Home Boxing News Regis Prograis would welcome a fight with “mentally crumbling” Teofimo Lopez, warns...

Regis Prograis would welcome a fight with “mentally crumbling” Teofimo Lopez, warns he would hurt him

Regis Prograis and Teofimo Lopez back in 2018. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

WBC junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis 28-1 (24) says he is open to the idea of defending his world title against former unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez 18-1 (13) but says the fight will only end one way.

Bob Arum, who promotes the 25-year-old Lopez from Brooklyn, New York, recently said that challenging two-time 140-pound champion Prograis was one of their options.

“Regis Prograis is a possibility [for Lopez],” the Top Rank boss told Sky Sport recently. “There are other possibilities for Teofimo. One of the things is for him to take another fight and, if [undisputed lightweight champion Devin] Haney beats [Vasiliy] Lomachenko, have Haney fight Teofimo in a non-title fight. That would be a big fight, so there are a lot of ways to go with these guys.”

Lopez was last in action a month ago when he climbed off the canvas in the second round to secure a 10-round split decision victory over Sandor Martin at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In the ring after the fight Lopez could be heard asking himself: “Do I still got it?”

Those comments didn’t go unnoticed by 33-year-old southpaw Prograis.

“Mentally, he’s crumbling. Mentally he’s not there,” Prograis said to iD Boxing. “I like Teo; I don’t want to say anything bad about him, but if he fights me, I like I’m going to hurt him.

“I keep saying the same thing. I feel like if I fight Teo, I will hurt Teo. He can have the flash, he can have the speed. He can have all that stuff. But I feel if I hurt Teo, he’s mentally not stronger than me.

“Mentally, I’m going to break him. I already know mentally, in a mental battle, I will crush him and there’s nothing he’ll be able to do about it. I have too much experience for him.”

Lopez brushed off the negative press he received for questioning his own abilities in the ring after the Martin fight, claiming that it was some sort of red herring to confuse future opponents.

Prograis doesn’t think so.

“I heard him say, ‘That was on purpose, I saw the red light.’ Why would you question yourself? That don’t make any sense. For the camera? What good would that do for you to question yourself on the camera?

“That doesn’t bring anything good. That just brings negativity. Like I said, I definitely feel I will hurt Teofimo. If me and Teo fight, I feel like it’ll be a slaughter. I feel like I can really hurt him.”

As for the likelihood of the bout being made, Prograis is more than a little doubtful.

“Absolutely not, I don’t think he’s going to take the fight with me,” he said. “No indeed. It’s bullshit. That’s what people do in boxing these days. Oh, I’m going to fight. When they know the fight is not going to happen.”