Catterall on the horizon for Prograis

Regis Prograis is confident of fighting Jack Catterall if he emerges from Saturday’s fight with Danielito Zorrilla unscathed. 

The WBC super lightweight champion defends his title at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on the occasion of his first fight in his home city for five years.

That he last month signed with Matchroom – he had also been approached by Top Rank – meant that he joined a stable in which Catterall was already prominent instead of another in which Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez would have been likely opponents.

Catterall last month fought and beat Darragh Foley in Manchester to remain in contention for the world-title fight he was denied when a foot injury suffered by Josh Taylor forced Taylor to withdraw from their rematch, and Prograis said: “We were supposed to fight [previously] – it just didn’t come about. But yeah, I’m hoping for a Catterall fight. 

“I’m hoping for big fights. I want big-name fights; big-money fights; that’s what I want. If Jack Catterall is one of those, then yeah, of course I’ll fight Jack too. 

“It’s messed up [he didn’t get the Taylor rematch]. I definitely thought that he should’ve gotten the rematch. He beat him; he dropped him. He did everything the way he should. He should be the undisputed champion, but y’know – that’s boxing for ya. But I definitely thought that he won that fight.

“[Beating Catterall is] a way to [secure a rematch with Taylor], but at the same time, I don’t even have to do that. Like, I’m the champion – I am the only two-time champion in the division right now. That should warrant a rematch already right there. That’s a huge fight. That’s one hell of a story – to do that again.”

Asked if Taylor – the only opponent to beat Prograis, as he did in 2019, and who lost convincingly to Teofimo Lopez at the weekend – represented the best he has fought, Prograis, at 34 five years older than Zorrilla, responded: “I definitely think he’s a good fighter. As far as the best I’ve fought, I don’t know. When I fought him I was a different fighter than I am right now. 

“I definitely feel like I’m not the same fighter at all. Even when I did fight him, I definitely fought the wrong fight. I still had the skills and stuff like that, but mentally I really felt I should’ve beat him. I can’t say it’s easy, but I definitely feel like I should’ve beat him. When I look at him, I think, ‘There’s no way I should’ve lost to this guy’. I still really feel like I should’ve won, but it wasn’t a robbery. 

“He won the fight – I would say that. But now I’m a totally different monster. I still feel like I’m the best in the division – my confidence never changed. 

“When you change trainers [like Taylor has been, from Shane McGuigan, to Ben Davison, to Joe McNally], it shows that you have a weak character. You’re searching for something, y’know? It’s something that’s on you though – it’s not your trainers. I don’t agree with it, but hey, that’s all on him.”