In November last year, American super lightweight Regis Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) gave an elite-level performance and finished ahead of compatriot Jose Cepeda (35-3, 27 KOs), thereby winning the WBC world champion title.
Since the fighters fought for the vacant title, the organization immediately ordered two mandatory defenses in a row. Prograis must alternately face off against ex-world champions compatriots Jose Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) and Teofimo Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs).
The first one has already abandoned the fight – he is dissatisfied with the distribution of the prize fund (65/35 in favor of the champion). Lopez had previously stated that he would accept the fight, then he began to play up, and now he began to put forward some wild theories.
Let’s take a look at this situation.
offers Lopez. – So, Prograis has a mandatory challenger Ramirez, who refuses to fight for 35%, because he thinks that in this way he will lose about 600-750 thousand USD. And I’m a dude made from a different dough. I’m not here for the money, but for the fame. I would agree to these terms. And he already proved it in a duel with Vasily Lomachenko, agreeing to fight for a minimum fee of 1.2 million USD, although he could have demanded twice as much. But I didn’t think about money, but about titles and heritage.”
So, Lopez’s theory: “Regis thinks he caught God by the beard. He is sure that none of the tops will agree to fight him for this money, that they will want more. What does it mean? That in the end he will be allowed to make a self-imposed defense and beat a top 15 dude at best – someone the fans have never heard of before. That is why he is now posing as a hero – challenging Ryan Garcia and me. He’s just sure that we won’t agree to fight for 35%.”
Lopez did not give a clear answer to a simple question – would he accept the fight with Prograis for 35% of the prize fund, began to play up: “What am I even talking about? That taking the title is not the end goal. Next, you need to work even harder to build your legacy brick by brick. Next, you need to think about glory, think about what fights will help you reach an even higher level – to the very top.
Lopez and Ramirez under contract Top Rank Bob Arum. This company is fundamentally not cooperating with Prograis’s employer Probellum (Richard Schafer) – they are suspected of having links with the mafia by Daniel Kinahan.
Fight Prograis vs Cepeda was held by a third party – Marvin Rodriguez (MarvNation). Previously, Regis was offered contracts by all the top promoters in the world, but he refused for one simple reason – none of them could guarantee fights with all the current leaders of the division.
The other day, “Pitbull” Cruz announced his readiness to move up in weight for the fight with Prograis. Meanwhile, the champion already knows with whom he will defend the title if Lopez refuses to fight.