Regis Prograis reacts to the WBC now ordering him to fight Jose Zepeda for the WBC title.
It has been an interesting 24 hours for the junior welterweight division as the WBC changed an order that previously went out for the vacant title, which was going to feature Jose Ramirez (27-1) facing Jose Zepeda (35-2). The latest order now has former junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis (27-1) going up against Zepeda as Ramirez had to pull out due to personal events that were going to conflict with the schedule of the fight.
This move by the WBC seemed to right the wrong as Prograis was very vocal about not getting the opportunity when the original order was posted as he had fought in March against Tyrone McKenna (22-2-1) for the right to fight for the title. Prograis told FanSided, “My last fight in Dubai was for the WBC mandatory. I remember when they made that fight happen, I ran into (Jose) Zepeda in the gym. When they ordered him (Zepeda) and (Jose) Ramirez, it kind of upset me a little bit because I had fought for the mandatory spot. I’ve been training and I kind of felt like this was going to happen.”
Before the WBC’s social media post, Prograis felt his name would be called up for the fight as he kept hearing the whispers about it. Since the announcement was made official, now it is something that his team can start negotiating with Team Zepeda. This can potentially become an issue as Zepeda is with Top Rank and Prograis is with Probellum. Although we would like to think that this should be a no-brainer to make, these days, it isn’t as simple as that. I asked Prograis if he feels the politics within the sport will get in the way of the fight being signed. Prograis said, “I hope politics don’t get in the way of making this fight. I feel like I deserve a shot at the belt, and so does Zepeda. I feel I deserve a shot at being a world champion again. It’s a big fight, and there shouldn’t be anything that gets in the way of making it.”
The representatives for both Regis Prograis & Jose Zepeda have until Aug 30 to make a deal.
In regard to the fight, what back stories come with this matchup if signed? Both are power-punching southpaws who are never in a boring fight. The one thing they do share is that for the last few years, they shared the same trainer in Julian Chua. Although Bobby Benton is Prograis’ head trainer, Chua works closely with both fighters to get them physically ready for their fights. Prograis told FanSided,” I like the chemistry with Julian (Chua). Right now, Julian said he is going to stay out of it and not work either corner. He said he has love for both of us as he has been training both of us for a few years now.”
Both teams are in the “free negotiations” period and will have until August 30 to strike a deal. A purse bid will be scheduled if no deal is complete, allowing the fight to go to the highest bidder. There shouldn’t be a reason this fight doesn’t get done before that, and if I had to guess, it would land on ESPN, where both men will undoubtedly get the attention, they have both worked so hard to achieve.