With just a quick glance at Regis Prograis' resume, it would appear that his career has already come full circle. He made his way up the ranks by beating some quality opponents, entered into an elite tournament, won a world title and lost the title while engaging in a double title-unification fight in the process. But Prograis is far from done.
"I feel like I'm just getting started, honestly," Prograis said. "This is just another chapter. I feel like I'm still supposed to be a world champion. I want a belt again at 140 and then I'll go up to 147. I still have a lot more to prove and a lot more to gain. Financially there's a lot of big fights out there right now. It's a good time right now for my career."
Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) will be coming off the longest layoff of his career when he steps into the ring against Juan Heraldez (16-0-1, 10 KOs) tonight at the Alamodome in San Antonio on the undercard of Leo Santa Cruz vs. Gervonta Davis. The fight, scheduled for 10 rounds, will be broadcast on Showtime Pay-Per-View.
"This is a huge opportunity," Prograis said. "This is a pay-per-view card so I think popularity-wise, this fight will bring me even higher."
In his last fight, Prograis lost a gruelling, action-packed title unification fight to Scot Josh Taylor in London by majority decision. So scintillating and fiercely-contested was the slugfest that it made the top-three finalists for Fight of the Year with virtually every boxing and sports media outlet that gives out that award. Although he still disputes the verdict of the fight, Prograis was eager to get right back into the thick of battle. The year of inactivity wasn't his choice. Prior to his bout against Heraldez, Prograis had four fights fall through, three against fellow former world titleholders Maurice Hooker (twice) and Pablo Cesar Cano. He has been in the gym the whole time for the entirety of his layoff.
"I don't think (Heraldez) is on my level but at the same time I've been training like I'm fighting the number-one pound for pound right now," Prograis said. "I don't know too much about him but at the same time he can always surprise me with something."
Trainer Bobby Benton said that Prograis is so focused on his craft and goals that it makes his job easy.
"He's so self motivated," Benton said. "He's up and ready to go."
Not only is Prograis far from done on the world stage, he is still a work in progress, Benton added.
"He's always getting better and learning," Benton said. "Every day in the gym he's trying to learn something new."
It's not lost on Prograis that the 140- and 147-pound divisions are two of the most talent-rich and exciting in the sport right now. He faces a conundrum most fighters would only be too glad to face - which of the equally-lucrative routes to take.
"The game of boxing changes so much there's just so many fights out there for me right now," Prograis said. "It's a lot on the table right now so it's hard; do I go for the money, do I go for the titles?"
"Early next year it's a huge possibility for an Adrien Broner fight and that'll be a huge fight financially and popularity wise for both of us. But then I want to be a world champion and Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez hold the belts right now at 140. And then you talk about someone like Teofimo Lopez. He's coming up to 140 and I think he's on the pound-for-pound list right now."
See prediction for Santa Cruz vs. Davis at: https://peterliminator.blogspot.com/2020/10/leo-santa-cruz-vs-gervonta-davis.html