Former WBA 140lbs champion Regis Prograis returns from a one-year hiatus when he meets the unbeaten Juan Heraldez at the Alamodome in San Antonio on October 31, but a rematch with Josh Taylor remains very much on his mind.
In October 2019, Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) lost his WBA crown, but won plaudits in losing a majority decision in the WBSS Final after a stirring encounter with IBF champion Taylor.
Some thought Prograis did enough to earn the verdict yet, despite the loss, the New Orleans born southpaw doesn’t feel his standing has been diminished in the division as he hankers for a return.
“I still feel like I’m the best in the world at 140 pounds. In the Josh Taylor fight, I went over there to England, fought in front of over 20,000 people who were all against me and I still feel like I won the fight,” said Prograis ahead of his PBC debut against Heraldez (16-0-1, 10 KOs). “I won’t say they robbed me because that’s not what happened, but I still feel like I won the fight. I feel like I’m the best in the division and I need to keep proving it. This is another step for me.
“My next move depends on what’s offered to me. But first off, I have a tough fight in front of me. I’m focused on Juan Heraldez. There are a lot of things on the table for me after this, but I have to get past him first. I do yearn to be a champion at 140lbs again before I move up to welterweight. That is the plan. But the landscape of boxing changes so much that it’s so hard to predict. You never know what’s going to happen.
“There are a lot of people out there right now for me to fight. Adrien Broner, Josh Taylor, Jose Ramirez. Me and Josh Taylor are definitely going to fight each other again. No matter what, we have to fight. The fight was too close and it was too much of a big deal out there in the UK for that not to happen again. I definitely want to fight Ramirez. I feel like he’s ducked me for a little while. And the Broner fight could definitely be a huge fight. All of those names are who I’m looking for. But it’s one step at a time and it’s Juan Heraldez next.
“The Taylor fight definitely showed me that there are things I need to improve on. Going into that fight, I questioned myself if I could fight 12 hard rounds. I had only gone 12 rounds against Terry Flanagan but that was a boxing lesson, not 12 hard rounds. I fought 12 hard, hard rounds against Taylor so it was kind of a question in my head before that. Now I know that I can do it. Josh Taylor is a very big puncher and I took his punches like it was nothing. As far as things I need to work on, I guess we’ll see. But I’ve been working really hard and I’ve been in training camp since before the pandemic started. I had a lot of fights that didn’t happen so I’ve been working that whole time, working on different things and busting my ass. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get to the top spot at 140lbs.”
Main image: Prograis (left) and Taylor sound off ahead of their October 2019 barnburner. Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom.