World super lightweight champion Regis Prograis has opened up to WBN on a couple of incidents during the build up to his fight with Josh Taylor.
Prograis fights away from home this weekend as the American battles Taylor for the unified title at 140 and the coveted Ali Trophy.
A now-infamous back-and-forth with an irate Derek Chisora as the first press conference was coupled with a threat by promoter Lou DiBella to pull him from the tournament.
Firstly addressing Chisora, who was fully cheesed off at being dropped to co-feature, Prograis exclusively told World Boxing News: “I don’t care to be honest with you. The fact is we’re the main event.
“I respect that you’re (Derek is) speaking with the promoter’s but at the end of the day you don’t have to basically chat s*** about us.
“Both of us are undefeated world champions, which you’ve never been.”
On being a part of the WBSS format until the end, Prograis added: “We had some ups and downs with the World Boxing Super Series. But I always felt confident that everything was going to be okay. I always felt that.
“So yeah, it’s been good and for me, I kinda always wanted to fight in a tournament type of thing just like in the amateurs you know, you win you keep on (going), you lose it’s a single-elimination and you’re out. I’ve always wanted to be in a situation like this.
“I’m a fighter who likes the pressure to be on. In this type of tournament, the pressure is on because you lose, you go.
“It’s definitely a great format, a great platform. From when I started to now, look how big this fight is, it’s huge.”
With everything now behind them, promoter Kalle Sauerland is eagerly-anticipating the first bell.
“This is a true super-fight and another huge Ali Trophy moment,” said Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer.
“Two unbeaten, in-prime World Champions meet to settle who is best in the division, two boxers who have performed at the very highest level in this tournament.
“In this terrific match-up of two undefeated gladiators, it is very difficult to predict who will be raising the Ali Trophy in the end.
“One thing is sure, it is going to be an enthralling showdown not to be missed!”
Coming through a somber week when boxing felt the full force of Patrick Day’s tragic death, it’s hoped Prograis vs Taylor can be a shining light to carry boxing forward.
As with everybody else, Prograis had only good things to say about his stablemate.
“I didn’t know him personally, but of course, I met him a few times,” said Prograis.
“He was real cool. A real good person who was full of life and always smiling. He seemed like a real happy person.
“I saw him a couple of fights ago and he asked to take a picture with me. He was just telling me how much he admired me. All that type of stuff.
“He seemed like a real, real cool person. A real good dude. It’s sad, it’s definitely a sad thing.”
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay