Regis Prograis may have a powerful suitor waiting to support him.

The WBC 140-pound titlist from New Orleans recently announced that he has become a free agent, a position he hopes will improve his business standing in the sport.

The 34-year-old Prograis is regarded as one of the top fighters in his weight class, but he has had trouble staying active. Prograis was previously promoted by the now defunct Probellum promotional company, whose president during its short lived existence was industry veteran Richard Schaefer.

It appears that Prograis has now garnered the attention of at least one power broker in the sport: Bob Arum of Top Rank.

“If he demonstrates to us that he is a free agent—a real free agent—we’d be happy to put him in the mix, and to make fights for him,” Arum told journalist Steve Kim.

Added Arum, “He’s a terrific fighter.”

If Prograis and Top Rank were to unite, it would mark an ironic turn of events after the debacle earlier this year between Prograis and Top Rank-backed Jose Ramirez.

Avenal, California’s Ramirez famously turned down a title shot against Prograis that had been ordered by the WBC, citing what he felt was the unfair financial split; Prograis, the champion, was due a much bigger portion of the financial pot than Ramirez per terms laid out by the WBC’s own rules. Ramirez’s backers argued that because Ramirez had the bigger commercial profile—he is a credible draw in the central California region—he deserved a larger share than what he was actually entitled to.

Another problem that conceivably played a part in the boondoggle between Prograis and Ramirez was the fact that Arum had previously indicated that his company would not do any business with Probellum, the promoter that then handled Prograis. Arum had stated that Top Rank would not cooperate with any person or entity that had ties with alleged Irish drug cartel kingpin Daniel Kinahan, of which Probellum, Arum claimed, was one. Probellum had denied those claims.

Arum’s desire for Prograis to “demonstrate” that he is truly not bound to any other promotional entity seems to stem from Prograis’connections to Probellum. (Probellum went through a complete overhaul of its personnel after its assets were purchased by a Dubai-based company called Disrupt Promotions.)

On his Twitter account, Prograis, referencing Arum’s comment, posted a single emoji of a bag of cash. 

In addition to Ramirez, Top Rank handles several key players in the 140-pound division, including Scotland's Josh Taylor, the WBO titlist, and Brooklyn's Teofimo Lopez, a former unified lightweight champion.

Sean Nam is the author of the forthcoming book Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.