SAN FRANCISCO – Regis Prograis plans to get an even later start on his next sport than when he took up boxing at the age of 17.

The former WBC super lightweight champion surprisingly spoke about launching a second career as a mixed martial artist after his 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Devin Haney on Saturday night at Chase Center. Prograis stated during his post-fight press conference that he has wanted to try MMA for quite some time, but his place in boxing as a world champion prevented him from attempting to pursue a second sport, the way three-division women’s champ Claressa Shields has done.

The 34-year-old Prograis added that he won’t make an honest effort to compete in MMA until he attempts to become a three-time 140-pound champion in boxing.

“Something I did have in mind, maybe it might be too soon right now, but I do wanna leave the sport and do MMA,” Prograis said. “I wanna do that, but I do wanna be a three-time champion before I do that. Three-time at 140 and then after that I do wanna go ahead and switch to MMA. But three-time champion first.”

When asked why he suddenly determined MMA was something he wants to try, the New Orleans native clarified that he has long been passionate about participating in MMA.

“It’s not all of a sudden, that’s why,” Prograis said. “I been had that on my mind for a while. But I was a champion, so it’s like you can’t just give it up as a champion. … I’m not saying Imma do MMA now, but after I get a belt for the third time, then I’ll probably go ahead and switch. But no, not right now.”

Prograis (29-2, 24 KOs) took up boxing much later than many successful prizefighters once Hurricane Katrina forced him to move to Houston in 2005.

The Katy, Texas resident overcame that late start to win the WBA 140-pound crown and later the WBC belt. He has earned several seven-figure purses and lost only a pair of 12-round decisions to two undisputed champions in Haney and Josh Taylor.

Scotland’s Taylor, who was undefeated at that time, edged Prograis by majority decision in their 12-round title unification fight in October 2019 at O2 Arena in London. Taylor (19-1, 13 KOs) went on to become boxing’s second fully unified 140-pound champion of the four-belt era.

Haney (31-0, 15 KOs), of Henderson, Nevada, out-pointed Prograis in much more convincing fashion than Taylor. He dropped Prograis in the third round and shut out the strong southpaw by the same score, 120-107, on the cards of judges Rey Danesco, Mike Ross and Fernando Villarreal.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.