Tonight at 7:00 pm ET on ESPN, Regis Prograis returns home to New Orleans to defend his interim WBC junior welterweight title against Juan Jose Velasco in the main event of a two-fight card from Lakefront Arena.
Prograis (21-0, 16 KO) has been on a tear, and has put himself in the discussion as the best 140-pounder in the world in this post-Crawford era for the division. The 29-year-old, who now lives in and fights out of Houston, is coming off of a second round knockout of former titleholder Julius Indongo on March 9.
Velasco (20-0, 12 KO) is an unbeaten challenger out of Argentina, a 31-year-old with a light record who has never been in a 12-round bout before. Needless to say, Prograis is the big favorite.
The winner of the fight will take part in the World Boxing Super Series’ 140-pound tournament slated to begin later this year, with the full field announced on July 20.
In the co-feature, top lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez (9-0, 7 KO) will take on veteran William Silva (25-1, 14 KO), whose only loss came against Felix Verdejo in 2016.
- REGIS PROGRAIS def. JUAN JOSE VELASCO by TKO (1:59 of Round 8)
- TEOFIMO LOPEZ def. WILLIAM SILVA by TKO (0:15 of Round 6)
ROUND BY ROUND
REGIS PROGRAIS vs JUAN JOSE VELASCO
Round 1: Velasco scores a jab to the head and then to the body. Prograis slips the jab this time and counters with an uppercut to the body. Prograis probing, using head movement to inch his way forward. Velasco flicks a few more jabs but Prograis has him backing up. Now Velasco lands a couple of shots upstairs and is finding the mark! Prograis tries to come back and throws a short flurry. I actually think Velasco took this round. Velasco 10-9.
Round 2: Prograis comes out stalking, looking to inflict some punishment right away. Prograis slips his head to both sides. Prograis lands a looping leeft hand at close range, followed by a straight left hand. Prograis continuing to walk to Velasco and apply pressure. Prograis lands a few quick punches and is right in the pocket with Velasco. A quick flurry lands for Prograis as the bell rings. Prograis 10-9, 19-19.
Round 3: Prograis slips and gets in a chopping right hand. Velasco tries a combination in the pocket but Prograis is able to slip almost all of the punches. Prograis leads with a straight left and then steps forward and lands another a few seconds later. Velasco is still trying to get some shots in just to keep Prograis honest but Prograis is getting in the stronger punches. Solid uppercut lands for Prograis at the bell. Prograis 10-9.
Round 4: Several hard body shots land for Prograis. Prograis looks to the body again and lands two more punches. Prograis flashes some hand speed and throws four punches that score but don’t have much sting on them. Now Prograis lands a hard straight left and it backs Velasco up. Velasco lands a right hand but takes two back from Prograis in return. Velasco lands a left hook after a right hand but Prograis comes right forward and backs Vealsco to the ropes and strafes him with several hard shots. Prograis 10-9, 39-37.
Round 5: Prograis probes with a jab and then follows it up with a combination that gets Velasco’s attention. Velasco is retreating more and more and may already be wilting under Prograis’ pressure. Jab lands for Prograis. Hard uppercut to the body lands for Prograis. Velasco is trying his best to circle the ring but circles right into a hard body shot from Prograis that puts him down! Velasco barely beats the 10-count but makes it to his feet and is trying to survive the rest of this round. Prograis stalking and looking for another body shot to finish this fight. Velasco is still visibly hurt but makes it to the bell. Prograis 10-8.
Round 6: Prograis comes out and attacks the body right away. Prograis is still looking downstairs, knowing Velasco is vulnerable. Prograis stalking Velasco around the ring and tagging him with shots. Velasco trying to cover up and brave the assault but he’s weakening. Prograis times a straight left hand and is being patient, knowing he has Velasco on the brink. Prograis 10-9, 59-54.
Round 7: Prograis lands a touching left hand then continues to press forward, steadily applying pressure on Velasco. Velasco tries a double right hand that partially lands. Hard right hook to the body lands for Prograis, reminding Velasco to get out of close quarters. Velasco still appears like he’s trying to survive this fight more than win it. Hard left hook to the body crumbles Velasco! Velasco gets up at the count of 8 but Prograis comes on the attack, chasing Velaso around the ring. Velasco is able to make it to the bell. Prograis 10-8.
Round 8: Velasco wants to quit this fight but his trainer yells at him in the corner, asking him to give him one more round. So Velasco comes out for one more but take some more punishment to the body straight away. Two more body shots make Velasco spit his mouthguard out and hit the deck. Velasco gets up but he shakes his head. We start again and Velasco hits the deck on what is ruled a slip. Velasco is still in there fighting even after telling his corner he’s done. This is a mess! Velasco is taking punishment because his trainer doesn’t want him stop. Now, finally Velasco’s corner steps on the apron and throws in the towel. Prograis TKO-8.
TEOFIMO LOPEZ vs WILLIAM SILVA
Round 1: Lopez comes out right away with a quick jab. Lopez tries a three-punch combination that is mostly blocked. Lopez lands a right hand to the body but Silva gets one right back. Lopez continuing to jab and try to follow it up with a right hand. Left hook lands for Silva as Lopez pulls straight back. Hard check hook lands for Lopez and momentarily shakes up Silva! Lopez tries to follow it up and leaps in with a left hook that drops Silva! Silva barely beats the 10-count and he’s still hurt. Lopez goes on the attack but can’t finish him before the bell rings. Lopez 10-8.
Round 2: Lopez tries a comic book jump punch that Silva ducks. Silva tries two punches but Lopez is able to evade them easily. Counter right hand lands for Lopez but then Silva gets in a left hook upstairs on Lopez. Hard left to the body followed by a looping right comes from Lopez. Lopez splits Silva’s jab with a jab. Hard left hook lands for Lopez and Silva’s face is bloodied. Lopez 10-9, 20-17.
Round 3: Lopez throws a handful of jabs that don’t land but occupy Silva. Lopez continues to work behind the jab and then finds a home for a straight right. Lopez tries to follow it up with a couple more power punches but they can’t find the mark. Silva is spending a lot of time covering up now as he’s felt the power of Lopez. Lopez lands a right hand and Silva nods. Big right uppercut lands for Lopez who then follows up with a hard flurry that shakes up Silva again! Silva tries to fight back but he’s hurt and Lopez taunts him as the bell rings. Lopez 10-9.
Round 4: Lopez comes out right away with a lead left hook that Silva blocks. Silva tries to counter with a body shot and is able to back up Lopez for a moment. Left uppercut to the body lands for Lopez. Lopez jabs to the body and head, then Silva ties up. Lopez is really comfortable in the ring and is trying to put on a show for the audience. Silva lands a jab but takes three punches in return. Big right hand lands for Lopez just before the bell. Lopez 10-9, 40-35.
Round 5: Lopez is having little trouble keeping Silva occupied with his consistent jab. Now Lopez catches him with a right hand and a left uppercut, followed by a hard left to the body. Lopez is hitting Silva almost everywhere. Two body shots back off Silva, Lopez comes forward looking to land another body shot and then lights up Silva with a left hook upstairs. Silva is taking lots of shots and I’m wondering at what point the referee will have seen enough. Silva’s taking a beating. Lopez goes on an attack and crumples Silva to the floor with a couple of left hooks! Silva once again barely beats the count but does, and the bell rings. Lopez 10-8.
Round 6: Lopez comes out and attacks straight away, strafing Silva and immediately puts him down. Lopez does a back flip as this fight is over. Lopez TKO-6.