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Prograis: I Don’t Know If Hooker Is Scared, But I Don't Think He Wants The Fight

Regis Prograis doesn’t believe this stalemate is about weight.

The powerful southpaw suspects Maurice Hooker actually thought twice after agreeing to box Prograis and changed his mind. The former WBO junior welterweight champion would’ve been paid very well to oppose Prograis in a 12-round, 143-pound bout, but Hooker has informed BoxingScene.com that the lowest weight he would be able to reach for it is 145 pounds.

New Orleans’ Prograis isn’t willing to go any higher than 144 pounds. The onetime WBA super lightweight champion wants more money for even conceding another pound above the weight at which they were contracted to fight April 17 at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

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Regardless, Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) is convinced Hooker (27-1-3, 18 KOs) wants to fight someone less dangerous in his next fight.

“I don’t think he wants this fight,” Prograis told BoxingScene.com. “I really think Maurice Hooker doesn’t wanna fight me. Probably when [co-promoter] Eddie [Hearn] brought him the fight, of course, being a macho man, you’re gonna say, ‘I want the fight.’ Then his team started thinking about it, and I don’t think he wants this fight. I’ve been training my ass off since before [the pandemic], during it, and obviously, he hasn’t. It’s telling right there. I don’t think he wants this fight right now.”

Prograis doesn’t want to box Hooker near or at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds because he intends to continue competing in the 140-pound division once he boxes Hooker. The 31-year-old Prograis’ goal is to become a two-time champion at that weight before he moves up to pursue welterweight fights.

Brian McIntyre, Hooker’s trainer, told ESPN.com that Hooker weighed about 168 pounds last week. Even though their fight wouldn’t be rescheduled until a date either late in August or sometime in September, Hooker has set 145 pounds as the lowest weight that the Dallas native can make.

“You’re supposed to be disciplined,” Prograis said. “If you’re making seven figures to fight, there’s no way you should be that heavy. I don’t know if he’s scared, but one word I definitely can use is unprofessional. You’re talking about a guy who’s making seven figures to fight. And for you not to be in shape, I can’t say he’s throwing his career away, but he’s throwing this fight away. You’re messing up your money. I just think it’s very, very unprofessional.”

Lou DiBella, Prograis’ promoter, and Hooker’s co-promoters, Dino Duva and Hearn, are attempting to come to a resolution before walking away from a fight DAZN was supposed to stream before the COVID-19 pandemic brought boxing to a standstill in middle of March. 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by emceetns on 06-15-2020

If they are only 1 lb apart (144 vs 145) then maybe they could agree on 144.5 lbs. If not then I'm thinking that Prograis could also benefit from having less weight to lose so perhaps he might consider budging…

Comment by Afi23 on 06-15-2020

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;20610496]Not unless you're Bomac.[/QUOTE] Haha, well yeah. We'll give BoMac a pass.

Comment by PBR Streetgang on 06-14-2020

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;20610496]Not unless you're Bomac.[/QUOTE] That's pretty funny.

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 06-14-2020

[QUOTE=Afi23;20610486]I know Hooker is a grown up but you can't be in that Bud/Bo-Mac camp and be that overweight.[/QUOTE] Not unless you're Bomac.

Comment by tokon on 06-14-2020

Prograis should stick with 143 limit if he's decided he's going to continue fighting at 140 after this. Hooker is obviously a full welter now. Both guys just need to move on and look for other fights.

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