Prograis: "I Will Go Out There, Be Me And Have Fun"
Regis Prograis & Terry Flanagan and Ivan Baranchyk & Anthony
Yigit were oozing confidence when they went head-to-head at
the final press conference in New Orleans ahead of
Saturday’s Ali Trophy Super-Lightweight Quarter-Finals at
the UNO Lakefront Arena.
“This is huge, my goal is to bring big-time boxing back to
New Orleans,” said Prograis at Thursday’s press conference
in The Big Easy. “Fighting for the Muhammad Ali Trophy is a
really big deal. Most people don’t realise how big of a deal
this is. I am just excited.”
Prograis – a native New Orleanian – fought in front of his
fans at the Lakefront Arena for the first time in July when
be beat Argentinian Juan Jose Velasco to secure a place in
the Super-Lightweight edition of the World Boxing Super
“The first time I did have a little pressure on me,” said
Prograis. “I did get a little nervous. I’d never been to a
big fight before in New Orleans and it was me standing in
the ring. I wish I could have been in the stance watching my
own fight. Now that is gone, I am back to being me, having
fun and fight.
“I know Flanagan is tough. He is a former champion. But I
will go out there and be me and have fun. I can do so many
different things. First people said I am not a puncher and I
don’t have power. Now people are switching because I have
been knocking everybody out. Really, whatever I feel like
doing, I will go out and have fun in front of my crowd in my
Prograis’ promoter, Lou DiBella, called ‘Rougarou’ one of
the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world and fighting
for the Muhammad Ali Trophy 'a great innovation in boxing'.
“I am lucky to be able to say that Muhammad was a friend and
my hero,” said DiBella. “I wouldn’t be in boxing if it
wasn’t for Muhammad Ali. I was six years old the first time
I ever saw or listened to a prize fighter. I was listening
to round by round updates on the transistor radio under my
pillow after my parents had sent me to bed.
"I also know how much Ali means to Regis. He is a hero of
Regis. I think Regis has read just about any book on Ali. I
think it is wonderful that this tournament is for the Ali
Trophy. The World Boxing Super Series is really one of the
best things that have happened to boxing in a while; the
best fighting the best in an organised fashion.”
England’s Terry Flanagan believes he has what it takes to
beat the man to beat in the 140 lb division.
“It will be a great fight, the fight of the night,” said
Flanagan. “I know it is going to be a tough fight, I am not
stupid. But I have had the right preparation, I am mentally
and physically prepared and I feel fit and ready. I think I
am going to do it Saturday night.”
Belarus’ Ivan Baranchyk is fighting for the vacant 140 lb
IBF World title against Sweden’s Anthony Yigit and he
predicts a rough night for his foe on Saturday.
“This is the biggest fight for me; a quarter-final in the
World Boxing Super Series and a fight for the world title,”
said Baranchyk. “This is my moment, this is my time, I will
become world champion this Saturday. I will beat Yigit in
every round but I don’t know when the referee will stop the
Sweden’s Anthony Yigit talked with equal confidence on
edging the fight in his favor and he was in formidable
verbal form at the top table.
“I feel great,” said Yigit. “I have been here for two weeks
now training together with the guys at the New Orleans
Boxing Club and they have been very friendly to me. I feel
at home here in New Orleans so that’s good.
“For this fight, I feel really confident that is going my
way. Obviously some people think that Ivan ‘The Beast’
Baranchyk is coming to get his prey but let me just tell you
guys something: I didn’t fly over across the sea to be prey.
I am here on a safari and I am going to the hunt the beast!
“I can do everything. I can punch, I can move, I am
explosive, I am fast on my feet, I can also stand and trade
punches. I got that warrior’s heart. People get shocked when
they face me. They don’t know how to respond. Whatever they
do, I got an answer for it. I always put my opponents out in
deep water and that is what is going to happen on Saturday
“It is great to be in New Orleans with the World Boxing
Super Series,” said Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing
Officer. “When you look at the history of boxing in the U.S.
this is the home of boxing. It is amazing to bring in the
lights into town. We have a doubleheader of the
super-lightweight division this weekend; four amazing
gladiators are here trained in supreme condition to give us
On the line in the Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals in New Orleans:
Regis Prograis (United States) vs. Terry Flanagan (England)
for the WBC Super-Lightweight Diamond Title & Ivan Baranchyk
(Belarus) vs Anthony Yigit (Sweden) in an IBF
Super-Lightweight World Championship bout.
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