Former junior welterweight world titlist Regis Prograis, who last week worked out a separation agreement from promoter Lou DiBella and became a free agent, will have his next fight under the Premier Boxing Champions banner, multiple sources told BoxingScene on Friday.
Under what the sources said was a one-fight deal, Prograis will face unbeaten Juan Heraldez in a 10-round junior welterweight fight on Oct. 24 at the Mohegan Sun resort in Uncasville, Connecticut. The bout will be part of the Showtime PPV card headlined by the lightweight and junior lightweight title fight between Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz.
The news was first reported by Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
The fight will be the first for Prograis almost one year to the day since he suffered his first loss via majority decision in an action-packed unification fight with Josh Taylor in London in the final of the World Boxing Super Series final last Oct. 26.
A southpaw, Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs), 31, a New Orleans native, won a 140-pound world title by sixth-round knockout of Kiryl Relikh in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series in front of a hometown crowd in Lafayette, Louisiana, in April 2019 after having notched notable wins over former lightweight titlist Terry Flanagan in the quarterfinals as well having defeated former unified junior welterweight titlist Julius Indongo.
Heraldez (16-0-1, 10 KOs), 30, a Northridge, California, native, will be taking a major step up in the level of his competition. He is coming off a majority draw with former junior lightweight titlist Argenis Mendez in May 2019 on the Deontay Wilder-Dominic Breazeale undercard at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Prograis had one fight left on his promotional deal with DiBella but they amicably agreed to a buyout of DiBella’s last bout, which was to have been the April fight with fellow former titlist Maurice Hooker before that fight was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic and then not rescheduled when Hooker wanted to increase the weight to 145 pounds, which Prograis would not do.
Soon after Prograis and DiBella parted ways rumors of the fight with Heraldez surfaced if Prograis did indeed go with PBC. But he also had an offer from Top Rank. Ultimately, Prograis and manager Sam Katkovski of Churchwell Boxing went with PBC.
“We had some conversations about signing him,” Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti old BoxingScene. “We just couldn’t come to an agreement and I guess they just preferred to take the other offer.”
Top Rank looked like an obvious destination because the company promotes unified titleholder Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) as well as unified titlist Jose Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs). However, Ramirez and Taylor both have upcoming mandatory defenses with Ramirez scheduled to face former titlist Viktor Postol on Aug. 29 in Las Vegas and Taylor is due to meet Apinun Khongsong on Sept, 26 in the United Kingdom.
If Ramirez and Taylor retain their belts Top Rank plans to match them with each other for the undisputed 140-pound world championship, which means Prograis would have a long wait before getting a shot at a world title again.
With PBC, a title shot could perhaps be in the offing if Postol, a PBC fighter, pulls the upset of Ramirez. There could also potentially be a fight with four-division titlist Adrien Broner.
Dan Rafael was ESPN.com's senior boxing writer for fifteen years, and covered the sport for five years at USA Today. He was the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism.