Prograis: "I Am Bringing Big-Time
Boxing Back To New Orleans"
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, live worldwide on 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
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
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.