Eddie Hearn Keen For Regis Prograis To Make Return Against Dalton Smith

April 24, 2024
1 month
Regis Prograis and Eddie Hearn

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has admitted he is keen for Regis Prograis to make his return to the ring against rising British star Dalton Smith.

Prograis (29-2-0 24 KO) has not fought since losing his WBC super-lightweight world title to Devin Haney in a 12-round shutout in San Francisco last December.

With no fights scheduled, the New Orleans native will likely not return until the end of the summer at the earliest, and Hearn, who promotes Prograis, is keen to put him in with another of his Matchroom fighters.

Smith (16-0-0 12 KO) is regarded as one of the most exciting talents in the UK. The Sheffield fighter continued to boost his reputation with a superb fifth-round knockout of former world title challenger Jose Zepeda last month.

Smith or Matias-Paro Winner For Prograis

“[Prograis is] waiting to fight,” Hearn told Boxing Scene. “He’ll fight about August time. I’d quite like a fight with Dalton Smith.”

However, Hearn said Prograis’ preference to fight in the United States could prove a stumbling block. When asked if the former two-time world champion would fight in the UK, Hearn said: “Possibly. He’d rather fight in the U.S., but if the money’s there he’ll consider it.”

Another fight Hearn is considering for Prograis is the winner of IBF champion Subriel Matias’ fight with Liam Paro in June. That would give the American the opportunity to become a three-time world champion.

“You’ve also got the Subriel Matias-Liam Paro winner,” Hearn said. “[There’s interest] both ways. We’re looking at options for the fight in America or in England. It’s a big jump up [for Smith] – a big step up. But we’ll see.”

Prograis Happy For Haney ‘Karma’

Meanwhile, Prograis did not hold back on Tuesday when discussing former opponent Haney’s defeat to Ryan Garcia last Saturday, believing ‘King Ry’ gave the WBC world champion a taste of his own medicine by coming into the fight heavy.

Garcia missed weight by 3.2lbs and was the bigger and stronger fighter, using his extra power to his advantage to knock Haney down three times on his way to a shock majority-decision victory.

Prograis has previously complained that Haney rehydrated so radically for their December fight that he entered the ring at a reported 166lbs – 26 lbs above his weigh-in weight – despite claiming there was a rehydration clause in his contract.

“[Haney] was like from 140 to 166. That’s a big difference,” Prograis said to the MillCity Boxing YouTube channel. Usually, you don’t get like that without an IV. In my contract, he wasn’t supposed to do that, and I can’t prove he did it or not. I don’t know. Whatever it is, he still was way bigger.

“It’s like a karma thing. That’s the way I look at it. Now, Ryan did it to him. The same s*** that he did to me, Ryan did to him on a way worse level. All that karma. Devin did it to me, and now Ryan did it to you.”