Monday, May 29, 2023  |



With Liam Paro out, Regis Prograis trades barbs with Arnold Barboza in search for new foe

Regis Prograis. Photo by Tom Hogan
Fighters Network

Yesterday, WBC junior welterweight titleholder Regis Prograis took to social media to announce that Liam Paro, who he had been due to defend his title against for the first time, was injured. This means Prograis is now seeking a new opponent for his homecoming at the Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana on June 17.

Prograis was also quick to mention that the opportunity has been offered to Arnold Barboza. Interestingly, Barboza would be seen as an upgrade on the lesser-known Paro.

“Liam Paro pulled out,” said Prograis (28-1, 24 knockouts) “He had an injury, supposedly yesterday. The replacement is supposed to be Arnold Barboza.

“We’re going to see if he takes the fight. I know for a long time he’s been calling me out. He says he wants to fight. So now is his shot. I know some people are saying if it’s the right opportunity or not, but listen, if you believe you can win and you’re fighting for the WBC belt there is no such thing as ‘not the right opportunity.’ So, let’s see if he’s going to take the fight.

“I’m calling you out right now Arnold Barboza. You’ve got a chance to fight for the belt and you’ve been calling me out. So, let’s see if you’re going to actually take the fight or you’re going to hide behind the business side of things.”

Barboza replied in kind on his social media.

Arnold Barboza jr on Twitter: “@RPrograis Any Day Any Time! #warBarboza” / Twitter

“I’ve seen Regis little video, but get the F&%k out of here with ‘don’t hide behind the business side of things.’ When you were supposed to sign with Top Rank, that fight was pretty much guaranteed to me. Once you signed that fight was going to get made,” retorted Barboza (28-0, 10 KOs).

“Plus, all the other 140’s are with Top Rank, but you decided to go another route because of the business side of things, right? because it’s better for you, right?

“So, don’t come at me with, ‘Business side of things.’ C’mon man. Don’t do that. All of a sudden you don’t have a dance partner. You want me at three-week’s notice, that’s fine. I want the fight; we’re going to get it. Talk to Eddie Hearn and tell him to send the right number and let’s do it.”

Prograis, The Ring’s No. 1 rated junior welterweight, earned a reputation with some impressive performances on ShoBox against Amos Cowart (UD 8), Abel Ramos (RTD 8) and Joel Diaz Jr. (TKO 2). He built on those wins by stopping former unified 140-pound titleholder Julius Indongo (TKO 2) and dominating former lightweight titleholder Terry Flanagan (UD 12).

The southpaw boxer-puncher won the WBA title by taking apart the habitually tough Kiryl Relikh (TKO 6) in a career-best performance. However, he lost for the first time in an action-packed unification with then IBF titlist Josh Taylor. The 34-year-old old bounced back with three wins before stopping Jose Zepeda (TKO 11) to claim the vacant WBC crown.

Barboza, The Ring’s No. 5 rated junior welterweight, played American football in his teens, bulking up to 210 pounds, before dropping a huge amount of weight and returning to boxing. Barboza edged fellow prospect Mike Reed (UD 10) in 2018.

The 31-year-old Los Angeles native won the NABF title against Manuel Lopez (UD 10) and made two defenses, stopping former world titleholder Mike Alvarado (KO 3) and William Silva (KO 5). He beat former world title challenger Alex Saucedo (UD 10), took Danielito Zorrilla’s (UD 10) unbeaten record and, most recently, bested former two-division titleholder Jose Pedraza (UD 10).

This is an on-going situation and it remains to be seen if the two fighter’s teams can come to an agreement.


Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].