On Friday, Top Rank made what was known official, that Regis Prograis will headline an ESPN card on July 14 in New Orleans, defending his interim WBC 140-pound title against Juan Jose Velasco at Lakefront Arena.
Prograis (21-0, 18 KO), who lives in Houston now, is originally from New Orleans, and says he’s happy about returning home to fight in a main event.
“I’m thrilled and honored to be fighting back home in New Orleans. For the last couple of years, everywhere I’ve went people have asked, ‘When are you fighting at home?’ I’m beyond excited that we can make this happen. The people of New Orleans have supported me from day one, and I love being from here and having the opportunity for the world to see me fight at home.”
The 29-year-old southpaw burst onto the scene a couple of years ago through appearances on ShoBox: The New Generation, and cemented his spot as a top junior welterweight on March 9, when he stopped former titleholder Julius Indongo in the second round.
Velasco (20-0, 12 KO) is an unbeaten 31-year-old from Argentina who will have designs on preventing Prograis from getting to the big fight later this year with full WBC titleholder Jose Ramirez, who fights on July 7 on ESPN. Promoters Bob Arum and Lou DiBella, who represents Prograis, are hoping to build that fight to be something bigger by showcasing the fighters on ESPN on back-to-back weekends.