Regis Prograis Replace Jose Ramirez To Face Jose Zepeda For WBC Title
Sometimes an opportunity will fall in your lap when you least expect it. Often under odd or abnormal circumstances. Such is the case for former WBA junior welterweight champ Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (27-1, 23 KOs), who will now fight for another world title.
In the late hours of July 31, the WBC ordered a match between Prograis and Jose Zepeda (35-2, 27 KOs) for the vacant WBC junior welterweight title. According to ESPN, the WBC made this decision after its original opponent and former unified junior welterweight champ, Jose Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs), withdrew because a fight with Zepeda would conflict with his upcoming wedding plans in October. He is, although, guaranteed to face the winner.
Prograis is ranked third by the WBC and Zepeda is ranked first by the sanctioning body. The WBC belt became vacant after the previous champion, Josh Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) decided to vacate the title rather than face Zepeda who was his mandatory contender.
“Rougarou” has been in pursuit of another world title since losing the WBA belt to Taylor in the finals of the WBSS junior welterweight tournament in October 2019.
Throughout 2022, Prograis was frustrated with his inability to land a title shot. He thought he earned a right to be in the WBA’s tournament for their vacant junior welterweight title. He previously had the same feeling against the WBC and sounded off against both sanctioning bodies in a series of interviews.
AT LONG LAST
During an interview with the four-letter network, the 33-year-old from New Orleans, Louisiana, expressed gratitude and views a fight with Zepeda as the beginning of big things for the division.
“I’m beyond happy to be getting a shot at the title again. My goal was to become a two-time world champion, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I want to establish myself as the best 140 pound boxer on the planet again! on top of that, Zepeda is a real killer in the 140 pound division. So, this is a huge fight not just for the division, but for boxing.”
He does bring up an excellent point. Word on the street is that current unified champion Taylor will fight a rematch with former WBO mandatory Jack Catterall, then move up to welterweight. With Prograis, Ramirez, Zepeda, and top contenders like Teofimo Lopez, Subriel Matias, and Liam Parro in the mix at junior welterweight, you could have a series of top-quality matchups for years to come.
As part of the WBC’s ruling, Prograis and Zepeda have until August 30 to negotiate and reach a deal. If both camps can’t hammer out a deal, the fight will go to a purse bid. Stay tuned to 3Kings Boxing for continued updates on this developing story.
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By: Michael Wilson Jr.