Published on October 22nd, 2019 | by Percy Crawford0
Regis Prograis In Search Of 140-Pound Supremacy In Saturday Night’s Mega-Fight Against Josh Taylor!
Regis Prograis is 24-0 with 20 knockouts. On Saturday night he looks to cement his legacy as the best junior welterweight (140-pounds) in the world while capturing the Muhammad Ali Trophy presented to the winner of the WBSS tournament.
Regis Prograis has accomplished many milestones throughout his career already. He became the first world-title holder from New Orleans in 54-years. He’s remained undefeated in his 24-fight career and now he has an opportunity to win the WBSS [World Boxing Super Series] tournament winner on Saturday night. The winner of the Prograis-Josh Taylor fight will walk away with the Muhammad Ali Trophy as well as the WBA, IBF and WBC Diamond world titles. Many boxing pundits have also expressed, Prograis being mentioned in the top ten pound for pound list with a victory on Saturday night. Pressure? Not at all. Prograis survived, Hurricane Katrina while in New Orleans and while in Houston had to withstand Hurricane Harvey. It’s merely just another day at the office for the New Orleans native. Prograis-Taylor is one of the most anticipated fights of the year. Prograis-Taylor will be live from the O2 Arena in London and will be available on DAZN this Saturday night October 26th.
During my recent conversation with, “Rougarou,” he talks about getting to London early to acclimate, the importance of this fight and much more!
You have been out in the UK for quite some time. Do you feel acclimated to the time difference, the weather, and the food?
Regis Prograis: Everything cool, bro, to be honest. That’s the reason I came out here so early, like you said, just to get acclimated to everything; the food, the weather, the time difference, everything. I even wanted to get acclimated with the people and the fans and stuff like that. For me, it was the perfect thing to do and I’m glad I did it. To be honest, I’m ready to be home now. I been out here for over 2-weeks now. Today is my son birthday and I’m not home for that. This is the second year in a row this has happened because last year, I fought, Terry Flanagan at the same time. It’s just a part of it or whatever. I’m definitely missing back home. The weather out here… it’s cold and rainy and stuff and it’s nothing like where I come from in the south. And I live in L.A. now and it’s nothing like that. But I’m glad I came out here and I’m finally acclimated. The first five days, I was really messed up. The time difference really messed me up the first five days. I was waking up at 2-3:00 in the morning every day. Now, I’m acclimated and I’m glad that I came here.
The sacrifices of a fighter. Missing your family and your son’s birthday, but given everything you said, it was imperative because imagine getting out there on Thursday. You’re saying it took 5-days just to get used to the time difference, so I’m sure it’s all worth it to you.
Regis Prograis: Oh yeah! I know I would’ve been messed up and that’s the reason we came here early. I’m so glad because I was messed up at first. Now, we are down to the last couple of days.
Just following your social media posts, the reception over there isn’t as bad as I anticipated for you. Seems like you’re being treated well.
Regis Prograis: Man, the people out here been nice as hell to be honest. Really, the people out here… bro, they have been so cool out here. Everywhere I go, they treat me like I’m royalty. They want to buy stuff for me and get things for free for me. The people out here have been super cool. I thought it was going to be people disrespecting me, but its been the total opposite. Out here… they been wonderful. But the English and the Scottish are two different people anyways. Hopefully I get the English side on my side. The English and Scottish don’t really get along anyways. Of course, this is his country, but they are different types of people from what I’ve heard. The people have been real cool and the reception has been great, so I can’t complain.
I can’t recall you having an opponent that talks as much as, Josh Taylor has. It’s been a lot of back and forth. Do you think he’s trying to get under your skin and how have you handled that because it is new for you?
Regis Prograis: No, nobody ever talked to me like this. I mean… yeah, he talks a little bit and he respond to things and we go back and forth. I don’t feel like he’s trying to get under my skin or intimidate me. I think that’s who he is. I’m just the person I am. But as far as intimidation, I’m definitely not intimidated, and I don’t know if he is or not. I can’t really say if he’s intimidated by the whole thing. I really don’t know. I’m not in his head, but he’s been talking. I think the whole thing started when I went to Scotland. And then they had a little more fuel when the whole thing with the World Boxing Super Series happened and me pulling out and all that stuff, that’s when a lot of talk was going on.
You were the only one that spoke up for yourself during the press conference when Dereck Chisora who is a heavyweight went off, so I know you’re not intimidated by another 140-pounder.
Regis Prograis: Yeah! Even with that… and I know some people may not believe me, but even at the press conference, I didn’t really understand what he was saying. I heard him say some stuff, but I couldn’t really understand everything he was saying. When I was talking and going back and forth with him, I saw in the video where he was like, “Shut up before I squash you,” or something like that. Maybe it’s a good thing that I didn’t hear it at the time, because I know if I would’ve heard that, I definitely would have said something. There is no way I would’ve kept quiet if I would’ve heard what he said, but I didn’t hear what he said until I saw the video. I stood up for myself. I ain’t no nothing about, Dereck Chisora going into the press conference. I didn’t know nothing about him or what to expect or nothing like that, so it caught me off guard. But of course, I’m going to say something. I’m not going to shut my mouth.
Josh Taylor said that he feels you two will bring out the best in each other. I agree with that. I see this as a great fight, and I think it will play out that way. Have you played this fight out in your head and if so, do you see it being one of those classic type of battles?
Regis Prograis: Of course, every time I lay down in bed and think about it… you play the fight out in your head and stuff like that, but one thing I learned in my 24-fights, every time you play something out, it never goes as you’re thinking. It never goes as planned; never ever. That’s just how it is in boxing. You can play it out a million times, but it’s not going to be what you think in the fight. I kind of played it out in my head, but I don’t want to get into it. You always want to think about the fight, but I don’t want to think that, oh, it’s going to happen like this because most of the time it just never happens that way. But I agree. He could potentially bring out the best in me. Nobody has been able to bring it out yet. I think with him, and I keep saying this, he’s got 15-fights and all 15 of his fights look the same. With me, I got 24-fights and they all look different. I do different things against different opponents. I always adapt to my opponents. He does the exact same thing in every fight. Now grant it, he is winning, he has a very good record and I won’t discredit him. He is a real good fighter. We will see. We will see if he can bring out the best in me. I think so. I definitely won’t discredit him. He’s a good fighter and I think that he could potentially bring out the best in me. I actually need a fight like this because I haven’t been tested. I’ve been just blowing past everybody. I actually want to be put to the test. I’ve been put to the test in sparring and stuff like that against way bigger people, that’s where I want to be during an actual fight. I want to show the world what I really have, and I think he could bring that out.
I was at your last local fight in Biloxi, Mississippi. After that fight, you told me that that would be your last fight on that level and that you would be moving to the big stage. O2 Arena, headlining against another undefeated fighter in his prime and for the WBSS Ali Trophy. Now that you have made it to this platform, how does it feel?
Regis Prograis: I mean… you can always describe it as being a good feeling, but I always knew I was going to be here. Even when I told you that a long time ago. I always knew I had the skills and not just that, but my mental capacity, my boxing brain and my IQ and everything is so high. I just finished a book that I just got a couple of days ago that somebody gave me. One of the authors gives me these books. I just finished reading one about, Andy Lee. It just goes back to believing in myself. I know how good I am. Besides all the physical attributes I have, my mental is so strong and I know so much about the sport because I have been studying it forever and reading about it forever. I just know it so good. Just to be here, it really is like a dream come true. You can’t really do it, but you want to take it all in, but I can’t. I still gotta fight. Since I been here for 3-weeks, I’ve invested in myself and I brought my friends and my daddy is here. They all kind of soaking all this stuff up, but me… I can’t, man. It’s business for me. After the fight, I could probably enjoy London and soak it up. I always knew I was going to be here, and this is still the tip of the iceberg for me because I still got so far to go.
It’s funny when you see guys like, Julian Williams look at your videos and say, “This dude is jumping in a swamp in his underwear. Nobody is beating him,” and although it’s funny, that’s part of that mental makeup you talk about where you are fearless. Do you think mental more than physical will separate you from Taylor on fight night?
Regis Prograis: I think that’s the main thing. I can do so much physically, I’m fast, I’m strong, I’m quick, I’m athletic and I can take a big punch. I can do all of those things, but at the end of the day I feel like, it is. It’s my capacity and my will to win and never stop. People haven’t seen me in a real dog fight yet. Maybe that’s what me and Josh Taylor do. We fight it out and see who comes out. Maybe we get into a fire fight and see who comes out. I guarantee you it’s going to be me. That’s what I want people to see out of me, but my trainer [Bobby Benton] gets mad at that because he wants me to be defensive. He’s like, “Man, you don’t have to get touched if you don’t want to.” That’s what I did against, Flanagan and [Kiryl] Relikh. I didn’t get touched because my trainer was like, “Man, you don’t have to get touched. You’re so slick and your head movement is so good that you can do all the same things without getting touched.” But sometimes I do want to show that dog. And maybe Josh Taylor is somebody I can show that against.
Does the fact that this tournament didn’t come off smoothly and there were a lot of hurdles placed in the way of this fight even coming to fruition, does that make a victory on Saturday night that much sweeter for you?
Regis Prograis: I think what makes it sweeter than anything is the people who were talking about I was scared. That I was scared to come over here and fight, a lot of people saying he was going to beat me and stop me and stuff like that. I read comments. They said he was going to beat me, and this is a 50/50 fight and some people thinks he’s going to stop me. I think that will be the most satisfying for me. But at the end of the day, it’s just another name and just another fight for me. This is a huge fight. It’s a very huge fight at the O2 and it’s going to be on PPV out here, but for me, it’s another fight. It’s another day in the park. This is what I do. I’m a fighter and this is what I love to do. But it’s definitely going to be sweet because of all this stuff and all this stuff happening and all of the talk that’s been going on. I just can’t wait.
You read a lot of book and books on the mental aspect of combat. Is there a particular quote that you take into the ring with you or is it an evolution of all the things you have read during that ring walk?
Regis Prograis: It’s probably an evolution of everything I read. You know what, some quotes that come to mind, Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” And Cus D’Amato was saying, “Boxing is all about will versus will. If somebody’s skill level is too high, then of course they are not going to be able to beat certain guys. But if you have two guys with the same skill level, the one with the strongest will is going to win.” I kind of bring that in with me too. It’s a bunch of things that be going through my head.
For fans watching you for the first time or even the ones who have tuned in to several of your fights, what can they expect from you on Saturday night?
Regis Prograis: You’re going to see another great performance by me. It’s just another fight for me, but you’re going to see a great performance. Hopefully, Josh Taylor can bring out the best in me. I think you’re going to see one hell of a fight. This is built as being one of the best fights of 2019. A lot of people saying it. Hopefully, we bring it. I have a strong, young and fast undefeated champion in front of me, so he should be able to bring the best out of me. I can’t wait, man. This is a dream fight. Most fighters go through their careers, fighting 15-20 years and they never get an opportunity like this. And me, in my 25th fight, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. This could be the pinnacle of my career right now. I think this is a life defying fight for me and you’re going to see me put it on the line.