Regis Prograis doesn’t necessarily blame Jose Ramirez for the fallout of what would have been one of the more intriguing title bouts in the first half of 2023.

The way he sees it, at this point, they can only hope that the fight will get bigger with age.

Prograis, the recently crowned WBC 140-pound titlist, will not be facing Ramirez, a former unified titlist in the division, as expected after Ramirez declined to take up his mandated title opportunity citing the “unfair” purse split, 65-35 in favor of Prograis, the champion.

The fight was headed toward a purse bid because Ramirez’s promoter, Top Rank, was not willing to negotiate with Prograis’ promoter, Probellum. Earlier this year, after the US Department of Treasury foisted sanctions on alleged Irish drug cartel boss Daniel Kinahan, Top Rank head Bob Arum put out an edict barring his company from doing any business with Kinahan-related entities, of which, Arum insisted, Probellum was one. Probellum has continually denied the accusations and has even sued a British promoter over the issue.

Ramirez has felt particularly aggrieved by the situation, as declining his title shot against Prograis has brought up accusations that he “ducked” the New Orleans native. Ducking, in boxing circles, is probably the biggest sin a fighter can commit. Ramirez's manager, Rick Mirigian, has repeatedly defended his charge, saying that it would have been foolish for Ramirez to accept such lopsided terms when Ramirez is the more bankable fighter. 

In an ad hoc Instagram Live session set up by Elie Seckbach, both Ramirez and Prograis tried to make sense of the unfortunate aftermath of their scuttled fight.

Prograis, for his part, seemed understanding of Ramirez’s situation, and, to his credit, was not about to parrot what detractors were saying online and elsewhere.

Prograis, who lives and trains in Houston, said he was aware that business and politics often take precedent over a fighter’s ambition. Throwing his hands up, Prograis said the next best thing is to simply “marinate” their fight for the future.

“How ’bout that then,” Prograis said. “If it ain’t happening next, well, f--k  it, oh well, let it f---in' marinate, if that’s what they say.”

In their discussion, Ramirez repeatedly referred to feeling being “thrown under the bus” by his promoter Top Rank due to their stance towards Probellum. Prograis responded by saying he is mostly unaware of the business and political context surrounding their fight.

“Top Rank don’t give a sh!t about doing business with Probellum, bro,” Ramirez said. “They said it publicly.”

“If it’s a promotional thing with Probellum, what do you want me to do about that,” Prograis responded. “What do you expect me [to do? What is it gonna be? I don’t know bro. I’m not the business person behind this sh!t.”

“When the business people start talking, that (fights) sh!t don’t happen,” Prograis said. “For me it’s all gonna be talk right now, so it don’t even make sense.”

Ramirez will now probably face former lightweight titlist Richard Commey in a 140-pound bout March 25 in Fresno, California.

It's not clear whom Prograis will face next. The next fighter in the WBC 140-pound rankings is Teofimo Lopez, but Lopez, like Ramirez, is promoted by Top Rank, and the same issues that plagued Ramirez are likely to be present with Lopez.