Regis Prograis apparently isn’t sold on what many perceive to be one of the pinnacles of boxing achievements.
In a recent interview, the WBC 140-pound titlist from New Orleans poured water over the concept of the undisputed champion, a distinction given to a fighter who is able to collect all four major titles in a given division.
Welterweight Terence Crawford recently became the division’s undisputed champion after his knockout win over Errol Spence Jr. in July. The accomplishment is highly regarded in boxing circles because it presumes some semblance of meritocracy was involved—no sure thing in the sport—and is regarded as a reprieve of sorts to boxing’s chronic factionalism.
“That undisputed sh!t really don’t matter, bro,” Prograis told ESNews. “There’s a lot of people that been undisputed.”
Prograis’ comment comes as he appears to be on the verge of defending his title against one of the few fighters in recent memory to have become an undisputed champion, Devin Haney (30-0, 15 KOs), who collected all the belts in the lightweight division last year with a unanimous decision over Australia’s George Kambosos. The proposed fight between Haney and Prograis is reportedly being targeted for Dec. 9 in Haney’s hometown of Oakland, Calif., in what would be Haney's debut at 140.
Indeed, in the interview, Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) made sure to downplay Haney’s achievement, saying the quality of the opponent matters more than the mere fact of unifying the four belts, Prograis’ point being that Kambosos was not an elite fighter. Kambosos became a unified lightweight champion when he upset Teofimo Lopez in 2021.
Other undisputed champions in recent years include Jermell Charlo (154), Canelo Alvarez (168), Josh Taylor (140), Naoya Inoue (118), Claressa Shields (women’s 160 and 154), Jessica McCaskill (women’s 147), Katie Taylor (women’s 135), and Amanda Serrano (women’s 126).
“Devin is f------ undisputed, bro, [against Kambosos],” Prograis continued. “That’s the thing. He’s the youngest undisputed champion ever. It depend on who you beat to be undisputed. It’s not about being undisputed and sh!t like that. I don’t care about undisputed.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.