By Steve Kim
Regis Prograis faces Juan Jose Velasco this weekend in what is a homecoming fight for him at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Prograis, by defeating Julius Indongo in two rounds back in March, captured the WBC interim 140-pound title. With that designation he was next in line to face their champion, Jose Ramirez.
But eventually a deal was struck where Top Rank, who promote Ramirez, would have Prograis get a date on ESPN this Saturday night before embarking in the World Boxing Super Series tournament, while Ramirez (who's fight this past weekend versus Danny O'Connor was scratched) would be free from this particular obligation for the time being.
It seems as though Top Rank and Ramirez wanted the path of least resistance.
"I already knew that, I went to (Ramirez's) fight, it was literally a week after I fought," said Prograis of Ramirez's title winning effort against Amir Imam on March 16th.
"So I went there, I talked to Bob Arum after the fight. I said, 'Bob [Arum] what's up? You're going to give me the fight?' He was like, 'Who is this?'
"All the reporters are like, 'that's Regis Prograis, that's the mandatory,' he was like, 'oh, OK, well how bout we do a warm-up fight or something like that?'"
At this moment, the dangerous Prograis (21-0/18 KO's) is looked viewed as a high risk, low reward for Ramirez.
Prograis told BoxingScene.com - "At that time I knew this fight is not going to happen and Bob Arum is a smart man. He's not where he is for being a dummy. He's a very, very smart man so he knew and they offered me this so it's not like something you can't turn down and they offered him a fight too. So I guess he got his wish.
"So I already knew that it wasn't going to happen."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.