Regis Prograis isn’t quite certain Adrien Broner deserved to lose to Jovanie Santiago.
The former WBA super lightweight champion is absolutely sure, though, that Broner has lost whatever was left of the championship-caliber boxing ability he once possessed. Prograis wasn’t the least bit impressed by Broner’s performance in a debatable decision victory over Santiago on February 20.
“He looked like sh!t,” Prograis told BoxingScene.com. “You know, he looked bad. He definitely shouldn’t be in the ring with me. I hope he does, but he looked bad, man. That dude Santiago, I mean, he was a C-level fighter, and it was a close fight. Broner definitely is supposed to stop somebody like that. To me, honestly, Broner, I think he’s shot now. He’s actually young to me , but in boxing, he’s older. He’s been boxing I think since he was 5, 6, 7 years old. So, I think he’s on the downside of his career now.”
Cincinnati’s Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) beat Puerto Rico’s Santiago (14-1-1, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision, but the four-division champion got off to a very slow start in his first fight in more than two years. Judges Peter Hary (117-110), Tom Carusone (116-111) and Glenn Feldman (115-112) still scored their 12-round fight for Broner at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“I can’t say he lost the fight, but it was very close,” Prograis said. “I never really score fights round by round, with points and stuff. I don’t really do that. But it was a very, very close fight. It was a real close fight.”
Prograis (25-1, 21 KOs) doesn’t think their fight would be close at all, yet the New Orleans native still hopes the much-discussed Broner bout materializes later this year.
“I’m still optimistic because the fans wanna see it,” Prograis said. “You know, every time somebody interviews me, they say Broner’s name. And every time they interview Broner, they say my name. So, I’m still optimistic that there’s a possibility it can happen. I do think that it could happen. And then I saw the ratings, the views didn’t do good [from the Santiago fight on Showtime].
“So, I think he’ll need somebody like myself that’s a good fighter and is gonna hype the fight, talk the talk. Because, of course, I have a big, loud mouth and he has a big, loud mouth, and we’re gonna be talking a whole lotta sh-t at the press conference. So, I still think that the fight could potentially happen.”
Prograis plans to revisit the possibility of boxing Broner following his 10-round, 142-pound fight versus Ivan Redkach (23-5-1, 18 KOs, 1 NC) on the Jake Paul-Ben Askren undercard April 17. If Broner can earn enough money for facing him, Prograis believes his rival will take a bout Broner doesn’t really want.
“He knows that I’m too dangerous,” Prograis said. “He knows I’m very, very dangerous, and I’m gonna hurt him. I fight to hurt, so he knows I’m really gonna hurt him. But I think money-wise, if it’s a big enough fight and he can make a few million dollars, I think that he’ll take it. But the money has to be right. If the money’s not right, he’s not gonna come nowhere close to me.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.