Mikey Garcia is thisclose to another clash…
The 33-year-old Mexican boxer and former four-division champion is in advanced talks to take on ex-titleholder Regis Prograis for a fall clash at 140 pounds, according to both fighters and promoter Eddie Hearn.
If a deal is completed, the bout would take place in the U.S., and be streamed on DAZN.
Garcia is one of the most accomplished active fighters in boxing with titles claimed at 126 pounds, 130, 135 and 140. He attempted to win a title at 147 pounds but dropped a decision to Errol Spence Jr. in his lone pro defeat. His last fight also was contested at 147 pounds, a decision victory over Jessie Vargas in February 2020.
Formerly recognized by ESPN as one of the top 10 pound-for-pound boxers in the world, Garcia is a proven box-office draw in Southern California and Texas, where he has headlined numerous times.
“I definitely feel better at 140 (pounds), the only reason I was trying to be at 147 was for a title fight, but since we couldn’t secure a fight with Manny (Pacquiao), there was no reason to stay there,” Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) told ESPN. “But I’ve pretty much made my decision to campaign at ’40 for the next matchup.
“I think it’s a great matchup for a few reasons being that he’s an aggressive fighter, he’s accomplished, former world champion and he’s also hungry to regain that position and have a big victory. I want to get back, I want to do big things, I want to be able to challenge for a world title again and be a world champion so I think those are the elements that make it a great matchup.”
Prograis, 32, dropped his 140-pound title to Josh Taylor (currently the undisputed champion and ESPN’s No. 7 fighter pound-for-pound) in a thrilling scrap in October 2019. Taylor narrowly earned the decision in London and went on to win two more titles from Jose Ramirez in May.
Prograis, meanwhile, stayed busy with stoppage victories over Juan Heraldez and Ivan Redkach while he hoped to gain another crack at Taylor.
“I think it’s the biggest fight at 140,” Prograis (26-1, 22 KOs) told ESPN. “He has a big name; I have a big name right now. All sides want it. Sometimes one side don’t want it and the other side tries to push it. But with me and Mikey, I want it, he wants it. I talked to his brother (trainer Robert Garcia) on FaceTime; he wants it.
“I think it’s going to be a huge, huge fight. I do want to fight the best; I’ve been telling you I want to be a champion again. If I can’t get Josh Taylor, I think Mikey is bigger than anybody right now.”
Prograis has missed the weight limit in both of his past two fights, weighing in at 141 pounds for a fight against Heraldez contracted at 140 and 143 for a bout with Redkach contracted at 142.
“Rougarou” said he’ll be hiring a nutritionist for his next training camp after trying to “do everything by myself. I know I need professional help.”
“I grew up in New Orleans, I was raised eating a lot of (expletive),” Prograis said. “Very, very bad food habits. It takes a long time to break a bad habit.”
Recently, Prograis has been training with legendary fighter Roy Jones Jr., in Pensacola, Florida, though Jones won’t be part of his team during training camp or on fight night. Bobby Benton trains Prograis in Houston.
Garcia, meanwhile, is trained by his brother, former champion Robert Garcia, in Oxnard, California, and is anxious to return to the ring.
“I’ve been off for a little over a year now, a year and a half,” Garcia said. “It’s a good fight to get that return and not many good fights, good matchups get done. I think this is one that can get done.”