By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says he wants to attempt to set up a unification fight at 140 between his fighter WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) and IBF champ Subriel Matias (19-1, 19 KOs), provided he wins his fight against Danielito Zorrilla (17-1, 13 KOs) next month on June 17th at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Hearn says if he can’t set up a unification fight between Prograis and Matias, he’ll have Regis defend against the winner of this Saturday’s fight between Jack Catterall and Darragh Foley.

For the U.S. boxing fans unfamiliar with those two, they’re British fighters, and likely attract much interest as a potential opponent for Prograis’ next fight against the little-known Zorilla.

You got to wonder if Prograis made the right decision in choosing to turn down the offer to sign a promotional contract with Top Rank. Prograis thought he was making the right move in signing with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, but look at who he’s facing. Zorilla. After him, Prograis will likely be stuck fighting the British fighters Catterall or Foley.

Had Prograis signed with Top Rank, he’d have these killers to fight:

  • Arnold Barboza Jr
  • Teofimo Lopez
  • Josh Taylor
  • Jose Ramirez
  • Devin Haney
  • Shakur Stevenson
  • Keyshawn Davis

Hearn says he tried to get the Top Rank-promoted Arnold Barboza Jr for Prograis to defend against on June 17th, making three offers, but he couldn’t make a deal.

Instead, Hearn chose the 29-year-old Puerto Rican native Zorilla for Prograis to face next month. Zorilla lost a wide 10 round unanimous decision to Barboza last year in July. Hearn says that Zorilla gave Barboza Jr a “really good fight.”

This writer went back and watched it again, and it was NOT a good fight. Barboza Jr dominated the over-matched Zorilla from start to finish, showing why the Puerto Rican native isn’t ranked in the top 15 by any of the four sanctioning bodies.

Subriel Matias is coming off a fifth round knockout win over a previously unbeaten Jeremias Ponce (30-1, 20 KOs) on February 25th at the Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Those two battled for the vacant IBF 140-lb title, with Matias coming out victorious in a massacre.

“We made Arnold Barboza three different offers to Top Rank, and the money was a lot more than what we were paying Liam Paro. I liked that fight,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on his failed efforts to get Arnold Barboza Jr for WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis to defend his title against on June 17th.

“They can talk about this money and that money. The reality is that it was five weeks’ notice or less. I don’t think Barboza was ready unless you overpaid him.

“I don’t know what Barboza is going to do. Zorilla had a really good fight with Barboza. If you watch it back, it was a really good fight. He’s a good fighter. He’s Puerto Rican and comes to fight. I like the style. We do have three weeks to go. So it wasn’t easy to get a major name.

“Zorilla will come to fight, he’s a talent, and I think it’ll be a really good fight for Regis to move into the big fights.

I’d like to make the [Subriel] Matias fight for the unification,” said Hearn when asked what he wants next for WBC light welterweight champion Prograis, provided he beats Zorilla on June 17th.

“I’d like for Regis to try and pick up those belts. Matias is a free agent at the moment. I’m sure he has offers as well, but I’d like to try and find a way to make that happen.

“If not, Jack Catterall against Daryl Foley this weekend in Manchester is a great fight. The winner deserves a shot at the world title as well [against Prograis]. For me, that’s like an unofficial eliminator for the world title. The focus for Regis Prograis is to come through June 17th and move into the Unifications,” said Hearn.



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