WBC Champ Regis Prograis: Young, Hungry, and Just Getting Started
The WBC super lightweight champion is continuing his mission to bring boxing back to New Orleans
The Rougarou is a creature known in South Louisiana to wander the swamplands and bayous luring unlucky wanderers to attack it. The Rougarou eats flesh. It thirsts for blood. The Rougarou is absolutely the stuff nightmares are fueled by. They look like this:
Regis Prograis is known in the boxing world as “The Rougarou.” He is the WBC Interim Super-Lightweight champion. 22-0, 19 knockouts. Prograis is an absolute animal inside the ring. He takes control of his arena and imposes his will. Just ask former light welterweight champ Julius Indongo and former lightweight and super featherweight champ Hector Velázquez Martínez. The Rougarou knocked both of them out. Regis Prograis has his next victim lined up, the UK’s Terry Flanagan. The two face off in the first fight of the World Boxing Super Series’ super lightweight division. We recently got a chance to talk with Prograis on how he got involved with boxing, his recent stripes on his white belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, and the super-fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
“I really just grew up on the streets real rough in New Orleans. I always fought a lot. Like I said, I was just a real rough kid. I played all kinds of sports; football, basketball, track, I swam a little bit. I was fighting in high school and stuff, I would fight on the football team. One day the coach told me, ‘You probably don’t need to play football any more. You probably don’t have a future in football but you might should go to a boxing gym.’ And the rest is kind of history. The next day I turned in my football equipment and went to a boxing gym. That’s kinda how it started.”
It’s been a meteoric rise from there. Prograis is #2 in the world according to boxrec in the super lightweight rankings, only behind the UK’s Josh Taylor. Luckily for us, Taylor is in the same World Boxing Super Series tournament as Prograis and might be a taste of great things on the horizon for boxing fans. With exiting, stellar knockouts, Prograis looks to continue his rise in the boxing community.
Recently, Regis Prograis got his second stripe on his white belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Regis is an all around fight fan who loves to compete. “I’m an all around fight fight fan, not just boxing, you know? I’m a fight fan all around. I like the art of fighting. All fighting. My wife is Brazilian so we try to go to Brazil once a year or something like that. One of my friends is an MMA fighter out there in Brazil in Rio. He showed me some things and I just liked it. Like I said, I’m a fight fan. Not just boxing, it’s the art of fighting.”
Prograis cannot stay still. He enjoys his active lifestyle and loves to just get out and do something when he’s not boxing. “For me, [jiu jitsu] is like an active rest. I’m always doing something no matter what, anyway. In Brazil, I was out there swimming in the ocean, we did long swims in the ocean. Climbing mountains and all that stuff is all what I like to do anyway. So jiu jitsu is just another part of my active rest.”
As for “The Rougarou’s” upcoming fight with Flanagan, it’s business as usual. “I just do me. My thing is, no matter who I fight, I feel I can just do me. I just do what I need to do. I got 22 wins and 19 knockouts, so for me, everything has been working. The only thing is he’s southpaw. So, I’m in LA right now and we got some real good work with southpaws out here. We just are changing up the sparring, getting some real good sparring in. I’m just going out there and doing my thing.”
Canelo or GGG?
Everyone has their eyes on the big fight today. Canelo takes on GGG in the highly anticipated rematch. Here are Regis’ thoughts on that:
“I got Canelo, actually. The first fight everybody was saying GGG won and it was a big rivalry. I honestly didn’t see it like that. I can see why people would say that GGG won. But, it all depends on what you’re looking at. GGG came forward a lot but at the same time, he was missing a lot of punches. Canelo was sitting on the ropes and [GGG] was missing a lot of punches. So, it depends on what you’re looking at. Are you looking at someone throwing punches and it’s not really landing? Maybe the judges didn’t look at it like that. Maybe they thought that he was just coming forward. Just because you’re coming forward doesn’t mean you’re winning the fight. It’s all about effective aggression and a lot of the stuff wasn’t effective.”
“I could see why people thought GGG won. I thought it was even, but I did see that side of it. Canelo stayed on the ropes about three or four rounds. If he doesn’t do that as long and he stands in the middle of the ring and boxes and doesn’t get hit, then I think he should be able to pull off the victory.”