By Dan Ambrose: Regis Prograis and the unbeaten Arnold Barboza Jr exchanged words on social media on Thursday about the need to replace Liam Paro for the June 17th Eddie Hearn promoted card at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
WBC light welterweight champion Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) needs the unbeaten Top Rank-promoted Barboza Jr (28-0, 10 KOs) to step in as his opponent on just three weeks’ notice.
Although Barboza acknowledges that three weeks isn’t much time to prepare, he told Prograis to have his promoter Hearn “send the right number,” and then they can fight.
It would likely need a large number to get a talented fighter like Barboza to agree to take the fight because he has options. Barboza is ranked #2 WBO and #4 WBC. Either way, he will get a title shot soon, and he wouldn’t need to take the fight on three weeks’ notice.
Regis Prograis: “So I don’t know if y’all heard the news of what’s going on. Liam Paro pulled out. He had an injury, supposedly yesterday. The replacement is supposed to be Arnold Barboza,” said WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis on social media about him hoping to replace the injured Liam Paro with Arnold Barboza Jr for his June 17th title defense on DAZN in New Orleans.
“We’re going to see if he takes the fight or not. I know for a long time, he’s been calling me out. He says he wants the fight. So now it’s his shot. I know some people said if it’s the right opportunity or not.
“Listen, if you believe you can win and you’re fighting for the WBC [140-lb] belt, there’s no such thing as not the right opportunity.
“So let’s see if he takes the fight. I’m calling you out right now, Arnold Barboza. You got a chance to fight for the belt, and you’ve been calling me out. So let’s see if you’re going to take the fight or you’re going to hide behind the business side of things. I’ll be here,” said Prograis.
Arnold Barboza Jr: “I’ve seen Regis’ little video. Like I said, I’ve got respect for the dude. But get the f**k out of here with that, ‘Don’t hide behind the business side of things,’ when you were supposed to been signed with Top Rank. That fight would have been pretty much guaranteed to me once you signed.
“Once you put pen to paper, that fight was going to get made, plus all the other 140s with Top Rank. But you decided to go another route because of the business side of things, right, because it’s better for you.
“So don’t come at me, dog, with the business side of things. Come on, man. Don’t do that. All of a sudden, you don’t have no dance partner. You want me on three weeks’ notice. That’s fine. I want the fight. We’re going to get it.
“Talk to Eddie Hearn. Tell him to send the right number, and let’s do it.”
Regis Prograis: “Man, what the f**k is wrong with boxing. What’s wrong with y’all? If you have a title shot, and you’re going to fight for the WBC belt, and you’re going to turn it down. What’s wrong with y’all?
“People have been said they want smoke, and they want to fight, and they want this, and they want that. But when the shot comes, they hold that s**t in front of their face. They’re scared. They’re not trying to fight.
“Come on, bro. If I have a title shot, I’m taking it. For the WBC, I’m taking it. Man, y’all f***king scary.”