IBF junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor 15-0 (12) and WBA counterpart Regis Prograis 24-0 (20) have offered differing versions of a casino incident that ended with one of them in a headlock.
Speaking on The Gloves Are Off, Taylor claimed he roughed up Prograis when they met in a casino prior to agreeing to their world championship unification bout that will takes place at the O2 Arena in London this Saturday night.
“I put him in a headlock, he didn’t know what to do,” Taylor said.
“Come on, Josh. It was all jokes and games, it was nothing serious,” Prograis shot back.
“It was just to let you know. I’m ready to go at anytime,” Taylor replied.
In a separate interview, American Prograis insisted fighting away from home for the first time in his pro career held no fears for him.
“I’m looking forward to it. When they told me it was going to be here in London, I jumped at it,” Prograis said to Pro Boxing Fans.
“I didn’t even question it. That’s why I came here three weeks early to get adjusted to the weather, and time.
“There’s a lot of people who can’t wait for this fight. In my past fights, people thought I was going to walk through them. In this fight it’s different, because Josh Taylor is such a good fighter.
“A lot of people can’t wait for it. They feel it’s a 50-50 fight, and that’s what boxing needs.
“There’s no pressure. I don’t feel no pressure. After I go into the lion’s den, that’s when I’ll feel some pressure.”
At the initial press conference to announce the fight – which will serve as the final of the World Boxing Super Series with the winner awarded the Muhammad Ali trophy – heavyweight Dereck Chisora took issue with being relegated to the undercard.
“The Muhammad Ali trophy, no one gives a f— about it no more. Nobody gives a f— about little guys anymore. They only give a f— about the heavyweight game. Nobody cares about you, bro. Don’t get me started, bro, or I’ll squash you. I don’t give a s—,” Chisora said.
Prograis said he refuses to be cowed by Chisora.
“If he says something, then maybe I’ll say something,” he said.
“Next week, I’ll be losing weight, so maybe I won’t have enough energy to say nothing. But you never know. It depends on what he says and how I react to is.
“I have no plans on saying nothing to him, but with him, you never know how things go. I just keep improving and the sky’s the limit.”