junior welterweight bout on the Gervonta Davis-Leo Santa Cruz undercard at Alamodome.
Heraldez hasn’t boxed since he settled for a 10-round majority draw against Argenis Mendez (25-5-3, 12 KOs, 1 NC) in May 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 31-year-old Prograis lost a majority decision to IBF/WBA 140-pound champ Josh Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) in his last fight, a 12-round title unification fight in October 2019 at O2 Arena in London.
“Beating him will put me in a very good position,” Heraldez said. “This is gonna prove to everybody something that I’ve always known, how good I can box, how good I can punch, and I have a very good ring IQ. It’s gonna earn me respect.”
Prograis didn’t predict a knockout Wednesday, but the 30-year-old Heraldez is confident that his defense will prevent the hard-hitting Prograis from landing impactful punches on him. Heraldez didn’t predict a knockout, either, yet he expects to surprise Prograis with his power.
“I don’t plan on getting hit,” Heraldez said. “Whatever he thinks he’s gonna land, I don’t think he’ll get clean shots on me like that because of my defense, my smarts, my jab and my movement. So, ask him the question after the fight, how I punch.”
Prograis-Heraldez will be the second of four fights Showtime Pay-Per-View will offer Saturday night, starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT ($74.99).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.