Newly-crowned WBC junior welterweight champ Regis Prograis is determined not to be overlooked or passed over again. After three years of trying to get a shot back at the top following a razor-thin decision loss of his WBA title to Josh Taylor in 2019, the once-again champ has kept himself in the spotlight following his November stoppage of tough-as-nails former world champ Jose Zepeda for the vacant title.
Prograis’ reemergence has definitely caught the eye of fellow 140 lb. top dogs.
Rising star Ryan Garcia, for example, let it be known that he doesn’t think a whole lot of Prograis’ abilities, at least not in comparison to his own.
“He’s too slow,” the 24-year-old Garcia asserted on social media. “I’d catch him, night night. I’m coming for everything.”
Prograis, of course, would fire back.
“If they feed Ryan to me, he wouldn’t make it to fight no Tank,” Prograis replied via Twitter, referring to Garcia’s proposed bout with Gervonta “Tank” Davis in April. “Stay in your lane IG Model. I’ll break your f***ing face.”
“No Regis,” Garcia would counter. “You aren’t as good as you think, you got the mentality kid so that’s a plus.”
“Yea ok,” Prograis would fire back. “Well I know along with the rest of the world that mentally your [sic] weak. I’ll break your spirit.”
“You keep believing that,” replied Garcia. “You’re a champion and nobody knows who you are, plus you step into the ring fat. Shut your a** up.”
Prograis would then take some swings at former 3-belt lightweight champ Teofimo Lopez. The 25-year-old Lopez is now competing in the junior welterweight division and is a top contender for Prograis’ WBC belt.
In an interview with iD Boxing, Prograis was asked if Lopez, who he would categorize later as mentally “crumbling,” would take the opportunity to challenge for his title, as he soon may be declared mandatory challenger.
“Absolutely not,” Prograis replied. “I don’t think he’s gonna take the fight with me. It’s bullsh*t, bro. Listen that’s what people do, in boxing these days. They say ‘Oh I’mm a fight’– When they know the fight is not going to happen, they’re going to say, ‘Oh, I’mma fight him, I’mma fight him next.’
“I saw his daddy [Teofimo Lopez Sr.] say he wants to fight me in April. OK. Let’s see if that’s gonna happen. People are gonna say they want the fight, but it’s gonna be some more bullsh*t. The same thing with the [Jose Ramirez] split or something, they gonna say, ‘oh I don’t agree to that. I don’t agree to this,’ and the fight not gon’ happen. That’s what people doing these days. That’s how it is in boxing. That’s what people are gonna do.”
“Mike Tyson said it best, these fighters are businessmen,” Prograis continued. “They’re not fighters. They’re businessmen. More than a fighter. At the end of the day, I got into this because I’m a fighter. Of course, you definitely want to be a businessman and you definitely want to make the most money that you can, but me, I love boxing. I don’t love the business side of boxing. I love the sport of boxing. For me, yes, I will fight Ramirez next, I will fight Teofimo next, I don’t care who it is. I want to fight ‘em. I just don’t see them fighting me.
“It’s easy for the dog to bark behind a cage, you know what I’m sayin’? But when you open that fence that dog ain’t tryin’ to come out.”
“Mentally he is crumbling,” said Prograis, referring to Lopez. “Mentally he is not there. Listen, I like Teo. I don’t want to say nothin’ bad about him, I like him and stuff, but if he fights me, I feel like I’mma hurt him. I keep saying the same thing.
“…I will hurt Teo…I know mentally he’s not stronger than me. So mentally I’m gonna break him. I already know mentally I will crush him. I will crush him. In a mental battle I will crush him.”