By Keith Idec, photo by Hossana Rull
Regis Prograis recognizes that Julius Indongo is the best opponent of his six-year pro boxing career.
Beating Indongo (22-1, 11 KOs), even though Terence Crawford knocked him out in the third round of his last fight, would be a significant step in Prograis’ progression. A victory over the former 140-pound champion Friday night not only would earn Prograis the WBC’s interim super lightweight title, it’d represent the most respectable conquest on his record.
The confident Prograis has much bigger plans than beating Indongo, though.
If everything goes the way he expects this weekend, Prograis eventually would like to meet Mikey Garcia in what would be a 140-pound title unification fight. Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) will attempt to become a champion in a fourth weight class Saturday night, when he’ll challenge IBF junior welterweight champ Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) in San Antonio.
“Mikey Garcia is definitely a big name, and I definitely think me and him will meet up eventually, one day,” Prograis told BoxingScene.com. “Right now, that’s the biggest name at 140. I don’t know if he plans on staying, or going up or going down or whatever. But I think that would be a good fight, and I think that the fans would demand that fight one day.”
Prograis predicted Garcia, of Oxnard, California, will handle Lipinets in a 12-round title fight Showtime will televise from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio (10:15 p.m. ET).
“I think it’ll go back and forth,” Prograis said. “I don’t see either of them getting knocked out. I don’t think it’ll be a knockout or nothing like that. I think it’ll be competitive for the first four or five rounds, but Mikey’s IQ is probably higher and I think he’ll try to use the jab on him a little more. Once he adjusts to what Lipinets does, then I think he’ll just pull away from him.”
The powerful southpaw from New Orleans is confident he’d give Garcia a tougher time than Lipinets if he gets the opportunity to face one of the most technically proficient fighters in the sport.
“I wanna fight Mikey,” Prograis said. “I think that’ll be a great fight. He’s more technical. I’m more of a come-forward type, with some defense, and I think that’ll be a real, real good fight. I just see me and Mikey fighting one day, and it being a really good fight.”
The 29-year-old Prograis probably wouldn’t fight Garcia next if both boxers win this weekend. If Prograis wins the WBC’s interim 140-pound championship by beating Indongo, Prograis would have to face the winner between Amir Imam and Jose Ramirez on March 17 for the WBC’s super lightweight title.
Eight days after Prograis encounters Indongo, the top-rated Imam (21-1, 18 KOs), of Albany, New York, and the third-ranked Ramirez (21-0, 16 KOs), of Avenal, California, will fight for the unclaimed WBC 140-pound championship Crawford vacated when he moved up to welterweight last year.
Showtime also will televise the Prograis-Indongo fight Friday night from Deadwood, South Dakota, as the main event of a special edition of its “ShoBox: The New Generation” series (10 p.m. ET).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.