In a big surprise, Regis ‘Rougarou’ Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) is buying out the remainder of his contract with promoter Lou DiBella and will be a free agent. Te former WBA light-welterweight champion Prograis has gone far with DiBella, but he’s now looking to branch off with another promoter.
Mike Coppinger was the first on the news for the Prograis split, and there’s a lot of speculation which direction the Louisiana native will go in. The 31-year-old Prograis will need to carefully weigh his options, though, as he picks the wrong promotional company, he could stunt his prime years in boxing.
Prograis lost his last fight against the vast 5’10” Josh Taylor last October in London, England in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series tournament at 140. That fight showed the limitations that the 5’8″ Prograis has in going up against a welterweight-sized fighter in Taylor.
Prograis still could have beaten Taylor, but he took too long in adapting to his fighting style by staying in close first the first seven rounds Taylor had the better inside game than Prograis. Surprisingly, Prograis proved to be the superior fighter on the outside than Taylor and was lighting him up from rounds seven through twelve.
Who will Prograis sign with next?
If Prograis signs with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC], he would need to move up to 147 to take full advantage of their deep, stable at welterweight. However, if Prograis’ performance against Taylor is any indication, he doesn’t possess the arm-length, size, or the power to deal with the more prominent fighters that weight class.
Staying at 140 would mean that Prograis might be better off signing with Top Rank, who currently have Jose Ramirez, Josh Taylor, Jose Zepeda, Jose Pedraza, and Alex Saucedo in that weight class. However, Taylor and Ramirez are about to move up to 147 soon, so they won’t be available for Prograis to fight for very much longer before they leave the division.
If Prograis signs with PBC, he would need to move up to 147 if he wanted to fight the likes of Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Yordenis Ugas, and Manny Pacquiao. Those guys aren’t going to go down to 140 to fight Prograis.
Adrien Broner might be willing to accommodate Prograis at 140, but that’s probably not the type of opponent that he’s looking to fight to further his career.
“First off I just want to say thank you to Lou DiBella and DBE. Lou took a chance with me when nobody else wanted me.
“I built a name for myself in the boxing world and won my first world championship with Lou. DiBella will always be like family to me. I’m excited to see what’s in store for my future in this next part of my career.” –
said Prograis via @MikeCoppinger.
Surprisingly, the other promoters couldn’t see how good of a fighter Prograis was when he first turned pro in 2012, as he was knocking guys out from the get-go in his career.
What’s unclear is whether DiBella is getting out of the promotional business or if this is just an isolated case of a fighter choosing to leave his company. DiBella’s fighters aren’t currently in action right now due to the pandemic. Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions, and PBC are putting on cards, but it looks like DiBella isn’t.
Dibella’s statement on Prograis:
“I hope he wins a lot of money and wins a lot of titles. I still think the sky is the limit for him. I never stopped believing in him.”
“Every positive thing I ever said about Regis, I still believe. We had a real good run together, and I look forward to watching him do big things in the future. We always have been, and always will be, cool.”