Regis Prograis is determined to punish Subriel Matias for “promising” to put him in hospital.
The 34-year-old Prograis defends his WBC super lightweight title against Danielito Zorrilla on Saturday at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
In the event of the victory that is expected he is likely to negotiate a bigger fight later this year – potentially against fellow Matchroom fighter Jack Catterall – but Puerto Rico’s Matias is the IBF champion and a further potential opponent, not least because his status as a fellow champion at 140lbs means that a fight between them would appeal.
While it is not uncommon for fighters to make distasteful comments about their rivals, one of Matias’ previous opponents Maxim Dadashev died days after they fought in 2019.
“I want to keep my promise that I’m going to send Prograis to the hospital,” he recently told ProBox TV.
As well as a respected fighter Prograis is a father, and told of Matias’ comments he said: “I wanna fight him – that’s all. I want him to keep talking; I wanna fight him. I’m gonna fight him, and I’m gonna knock him out. He’s already been hurt – he’s been stopped by somebody [Petros Ananyan] way less than me.
“There’s people behind him that talk like that – they want him to say all these things. He doesn’t have a big profile, so they just want a big-money fight. That’s all. He’s not a big name – he's really a nobody. But I’m gonna fight him and I’m gonna knock him out. I’m gonna stop him.”
Prograis last month agreed promotional terms with Matchroom and DAZN over Top Rank and ESPN largely because of the regular dates they can offer him and their plans to showcase him in his home city of New Orleans.
“Listen, y’all keep talking – saying what y’all want,” Prograis, five years older than Matias, continued. “Eventually, we’re gonna fight, and I’m gonna knock him out.
“He’s a nobody from Puerto Rico trying to make a name for himself. He’s just somebody that’s talking – the way they’re going about it is kinda stupid. Why would you say something like that, if you literally already did that to somebody you fought before?
“It’s definitely a stupid, dumbass thing to say. Whoever is behind him there is stupid too. Hopefully we can fight, and then I can stop him. He gets hit with everything.”