EXCLUSIVE: Lou DiBella already planning 140 title shot for Regis Prograis
Promoter Lou DiBella is looking to get Regis Prograis straight back into the world title mix following a wafer-thin loss to Josh Taylor last month.
‘Rougarou’ suffered a first defeat via a majority decision in London as home fighter Taylor took the Muhammad Ali Trophy in the World Boxing Super Series final.
In a Fight of the Year contender, Prograis did nothing but enhance his reputation despite not securing the unified super lightweight crown.
Going out live in the United States much earlier than a usual fight night, DiBella says a lot of boxing fans on the other side of the Atlantic missed a great show.
“I wish more people would have seen it in the United States,” DiBella exclusively told World Boxing News. “It’s streamed in the middle of the afternoon on a football Saturday here so not as many fans saw it.
“It was a wonderful fight for boxing. It could have gone either way.
“I thought Regis handled himself like a real sportsman. A gentleman. Because he could have been complaining because frankly, I thought he just nicked the fight but the fight was so close I never complained.
“I thought Regis could’ve been given a decision had the fight been in the states. He probably would’ve been given the decision. But it was a fight that was very highly contested and very very close.”
On a possible move up in weight, as suggested by some after the contest, DiBella added: “I don’t think he’s going to move up to 147 yet. I think he’d like to regain a world title at 140.
“That’s what we’re going to try to do as quickly as we can. We want to put him in a position to do that.”
It’s becoming a trend for fighters to be urged to move up in weight after a loss. DiBella believes that shouldn’t always be the case.
“I don’t think it’s an obsession. Young people gain weight and it becomes harder to maintain the same weight as you get older,” he pointed out. “You don’t metabolize things the same way.
“It may be a little bit of an obsession because it’s a new challenge it’s another belt etc. But I think a lot of fighters squeeze themselves into lower weight classes so that when they move up in weight it’s actually a more natural weight.
“So I don’t think it’s a crazy obsession, no.”
Prograis has plenty of options open to him, although the main one now will be attempting to beat Taylor to securing a fight with Jose Ramirez.
Holding two other versions at 140, Ramirez is also a prime target for Taylor to become undisputed in 2020.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay (article transcribed by Assistant Editor).