Promoter Lou DiBella has worked with top fighters many times, and says Regis Prograis is someone special.
THE best at 140, and time to start calling him one of the best pound-for-pound.
That was the take of an ebullient Lou DiBella after he saw Regis Prograis handle his business in a World Boxing Super Series semifinal in Lafayette, Louisiana, in front of ample friends and family on Saturday night, live on DAZN.
“What Regis did was an emphatic statement for the whole business,” said DiBella after he saw his guy, aged 30, go to 24-0 (20 KO) and take the WBA belt off Kiryl Relikh, who got stopped out for the first time in round six.
“That was fuckin’ impressive. He showed his best offense and the best of his defense. It was all-around brilliant,” said the enthused promoter.
“I wanna see him on every top 10 list! (Rances) Barthelemy couldn’t do a thing with Relikh and this one looked like a mismatch! I’m so proud, Regis worked his ass off, but he’s special. I’ve worked with some special ones — (Bernard) Hopkins, Jermain Taylor at his top, Sergio Martinez. This guy is special. The firepower, angles, movement, agility. In the last fight Flanagan touched him some, but this time he opened up, he basically knew he could hurt him, he wanted to show off his arsenal.”
And that he did.
Now Prograis waits to see who gets their hand raised when Josh Taylor fights Ivan Baranchyk in Scotland on May 18 in the other WBSS semifinal.
“Don’t sleep on Baranchyk, I wouldn’t be surprised if we had two guys in the final,” the NY-based promoter said of Baranchyk, another DiBella Entertainment hitter.
“I’m also happy for trainer Bobby Benton, one of the best young trainers in the business,” DiBella continued. Benton turned 41 on Saturday.
“Regis is happy he has another belt, he’s happy he has that WBC diamond belt, too. Now, he should be the one holding the real WBC belt, but that’s only because Jose Ramirez, the WBC champ, they couldn’t go through Regis, so they went around him. Listen, I like Ramirez’s manager Rick Mirigian, he’s a good guy, done a good job, he’s a good manager, but…
“We’re not looking past the IBF title, but I think Regis is going to be a force for a long time. He gets better every fight! I’ve been fortunate to work with special guys. Sergio Martinez, I thought he was somewhat of a freak of nature, with God-given talent. But Regis combines that God-given talent and he takes instruction and gets better also. He has that great connection with his trainer, too. He gets better every day. It was a savage performance!”
Listen to Woods’ podcast if you like. Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza is the A-side guest this week.