Regis Prograis—The Rougarou

By Cain Bradley on February 9, 2018
Regis Prograis—The Rougarou
Prograis wants “to show everyone that something good can come out of a bad situation.”

When he wore the mask to the ring for the first time, the crowd made it clear that Regis Prograis had made the right decision…

A Rougarou is a werewolf type creature living in the folklore of Cajun French Louisiana.

The story was originally told in France as a way to keep children outside of the woods but followed French settlers to Louisiana. The Rougarou is said to prowl the swamps and bayous of Louisiana. It is meant to strike with unbelievable speed and strength. Prograis was given that nickname after his eighth bout, under the suggestion of his Dad. When he wore the mask to the ring for the first time, the crowd made it clear that Regis Prograis had made the right decision. He has shown he deserves that nickname with his recent showings. His last five opponents have been stopped and only three opponents have taken him the distance. He will take on his toughest opponent yet on March 9, when taking on Viktor Postol for the interim WBC Title. The winner will take on either Jose Ramirez or Amir Imam when the two clash for the full title.

Prograis no doubt remembers his roots in New Orleans. His nickname is an obvious call back to it and on his chest is an obvious reminder, a tattoo of the New Orleans skyline. All over his body, tattoos depict his birthplace. On his right arm is the fleur-de-lis tattoo with the 504 area code. The words on his calves ‘East’ and ‘Beast’ depict his childhood home. When Hurricane Katrina struck, like many others Prograis was displaced from his home, moving to Houston at only 16. The family had got out, only the night before the hurricane hit, finding shelter in various places before settling in Houston. For three weeks he did not know whether his Mother had survived, until finally the phone call came through to say she had made it to Atlanta. The Prograis family arrived with no home, no employment and no friends. Simply a suitcase with a few clothes and toiletries in it. Prograis himself is looking “to show everyone that something good can come out of a bad situation.” He grew up admiring Roberto Duran, Henry Armstrong and Mike Tyson and you can see that in the sheer power and brutality Prograis fights with.

Prograis had begun boxing a month before Hurricane Katrina under instruction from his football coach who had saw Regis and his teammates boxing for fun. It was clear from day one that his raw power was unique. Once he had moved into Houston, he walked into his nearest boxing club, the Savannah Boxing Club, where Juan Diaz had emerged from and Evander Holyfield trained. He would begin to dominate local tournaments and in 2009 won the Ringside Tournament. He was superb as an amateur, reaching a record of 87-7, more than one loss coming to Errol Spence. He was ranked fourth in the country but would lose in the 2012 Olympic Trials to Bryant Perrella and Samuel Vazquez. Prograis wants to “represent everyone,” from his birthplace to his current residence. The link between the two became even more harrowing last year, as Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. Prograis hoped his experience would allow him to “help people get through this.”

Postol will be his first bout since the hurricane. Postol is a former world champion, who has only been defeated by Terence Crawford, universally recognized as one of the pound for pound best boxers in the world. Prograis has claimed that he feels he is “one of the best junior welterweights in the world.” Beating Postol would definitely put his name in that mix. The weight is in flux since Crawford departed. Title contenders include Maurice Hooker, Terry Flanagan, Sergey Lipinets, Mikey Garcia, Amir Imam, Juan Carlos Ramirez, Rances Barthelemy and Kiryll Relikh. Prograis could claim to be deserving favorite against almost all of them, alongside other super prospect Josh Taylor.

Early on, Prograis had no problem in dispatching overmatched opponents but fans begun to take notice when he continued stopping good journeymen. Lou DiBella signed him after he stopped Hector Velasquez and he was soon featured on the ShoBox cards, which has graduated 67 boxers to World Champions. Prograis started his ShoBox run by taking the zero from Amos Cowart’s record. Unbeaten Abel Ramos was also stopped, who went on to prove his chin by going the distance with Ivan Baranchyk. He beat Luis Eduardo Florez to win the NABF Title and defended it by stopping Wilfrido Buelvas. In his last bout, he viciously obliterated Joel Diaz Jr., dropping him four times on route to a 2nd round KO victory. Diaz was supposed to be a step up but on first watching, you would assume he was a journeyman without much quality of his own.

Prograis is a smiling, confident boxer who boxes out of the southpaw stance. His strength and power is obvious, hurting opponents seemingly at will. He is a lanky 5’8 with a 67-inch reach but he does not really use it. Instead he looks to swarm an opponent, taking opponents apart with good angles and smart flurries. His best punches are his straight left hook and a sneaky right hook which has hurt opponents to both the head and body. He stays calm in the pocket with some excellent upper-body movement keeping him out the way of many potential counters. He is always feinting and changing levels, making it hard for opposition to hit him. He relies heavily on his reflexes, keeping his hands dangerously low, almost inviting his foes to take a shot at him. He even has the size to potentially be a threat at Welterweight, especially if the power carries.

He truly loves the sport, studying the great fighters of all time and barely spending time outside of the gym. He learns from them, you can see the little pieces of the great fighters he loves when he boxes. Against Postol, we get to find out if his talent will take him to the next level. Lou DiBella, his promoter, thinks he can, describing him as the “most explosive, young American talent” with “the ability to unify at 140.” The hype looks to be real. He has truly made good out of an awful situation.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles

Leave a comment