Regis Prograis’ period of celebration barely lasted 72 hours.
Prograis revealed in a Tweet he posted Wednesday morning that the check bounced for his purse in excess of $1 million for his 11th-round knockout of Jose Zepeda on Saturday night in Carson, California. The newly crowned WBC super lightweight champion was supposed to be paid a $1,080,000 purse and, in accordance with WBC rules pertaining to fights for vacant championships, a $240,000 bonus for winning.
The $240,000 bonus represented 10 percent of the winning purse bid of $2.4 million.
“I deposited my fight check Monday while I was in LA,” Prograis wrote in the Tweet. “Today the bank emailed me saying the check bounced because of insufficient funds. Somebody better find out what’s going on before I click the f*** out.”
MarvNation, a small promotional company based in Southern California, stunningly won a purse bid August 30 to earn the right to promote Prograis-Zepeda.
Its bid of $2.4 million was nearly twice as much as the second-highest offer of $1,260,050 made by TGB Promotions. Probellum, Prograis’ promoter, bid $1,060,000, and Zanfer Promotions, Zepeda’s co-promoter, submitted an offer of $1,004,500.
MarvNation promoted the show in conjunction with financial support from Legendz Entertainment, a company founded by Dylan Marer, a 35-year veteran of the event production and entertainment industries.
The California State Athletic Commission required MarvNation CEO Marvin Rodriguez to show proof of funds before it moved forward with the five-fight pay-per-view event at Dignity Health Sports Park. In accordance with WBC rules, MarvNation previously deposited the win bonus of $240,000 in an escrow account soon after it won the purse bid.
Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs), a New Orleans native who resides in Katy, Texas, dropped Zepeda early in the 11th round of their scheduled 12-round main event. Zepeda (36-3, 28 KOs, 2 NC), of La Puente, California, tried to reach his feet, but referee Ray Corona stopped the action 59 seconds into the 11th round.
The 33-year-old Prograis became a two-time 140-pound champion. He won a WBC belt Josh Taylor, the only fighter who has beaten Prograis, relinquished earlier this year.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.