Regis Prograis can’t understand why DAZN executives wouldn’t pay for his intriguing fight against Mikey Garcia, yet fully funded Garcia’s tune-up bout with an anonymous, unproven opponent.
The former WBA “super” 140-pound champion expressed frustration Thursday during an interview with BoxingScene.com, just a few hours after DAZN and Matchroom Boxing announced Garcia’s next fight.
“It is what it is,” Prograis said. “Listen, Mikey, he has a name and I guess that’s what he’s gonna do. But I would definitely like to know what the numbers are looking like for him to fight somebody like that. Sometimes, I’m not gonna lie, it just seems like it’s not fair. I had a bunch of hard fights coming up and then somebody like that could just fight a person nobody’s ever heard of.”
“I mean, of course, I don’t know the numbers, but I’m pretty sure Mikey’s gonna get paid something good just to fight a nobody. To me, it’s not fair. But hey, what can you do about it? That’s why I’m out here chilling in Colombia now. I’ll be back when they update me with something.”
Prograis and his wife, Raquel, traveled recently from their home in Katy, Texas, for a vacation in Colombia. The New Orleans native needed to get away to give his mind and body a break from training.
“It’s very frustrating – very with a capital V” Prograis said. “When they told me I had this fight scheduled, I just wanted to win so bad. The whole Josh Taylor thing got to me. I’m not gonna lie, I never thought I could lose. Of course, I know everybody is beatable and stuff like that. Nobody is invincible, but for me, I train so much and I have so much passion for the sport to where I never thought I can lose. So, when they told me I could fight Mikey, I’m like, ‘Man, I don’t need a date. I’m gonna train. I’m gonna do what I’ve gotta do.’ Like every day, I was training because I wanna get better.
“And then, to hear that it’s not gonna happen, that’s like super frustrating because, you know, that’s what I was looking forward to. … I was really anticipating this fight. I thought it was gonna be a great fight. I was really anticipating this fight. I know both of us was gonna get paid. I knew it would be a great fight not just for us, but for boxing. And then when it gets scrapped, of course it’s very, very frustrating.”
Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) reportedly was paid $7 million to face Las Vegas’ Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs), but DAZN is more cost-conscious, particularly in the U.S. market, than before the pandemic.
“With those numbers, he probably won’t fight me, to be honest,” Prograis said. “Listen, if he made $7 million to fight Jessie Vargas, he’s definitely not gonna fight me for $3 million, $2 million, $2.5 million. If it’s still that number by the time we could fight again, yeah, I don’t think it’s gonna happen. And I definitely don’t think Mikey’s scared or nothing like that. I would never say that because Mikey’s a real fighter.”
“But I understand – if he got $7 million to fight Jessie Vargas, he wants the same or probably even more to fight somebody like me, because I feel like I am way more dangerous than somebody like Jessie Vargas. So, if that’s the exact number, I really don’t think it’s gonna happen.”
Garcia is unlikely to have much trouble when he meets Martin (38-2, 13 KOs) four weeks from Saturday night.
“I don’t wanna just wait around and, you know, he fights and it still might be a maybe,” Prograis said. “Like, ‘Oh, you might fight him after he fights in October.’ So, it’s like, ‘Nah, I’m gonna go on with my schedule.’ Hopefully, he fights, then I fight, and then after that, maybe we can come to an agreement sometime after that. But I don’t know what’s going on with it.”