Home Boxing News Regis Prograis tells Teofimo Lopez – “Don’t Retire, Fight me”

Regis Prograis tells Teofimo Lopez – “Don’t Retire, Fight me”

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

Regis Prograis has vowed to defend his WBC World Super-Lightweight title in style against Danielito Zorrilla at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday night, live worldwide on DAZN – and then target unification bouts with his fellow champions, with Teofimo Lopez at the top of the list.

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Prograis (28-1 24 KOs) defends his strap for the first time after becoming a two-time World champion after stopping Jose Zepeda in California in November, and ‘Rougarou’ faces Zorrilla (17-1 13 KOs) in a long-awaited return to his New Orleans hometown.

Lopez joined Prograis as a title holder at 140lbs on Saturday in New York with a composed performance against Prograis’ old foe Josh Taylor, but the Brooklyn man has hinted at walking away from the sport following the victory at Madison Square Garden.

Prograis has insisted all his focus is on the dangerous Puerto Rican challenger on Saturday, but the 34-year-old was full of praise for Lopez’s performance, and hopes that the pair can meet in a unification clash, one that was predicted by the maverick Teofimo Lopez Sr five years ago.

“I wanted Josh to win so I could fight him again, but now, I just have got to fight Teofimo,” said Prograis. “I know he’s saying he’s retired but I hope he is not. I think that would be a huge fight and we must do it.

“There was a video in 2018 with me, Teo and his Dad, and his Dad was saying ‘you and my son are going to fight one day, and you are going to be rich’. So, he called it a long time ago and its still true right to this day, more than ever now.

“Teo fought on my undercard in New Orleans back in 2018, we just must get that fight. I am not taking my eyes of Zorrilla, but if I can get the win and hopefully Teo is not retired, we can get it on.

“I always thought that Teo is a great fighter. When he was sat 135, I thought he was the best of the lot. He’s explosive, he’s got power, he can box. So, I would never look past a fighter of his caliber, but I still believe I whoop him.

“I think he’s frustrated. I don’t think he’s going to retire. If he fought me, he’d probably get ten times what he got for the Taylor fight. There are too many big fights out there for him. He’s going through some things, he can fight for sure, but there’s some things going on for him outside the ring. If he only made $1million to fight the former undisputed champion, it makes no sense, but he won’t walk away – he likes money, his Dad likes money, so that’s how he was feeling right away, you can’t walk away after the biggest fight of his life.

“It’s between Teo and Subriel Matias as to who would be the harder fight, it’s not Rolly Romero. I don’t know if Teo could stand up to what I give him, even though he did with Josh, I feel I’m a bigger and sharped puncher than Josh though. Matias is tough, but he’s been hurt before and by a lesser guy than me. So, I don’t know if he could stand up to me either, but hopefully I can get to fight at least one of them.

“I’ve always wanted to fight Jack Catterall. I want the Lopez fight more as he’s just beaten Josh and he has the belt. But I’ve always wanted to face Jack, so we’ll see what happens. I need to get past Zorrilla on Saturday and after that, I’ll talk to Eddie, and we’ll see what is next.

“It was good for boxing, two fighters that needed that win, they were both coming off performances that meant they needed to win. I’m not going to lie, I doubted Teo, I thought he was going to lose, but Teo just went out and did his thing. I take my hat off to him and congratulate him on his win. I wouldn’t say Josh is washed up, I don’t know if he’s shot, he didn’t look good though and Teo had every answer for him.

“Josh just couldn’t hit him often with big shots, and even when he did hit him with some left hands and uppercuts, it didn’t have any effect on Teo. Josh couldn’t touch Teo too much because he was being slick, and even when he did, nothing happened or worked for Josh. Around the fourth round I think I had it level, but after that Teo got into his groove and his rhythm and took over.

“I was surprised that Teo was able to rock Josh in the later rounds and honestly, he made Josh look ordinary, he really did. I don’t know if it was because of Teo or because of Josh, if he’s shot, I don’t know. He didn’t look like a former undisputed champion in there.”

Prograis defends his World title on a stacked night of action in New Orleans.

Unbeaten pair Shakhram Giyasov (13-0 9 KOs) and Harold Calderon (27-0 18 KOs) meet in an eliminator for the WBA Welterweight crown and Ramla Ali (8-0 2 KOs) defends her IBF Intercontinental Super-Featherweight title against Julissa Guzman (12-2-2 6 KOs).

Criztec Bazaldua (1-0) kicks off the night on Before the Bell against Elroy Fruto (1-1) over four rounds at Lightweight, Aaron Aponte (7-0-1 2 KOs) meets Xavier Madrid (4-2 2 KOs) over eight at Super-Lightweight, there’s an all-Lousiana bout between New Orleans’ Jeremy Hill (18-3 11 KOs) takes on Baton Rouge’s Mark Davis (19-1 5 KOs) over eight at Lightweight, and Houston-based 2020 Olympian Ginny Fuchs (2-0 1 KO), being advised by Prograis, fights for the third time in the paid ranks on the card against Indeya Smith (6-7-2 1 KO) over eight rounds at Super-Flyweight.