Once again, Canelo Alvarez shows that he is the fulcrum around which the boxing world rotates.
A potential fight between Mikey Garcia and Regis Prograis, two of the top names in the 140-pound division, is currently being negotiated for the fall, and both fighters like the sound of fighting in Texas, particularly in San Antonio. Prograis, a product of New Orleans, lives in nearby Houston, and recently fought in San Antonio on the Gervonta Davis-Leo Santa Cruz card last October. Garcia, a native of California, is no stranger to that city either. In 2018, he fought at the Alamodome against Sergey Lipinets before a rapturous Mexican-American audience and his brother Robert runs a boxing gym near the city as well.
But both Garcia and Prograis know that they will not be able to commit to a date until they have a firm idea of where and when the kingpin of the sport decides to fight next. Alvarez, the WBA, WBC, WBO 168-pound champion, is reportedly in talks to fight in September, perhaps against Caleb Plant, and Texas has been a popular destination for him in recent years. The Mexican superstar fought at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington this past spring against Billy Joe Saunders and at the Alamodome last December against Callum Smith.
A Garcia-Prograis fight is one of the more intriguing non-title match-ups that can be made in the sport, but Garcia, as business savvy as fighters come these days, knows that scheduling their fight around the same time and vicinity as Alvarez would be a self-sabotaging decision.
In boxing, Canelo gets first dibs.
“You gotta look at different events around it,” Garcia told FightHype.com. “Canelo is supposed to be fighting in September, possibly, again. So we gotta figure out our time [based on that] and then you also have to find the location. Depending on where Canelo fights we don’t want to be fighting in the same town or same state sometimes, back to back, because it just creates more competition. There’s a lot that goes into it. As long as the teams are on board, we’re moving in the right direction.”
Three of Garcia’s last four fights have taken place in Texas. His last fight, a unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas, in February 2020, was held at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, and his pay-per-view event against Errol Spence Jr., in 2019, occurred at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Clearly, Garcia would love for the Prograis fight to be staged in The Lone Star State.
The Alvarez implications, according to Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs), are just one reason why fight negotiations tend to get so convoluted. He is confident, however, that a deal with Prograis (26-1, 22 KOs) can be made, whether or not Texas ends up being available for them. It helps that both fighters need a fight at this moment.
“There’s a lot that goes behind the scenes,” Garcia said. “For the most part people don’t understand how and why things get done. Right now, obviously timing is a factor. Being that [Prograis] is available and I’m available, that's moving in the right direction.
Still, fighting in Texas remains high on Garcia’s list of priorities – he just needs Canelo to make his move first.
“Texas has always been a very good state for boxing,” Garcia said. “We might land there. But there might be another fight or event [around the same time], like a possible fight with Canelo. So we might move to a different city, we might change states completely. There’s so much that goes into it. Being that [Prograis] lives in Texas and is close to home – for me it’s like a second home, too, I find in Texas, more than I find in California. That might make it a better venue for this fight.”