SAN ANTONIO – Mario Barrios and Regis Prograis boxed in back-to-back bouts Saturday night at Alamodome.
Now that they’ve recorded respective technical knockouts of Ryan Karl and Juan Heraldez, Barrios and Prograis could come face-to-face the next time they enter the ring. Both boxers acknowledged after their impressive victories that they expect to fight one another at some point.
San Antonio’s Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) owns the WBA world super lightweight title. Prograis (25-1, 21 KOs) would rather receive an opportunity to win back his WBA “super” 140-pound championship from Josh Taylor, but he would welcome a shot at the unbeaten Barrios’ belt while waiting for that chance to avenge his only loss.
“We can do Barrios,” Prograis said during a post-fight press conference Saturday night. “I think everybody is trying to set me and Barrios up because everybody saying, ‘Barrios, Barrios, Barrios.’ So hey, maybe that could be a fight, too. … We can do that, too, and still make it probably back here in Texas because I’m out there in Katy, and he’s right here in San Antonio. So, that’d be perfect, too.”
Prograis made his debut with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions against Heraldez (16-1-1, 10 KOs), who is promoted by Floyd Mayweather’s company. The New Orleans native has not yet made a long-term commitment to PBC, but the strong southpaw is more than open to such an arrangement.
Barrios also is affiliated with PBC.
“I mean, I’m in the sport to give boxing fans the exciting fights,” Barrios said following his defeat of Karl. “I mean, a fight with Regis, it would be huge at 140, especially with him being, you know, with the PBC team now. So, that’s a very likely fight to happen.”
The 25-year-old Barrios beat Karl (18-3, 12 KOs) by sixth-round TKO before Barrios’ hometown fans. He struggled to get into a rhythm early in their bout, but he eventually dropped Karl, of Milano, Texas, twice in the sixth round before their scheduled 12-rounder was stopped at 2:23 of that round.
The 31-year-old Prograis overpowered the previously undefeated Heraldez.
Prograis sent Heraldez to the canvas with a left hook in the third round. Heraldez reached his feet, only to have Prograis unload a barrage of punches that forced referee Rafael Ramos to stop the action 1:23 into that third round.
Facing Prograis would be a daunting assignment for Barrios, who also wants to face the winner of the Jose Ramirez-Taylor title unification fight that’ll likely take place early in 2021.
“I mean, I think that’s up to management,” Prograis said. “You know, it’s up to them to see what’s set up. Basically, I do wanna be a champion again. Mario Barrios, he does have the WBA regular [title], I think. But I want my belt back. I want the one Josh Taylor took from me. You know, that’s the one I want. But still, Barrios, yeah, that’s not off the table, of course. Whatever they say for me, I’m just ready to get in there. Of course, I want to get the biggest fights and, you know, get the belts.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.