This weekend, WBC junior welterweight world champion Regis Prograis makes his debut with his new promoter, Matchroom Boxing. The past few years have been rocky for Prograis when it came to promotional entities as his previous promoter, Probellum, has suddenly ceased to exist. That led to Prograis fighting Jose “Chon” Zepeda on pay-per-view since neither fighter had a deal with a promoter who had a steady network contract.
Prograis now is returning home to New Orleans this time as a world champion and with the backing of Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing. Originally set to face Liam Paro, who inevitably got injured, Prograis will now face - Danielito Zorrilla, a one-loss fighter, who lost to Arnold Barboza Jr. last summer before getting a first-round knockout win over Aristides Quintero in March of this year.
Rick Mirigian is the manager of Jose Ramirez, Arnold Barboza Jr., and Jose Zepeda. Mirigian recently caught up with ProBox TV News to share his thoughts on Prograis signing with Matchroom Boxing over Top Rank where two of his three marquee junior welterweights are signed.
“I like Regis [Prograis], and he knows that,” said manager Rick Mirigian to ProBox TV News. “Very few fighters I would say that about….[Prograis] goes out of his way for his family. He takes care of his mom, his sister, and just everybody. That is where my frustration comes from when I mess with him. I understand the importance finically of what fighters need to do and can make. When you have a fighter who has a big heart like that, taking care of everybody around him.”
Mirigian, who is well-known for the ability to leverage major sponsorship deals voiced frustration with the course of action with Prograis partly seemingly due to the fact that his fighters probably will not get a chance to fight Prograis in the near future, but also based upon the money he believes Prograis should be making.
Mirigian who is known for his antics of attacking trolls and fighters alike in good fun on Twitter addressed Prograis' notion that Ramirez has ducked him twice. Something that Mirigian takes exception to.
“If he really wanted to fight the best like he would go back and forth with me about,” said Mirigian. “You wouldn’t have ducked a division of the biggest fights, the biggest platform, [instead] you would have [gone] head into them. The part that threw me off was he said himself, that [Matchroom Boxing gave him a] more lucrative offer there. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Mirigian then set a timetable with a scary sightline for when he thinks Prograis will end up getting a big fight. Spoiler alert, it isn't any time soon according to the manager of three of the most marquee junior welterweights.
“I think the big fights were there, and I don’t think the guys were going anywhere - I don’t think Jose Ramirez was running away, [Teofimo] Lopez has two years left on his contract, he is not going anywhere,” said Mirigian. “So those two big fights were there to get made for him, but then again I can see where he might be hesitant in doing so. Look, he is an exciting fighter one of the best of our generation that [is] out there…I don’t think anyone would disagree with me that you want to see a super-fight at [junior welterweight] made with him anytime soon.”
When further pressed about the future of Prograis after this fight Mirigian gave the bleakest answer as he feels we are three-to-four fights away from a meaningful big fight for Prograis.
“Where do you go from [this fight],” said Mirigian. “We know Eddie Hearn can write a check and make a big fight, and he has. Matchroom is a good company and he has a real promoter behind him now. So we are going to see him active, and fighting more often. I don’t see a super-fight happening for three fights or maybe four.”
When reflecting upon why he feels Prograis' career is in such a weird spot, Mirigian reflected upon the experience Regis Prograis has had up until this point.
“A large portion of his career has been bounced around from here to there,” said Mirigian to ProBox TV News. “Just doing what he feels is right for him at this point and gives him mental stability. I think that is important to have. If you are at peace with the decision you made, that is good, that is [what he should do], but I don’t think he made the right decision, in my opinion.”