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Regis Prograis admits boxing becoming a ‘popularity contest’ and says fighting on Jake Paul’s undercard is ‘no-brainer’

REGIS PROGRAIS has no problem admitting boxing is becoming a ‘popularity contest’ – so fighting on Jake Paul’s undercard was a ‘no-brainer’.

YouTuber Paul faces retired UFC welterweight Ben Askren on Saturday, his third professional fight, exclusively on FITE in the UK.

Regis Prograis features on Jake Paul’s undercard
Jake Paul fights ex-UFC star Ben Askren

The undercard also features ex-UFC champion Frank Mir, reggaeton star Reykon and entrepreneur-turned boxer Joe Fournier.

But amongst the celebrity names and millions of social media followers is light-welterweight contender Prograis, who will fight Ivan Redkach.

It offers the purist form of boxing on the pay-per-view card, and the chance for potentially new fans of the sport tuning in to see the real side of the sweet science.

But Prograis is aware of what he stands to gain while sharing the spotlight with others who in reality are not fit to lace his boxing boots.

And even Al Haymon – the mysterious boxing mogul credited for guiding the backend of Floyd Mayweather’s career – is convinced by partnering up with Triller.

Prograis, 32, told SunSport: “This isn’t an opportunity you can turn down. It’s a different platform, a different fanbase and a good fight for me.

“I think all round it’s great, so I couldn’t turn it down. It was a no-brainer from the start, but I still had to talk to Al Haymon.

“For me, my coach, my manager, it was definitely a no-brainer. It’s too much exposure for me to help build my brand.”

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A post shared by Regis "Rougarou" Prograis (@regisprograis)


Prograis, an immediate favourite in Britain for his thriller with Josh Taylor in 2019, was at first admittedly critical of YouTube stars lacing up the gloves.

He attended the rematch between Logan Paul, 26, and KSI, 27, two years ago, which Jake’s older brother lost by scrappy split-decision.

And he came away from it referring to the pair as ‘clowns’ who were leaving a stain on boxing’s reputation.

Now, while starring on a bill headlined by Jake, 24, Prograis can see more clearly the benefits of having a new audience driven by the celebrities.

He said: “I don’t look at it being frustrating or nothing like that. Boxing is becoming a popularity contest.

Regis Prograis and opponent Ivan Redkach

“It is what it is. They’re way more popular than I am, and it is what it is. For me, I’m not made about it.

“I’m getting exposure and they’re bringing new boxing fans to the table now.

“I went to the fight between Jake’s brother Logan Paul and KSI in LA at the Staples Center and it was just a different fanbase man.

“There was a bunch of kids, from 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 running around the building.

“That fanbase will see me fight and they’ll become my fans. I don’t have no complaints about it.”

Regis Prograis training ahead of his next fight
Regis Prograis is a former WBA welterweight champion