Is Regis Prograis Still Willing to Fight Maurice Hooker?

Following an initial standoff when it comes to competing at a higher weight class, Regis Prograis may be interested in fighting Maurice Hooker after all. He just wants some assurances.

Recently, the planned bout between the two was nixed altogether following Hooker backing out. This came after their April 17 bout was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hooker’s goal was to move to welterweight as he was unable to properly cut down to 143 pounds. Prograis and his team stated he was unwilling to go past that weight. Now, the right price may entice him.

“I gave up enough,” Prograis told Boxing Scene. “If they want me to fight him at 144, then bring up the money. That’s the only way I would budge, if they offer more money. I have no problem fighting Maurice Hooker, but I don’t wanna go too high because once you get up to ’45, ’46, ’47, that’s a welterweight. And I’m not ready to go to welterweight right now. Because once I go up to welterweight, I’m not coming back down. And my personal goal is I wanna be a champion again at 140.”

“I’d say 144 is the highest I’ll go, and that’s if they came back to me with more money. I don’t wanna keep going up because once your body gets adjusted to being up, it’s not gonna wanna come back down again and I still wanna be a champion at 140. If he can’t do [144], tell him to kick rocks.”

Prograis (24-1) is coming off of a loss to Josh Taylor back in October. The former WBA and NABF Light-Welterweight Champion was one win away from winning the World Boxing Super Series: Super-Lightweight finals.

Hooker (27-1-3) is on a one fight win streak. “Mighty Mo” beat Uriel Perez back in December via KO. It was a rebound fight after losing his first professional bout to Jose Carlos Ramirez back in July. As a result, Hooker lost his WBO Light-Welterweight Championship. He has stated before the troubles that come with a weight cut like he has gone through over the year.

According to his team, Hooker is currently at 168 pounds, with the ideal weight being at 147. Prograis wants the fight, but won’t go above and beyond just to give Hooker what he wants, especially if he doesn’t feel comfortable.

“At first, we wanted the fight to be at 140 because we wanted it to be some type of eliminator,” Prograis went on to say. “So, initially the fight was supposed to be at 140. [Brian McIntyre, Hooker’s trainer] said he can’t make 140, that it’d take him three months to make 140. So, we gave him a little leeway. We said, ‘We’ll do it at 143. We’ll agree to your terms.’

“Now they’re talking about making it at 147. I still want it at 140, but if he can’t even make 143, I guess we’ve gotta go another route. He can go his route, and I’ll go my route.”

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