Although interim junior welterweight titlist Regis Prograis would have liked to challenge full titleholder Jose Ramirez in a mandatory bout this summer, it was better business for them to go their separate ways for the time being as they both try to build their names to make their possible eventual showdown a really big fight.
Prograis will begin that process when he defends his interim 140-pound belt against Juan Jose Velasco in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card on July 14, Top Rank announced on Friday.
Now he will get his chance after Top Rank, Ramirez's promoter, and Lou DiBella, who promotes Prograis, worked out a deal under which Prograis will headline the Top Rank card.
Prograis (21-0, 18 KOs), 29, won the vacant interim belt by stopping former unified titlist Julius Indongo in the second round on March 9 and will defend the belt for the first time against Velasco.
With a win, Prograis, who is managed by Hollywood actor and producer Peter Berg, is likely headed into the World Boxing Super Series eight-man single-elimination junior welterweight tournament.