By Keith Idec
Regis Prograis will face a different former 140-pound champion in his upcoming title shot.
ESPN.com reported Monday that Julius Indongo has replaced an injured Viktor Postol as Prograis’ opponent March 9. Ukraine’s Postol (29-1, 12 KOs) suffered a fractured thumb recently, which forced him to withdraw from their scheduled 12-round fight for the WBC’s interim super lightweight title.
Namibia’s Indongo (22-1, 11 KOs), a former IBF/IBO/WBA 140-pound champion, will fight for the first time since Terence Crawford knocked him out in the third round of their super lightweight title unification fight August 19 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Prograis and Indongo both are promoted by Lou DiBella, who signed Indongo recently.
Showtime will televise the Prograis-Indongo fight from Deadwood Mountain Grand, a casino and resort in Deadwood, South Dakota.
The WBC will require the winner between Prograis (20-0, 17 KOs), a strong southpaw from New Orleans, and Indongo to face whoever wins the March 17 fight that’ll pit Amir Imam against Jose Ramirez in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Imam (21-1, 18 KOs), of Albany, New York, and Ramirez (21-0, 16 KOs), of Avenal, California, will fight for the vacant WBC 140-pound championship Crawford gave up when he decided to move up to welterweight last year.
Prograis is ranked No. 2 in the WBC’s super lightweight ratings. The WBC rates Indongo at No. 9 among its 140-pound contenders.
Imam is the WBC’s top-rated challenger at super lightweight. The WBC ranks Ramirez at No. 3.
Showtime’s also will air an IBF junior welterweight elimination match March 9 that’ll send Sweden’s Anthony Yigit (21-0-1, 7 KOs) against Russia’s Ivan Baranchyk (17-0, 10 KOs). Yigit is rated No. 3 by the IBF at 140 pounds, one spot in front of Baranchyk.
The winner will become the mandatory challenger for the Sergey Lipinets-Mikey Garcia winner. Kazakhstan’s Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) will defend his IBF junior welterweight title against Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), of Oxnard, California, on March 10 at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.