Prograis hopes to fight at Superdome in Louisiana

Regis Prograis is ready to bring big-time boxing back home to New Orleans – starting with his WBC World Super-Lightweight title defense against Danielito Zorrilla on Saturday June 17 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana(DAZN).

Prograis (28-1 24 KOs) is looking to shine in his first fight at home since beating Terry Flanagan in October 2018 as he aims to land the unification fights he craves in the second half of 2023, with undisputed on his mind in 2024.

‘Rougarou’ fights under the Matchroom banner for the first time on June 17, and with his new partnership with Eddie Hearn, the 34 year old is heavily involved in the rest of the card, ensuring an all-Lousiana bout between New Orleans’ Jeremy Hill (18-3 11 KOs) takes on Baton Rouge’s Mark Davis (19-1 5 KOs) over eight at Lightweight, and Houston-based 2020 Olympian Ginny Fuchs (2-0 1 KO), being advised by Prograis, fights for the third time in the paid ranks on the card against Indeya Smith (6-7-2 1 KO) over eight rounds at Super-Flyweight.

Prograis admits that fighter management and promotion could be in his future, but the WBC king says that there are many more chapters to be written in his own fighting career first, starting with a long-awaited return to the Big Easy.

“The last time I fought in New Orleans it was nice, but this is the Smoothie King Center, it’s on a different level, I’m ecstatic,” said Prograis. “You can’t soak up the moment too much because I still have to go out there and fight, I still need to do that, but it’s really a dream come true because coming up, when I first started boxing, I wanted to fight there – it was a two-part dream, fight at the Smoothie King Center and then at the Superdome, so this is the first big step towards doing something huge in my city.

“We’re starting Rougarou Promotions with this card and with my partnership with Eddie, I feel we’re taking more control and direction not just of my future in the ring, but with other fighters. I said for the undercard ‘I want this guy, I want Ginny’ – that’s what I want to do. It makes sense if we’re bringing big time boxing to New Orleans that we have some fighters from here on the card.

“I don’t know if I want to be a promoter per se, and I feel that I have a long way left in my own career, but right now at home, I do want to have NOLA fighters on the card and to help them shine. I’m in the gym in New Orleans and Houston, I see the talent out there, so when I fight, I want people to see them.

“It’s going to blow it up. We did the Lakefront in 2018, but this is big. Eddie said ‘listen, if we do good, we’re going to keep coming back’. So that’s why we need everyone to come out because it can be a regular thing. This used to be a boxing town, but it faded over the years, so if we do good, I think this will become a regular thing.

“As the champion, you must be even hungrier as those contenders are coming for you and that they want what you got. There are wolves behind me all day long, so my mindset has to be that there’s fighters all over the world that are coming for me and I need to outwork them, out train them, be hungrier than them – I have to be on my A-game every day.”

Prograis defends his World title on a stacked night of action in New Orleans.

Unbeaten Australian Heavyweight Justis Huni (7-0 4 KOs) faces Andrew Tabiti (20-1 16 KOs) over ten rounds, unbeaten pair Shakhram Giyasov (13-0 9 KOs) and Harold Calderon (27-0 18 KOs) meet in an eliminator for the WBA Welterweight crown and Ramla Ali (8-0 2 KOs) defends her IBF Intercontinental Super-Featherweight title against Julissa Guzman (12-2-2 6 KOs).

Criztec Bazaldua (1-0) kicks off the night on Before the Bell against Elroy Fruto (1-1) over four rounds at Lightweight and Aaron Aponte (7-0-1 2 KOs) meets Xavier Madrid (4-2 2 KOs) over eight at Super-Lightweight.

Prograis to battle Zorrilla on June 17 in New Orleans

Regis Prograis will defend his WBC World Super-Lightweight title against Danielito Zorrilla on Saturday June 17 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, live worldwide on DAZN.

Prograis (28-1 24 KOs) became a two-time World king at 140 pounds by dismantling and knocking out Jose Zepeda in 11 rounds at the feted ‘War Grounds’ of the Dignity Health in California in November.

The New Orleans native previously held the WBA title at Super-Lightweight, winning the belt against Kiryl Relikh via sixth round stoppage at the University of Louisiana in April 2019 in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series, before meeting Josh Taylor in the final at The O2 in London in October in a barnstorming battle edged by the Scot.

The 34 year old returned to winning ways against Juan Heraldez, Ivan Redkach and Tyrone McKenna to lead to his win over Zepeda, and ‘Rougarou’ is looking to shine in his first fight at home since October 2018 as he aims to land the unification fights he craves in the second half of 2023, with undisputed on his mind in 2024.

Zorrilla (17-1 13 KOs) will be out to spoil those plans, and the Puerto Rican promoted by the legendary Miguel Cotto, lands a golden opportunity to win his first World title on June 17, replacing the injured Liam Paro. The 29 year old held the WBO NABO title at 140lbs, highlighted by a destructive second round KO over Pablo Cesar Cano, and pushed highly rated Californian Arnold Barbosa Jr all the way in their clash in July.

“I’m glad that Zorrilla has taken the fight,” said Prograis. “Nothing changes for me; I am still working hard to go out there and prove that I am the best fighter in the world at 140lbs. I will go out, do my thing, show out for my city and defend my title with pride.

“I’m sad for Liam but we have a great replacement, and I am going to make every proud. Everyone in the city is stopping me in the street and asking me about the fight, so I cannot wait to get in there and put on a show, it’s going to be a fire fight.”

“We have waited for this opportunity for a long time in my career and it has finally arrived,” said Zorrilla. “I am ready to be a world champion, I am grateful to Prograis for giving me the opportunity but on June 17, there will be a new World champion.

“I’ve been watching Prograis for a long time and I know his style, I know I have the talent and ability to win by any means. The world will know who Zorro is.”

Mikey Garcia wants Prograis, Taylor

Mikey Garcia is plotting his path back to becoming a World champion again – starting with his return to action against Sandor Martin on Saturday night at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California, live worldwide on DAZN.

Garcia (40-1 30 KOs) is back in action for the first time in almost 600 days since he saw off Jessie Vargas in Frisco, Texas in February 2020, and the fan favorite is itching to get back into the title mix, starting with his clash with European Super-Lightweight champion Martin (38-2 13 KOs).
Garcia still has designs on winning a belt at Welterweight to become a five-weight king, and should he secure victory over Martin he’ll be hunting former Super-Lightweight World ruler Regis Prograis for a stellar showdown at 147 pounds, but the 33 year old wants to keep his options open, and believes a fight with undisputed 140lbs king Josh Taylor would be a big one.
“I wanted to stay at 147 to look at fighting for a World Welterweight title,” said Garcia. “We had discussed the Prograis fight at Welterweight as he was considering moving up to 147 and on Saturday we were looking to have the fight at 147, but Sandor has been at 140 so we agreed a 145 catchweight which I am not thrilled about but it’s OK.
“I’ve never stepped on the scales at 147, I’ve been 144 or 145 so it’s the same to me. I want to have both options available. If there’s a chance to fight for a belt at Welterweight, I am ready but 140 is a more ideal weight for me at my size and body structure, it’s a more comfortable weight for me.
“I understand the boxing business, so I was disappointed the Regis didn’t happen, but we move on. I hope that we can make that fight happen soon, if things go well on Saturday and win without any injuries or cuts, I’d want to pursue that fight straight away. That is a fight I want, the fans and media want it, but the scheduling and the promotional time needed to build a fight like that just wasn’t there.
“If there’s a good fight at 147 with a big name or a belt, I’d love that. I think I am better built and more developed for Welterweight now than I was the first time around. 
“I don’t see myself at Lightweight ever again, but I can see 140. There are some very good names at the weight, Josh Taylor is a great champion and if some of the guys at 135 look to move up, there’s so big fights at 140.
“I just have to keep winning. Victory on Saturday and then getting another win against someone like Regis, I think that should create enough attention to land a fight with Taylor. He’s the undisputed champion and that’s the biggest fight that I could engage in at the weight of course.” 

Garcia’s clash with European Super-Lightweight champion Sandor Martin, and a stacked undercard in support of the main event is led by WBO World Light-Flyweight king Elwin Soto (19-1 13 KOs) putting his crown on the line against Jonathan Gonzalez (24-3-1 14 KOs).

San Antonio talent Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez (13-0 9 KOs) clashes with Jose Alejandro Burgos (18-4-1 15 KOs) and there’s plenty more young talent on the card as unbeaten Australian Super-Featherweight Brock Jarvis (19-0 17 KOs) fights under the Matchroom banner for the first time against Alejandro Frias Rodriguez (13-4-2 6 KOs), Marc Castro (3-0 3 KOs) fights in his hometown for the first time as a pro, and, Diego Pacheco (12-0 9 KOs), Nikita Ababiy (10-0 6 KOs) and Khalil Coe (1-0 1 KO) all look to add wins to their impressive starts in the pro game.

Mikey Garcia is plotting his path back to becoming a World champion again – starting with his return to action against Sandor Martin on Saturday night at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California, live worldwide on DAZN.

Prograis on fight with Heraldez: ‘I’m not big on predictions, but I’ll be victorious’

Former super lightweight world champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis talked about moving his training camp from Los Angeles back to Houston and more as he previewed his upcoming showdown against unbeaten Juan Heraldez that takes place Saturday, October 31 live on SHOWTIME PPV from Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

“Training camp is going great and I’m thrilled to be back home in Houston with my team,” said Prograis. “I have my best training here. It’s just a strict training camp lifestyle. When I lived in L.A. I had great training, but it’s just a vacation lifestyle that doesn’t work for me right now. Down here in Houston I’m with my long-time trainer Bobby Benton at the Main Street Boxing Gym. There’s no frills in there, it’s always very hot.”

Even from the early days of the pandemic, Prograis was still finding ways to safely stay in shape for an eventual return to the ring. Since moving training back to Houston, he’s continued to responsibly put himself in position to be at his very best on October 31.

“When the pandemic started, I was still living in Los Angeles, so I’d go to the gym late at night and train by myself,” said Prograis. “Since I moved back to Houston, we’ve taken all the protocols to have a safe camp and prepare to our fullest for October 31.”

Prior to the pandemic, Prograis had a fight scheduled against former champion Maurice Hooker, which was cancelled along with numerous other fights on the boxing calendar. Now that he has a fight in place, Prograis is eager to return to what he loves.

“I wanted to fight soon after the Josh Taylor fight, because I always want to be active,” said Prograis. “We had a fight set in April against Maurice Hooker, then the pandemic hit and it was postponed. Now my sights are only set on Juan Heraldez. I can’t wait to fight on October 31. I just love to fight.”

For Prograis, this will be his first time on the pay-per-view stage, an opportunity that he relishes. In addition, the fight will have fans in attendance at Alamodome in San Antonio, giving Prograis a chance to return in front of fans in his home state.

“This is my first time on a pay-per-view and first time fighting on a Premier Boxing Champions card, so I’m very excited,” said Prograis. ” I fought six times on ShoBox: The New Generation and really started to make my name on that series, so to be back on SHOWTIME is a great feeling. I’m thrilled that we’re fighting in front of fans at the Alamodome. It’s only a couple hours away from Houston and I know San Antonio’s a great fight town. It’s going to be a tremendous night.”

In Heraldez, Prograis is matched up against an unbeaten opponent who is looking to use a career-best victory on October 31 to springboard himself into the 140-pound elite that Prograis has long been amongst. Because of that, Prograis knows not to take him lightly heading into their showdown.

“I don’t know too much about Juan Heraldez, but for him this is a great opportunity, so I know he’s going to come into the fight with guns blazing,” said Prograis. “We’ll see what happens once the fight starts. I can box and I can bang, and the way I’m training, I’ll be more than ready for whatever he brings. I’m not big on predictions, but I’ll be victorious.”

Prograis on Hooker: ‘We have a history of bad blood’

Regis Prograis and Maurice Hooker will clash on a blockbuster night of action at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Friday April 17, live on DAZN.

Both men come into the bout on the back of starring roles in two of 2019’s fight of the year contenders. Prograis (24-1 20 KOs) travelled to London in October to take on Josh Taylor in a unification clash and the final of the World Boxing Super Series, with Scotsman Taylor edging out ‘Rougarou’ via Majority Decision in an all-out war.

In July, Hooker (27-1-3 18 KOs) hosted José Ramírez in a unification bout in Dallas, and the pair served up a back-and-forth shootout that Ramirez won via stoppage in the sixth round of a breathless contest.

Now the pair collide at a 143lbs catchweight in a fight that will lead the victor to World title action while the loser will face to tough route back to the summit – and both men know that this is a make-or-break night at a pivotal time in their respective careers.

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring on April 17 and prove that I’m one of the best fighters in the world,” said Prograis. “Maurice Hooker is a former World champion with a good skill set, but I’m very confident that I will be victorious and begin my march towards becoming a two-time World champion this year. We have a history of bad blood, and this is a fight that I’ve wanted for a long time. I’m excited for this fight and I’m glad I’m going right back into a fight with a good competitor.

“I’m very grateful to my team for putting this fight together and to my fans all over the world, thanks very much for your continued support.”

“Regis Prograis came out of the World Boxing Super Series one of the most popular and respected fighters in boxing,” said Prograis’ promoter Lou DiBella. “This fight against Maurice Hooker is not only one of the most anticipated in boxing but also one of the very best that can be made this year.

“Regis is committed to becoming a two-time world champion and a victory on April 17 will put him on a path to proving once again that he’s one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.”

“I’m excited to face a former World Champion,” said Hooker. “In my mind, he is still one of the best out there at 140 pounds which, when I beat him, gives me a chance to show the world I’m also one of the best at this weight. You can bet this fight will get me closer to winning another belt. It’s going to be an exciting match and I’m ready to take him out.”

“Mighty Mo Hooker vs Regis Prograis is what big-time boxing is all about – two former World champions at the top of their game, looking to make a statement and show the boxing world that they’re back with a vengeance,” said Roc Nation Sports boxing promoter Dino Duva. “Mighty Mo has given me a directive to get him the biggest and best fights and wants to remind everyone that he is one of the best and most exciting fighters in the world. This bout is an unbelievable matchup on paper and will be a can’t miss fight of the year candidate. It’s as good as it gets, and boxing fans should not make any other plans on April 17 – this is a can’t miss fight. On behalf of Roc Nation Sports, I salute and thank our good friends and partners at DAZN and Matchroom Boxing USA for making this great fight happen and giving the fans such a special treat.”

“This is a fantastic match-up between two fighters that always deliver great fights,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Regis and Maurice more than played their parts in two epic fights last year, and I know that their styles are going to gel to create another all-action battle.

“We will announce a huge undercard with World title action and a host of big names in action soon, it’s going to be another epic night of action live on DAZN.”

Photos from Regis Prograis’ victory in New Orleans

Regis “Rougarou” Prograis put on a show for his hometown New Orleans fans, defending the WBC super lightweight diamond belt with an eighth-round TKO over Juan Jose Velasco in front of 3,615 fans at the UNO Lakefront Arena.

Prograis, who was born and raised in New Orleans and moved following Hurricane Katrina, knocked Velasco down with a body shot in the fifth round and kept applying the pressure. It was all over in the eighth round when Velasco’s corner threw in the towel. The homecoming was complete, and it was a success.

“I couldn’t lose here in New Orleans,” Prograis said. “I told my father, if I lost, I couldn’t come back. I had to go out there and fight. I knew I had a hard fight. There was a lot of excitement, but I had to hide that excitement. I had a job to do.”

In the co-main event,  promised that it was time for “The Takeover.” And he delivered. Lopez knocked out William Silva in the sixth round to win the vacant WBC Continental Americas lightweight title, punctuating the victory with a home run trot and a backflip. Lopez (10-0, 8 KOs) dropped Silva (25-2, 14 KOs) three times, a veteran who had never been knocked out. Following the third knockdown, punctuated by a furious barrage, referee Bruce McDaniel immediately stopped the bout.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photos: Mikey Williams/Top Rank