Fighting in front of a home audience, WBC interim light welterweight champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (22-0, 19 KOs) knocked the over-matched previously undefeated Juan Jose Velasco (20-1, 12 KOs) in the 8th round on Saturday night on ESPN Boxing in a three knockdown performance at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The fight was stopped at 1:39 of round 8. Boxing 24/7 had Prograis winning all eight rounds of the contest. Velasco made rounds 1 through 3 close with some nice shots he landed, but Prograis was connecting with the much harder blows. It looked like Prograis wanted a body shot knockout from the jump, because that’s the area that he was targeting throughout the fight.
Prograis dropped Velasco twice in round 8. One of them was ruled a slip. Velasco got back up and was getting pounded with body shots at the time his corner had mercy on him and stopped the fight. Velasco looked like he wanted the fight to be stopped earlier, but his corner chose to wait a little while longer before they finally had the referee stop the mismatch. The fight probably should have been stopped as early as the 5th, as Prograis was belting Velasco at will with body shots. The 59” Velasco did a good job of handling the punches to the head, but he was unable to handle the body shots that he kept getting hit with.
It was a good fight thanks to Prograis, who fought at a slow pace in drawing out a fight that probably would have been over by the 2nd round if he had wanted it to end quickly. Velasco couldn’t take the body shots that the 29-year-old Prograi was hitting him with all night. This resulted in Velasco hitting the deck in rounds 5, 7 and 8. There two knockdowns in round 8
Prograis now plans on fighting in the World Boing Super Series tournament coming up. His quarterfinals opponent still isn’t known, but some fans believe it could be unbeaten Josh Taylor. That would be a great match-up if Prograis and Taylor meet up in the first fight of the tournament. Earlier on Monday, promoter Lou Dibella revealed the last two opponents in the WBSS tournament in Ryan Martin and Terry Flanagan. The five opponents are Kiryl Relikh, Josh Taylor, Ivan Baranchyk, Anthony Yigit and Eduard Troyanovskiy. These fighters are not taking part in the World Boxing Super Series tournament: Jose Ramirez, Adrien Broner, Viktor Postol, Alex Saucedo, Sergey Lipinets and Maurice Hooker. It’s still believed by many fans that Prograis will ultimately be the winner of the WBSS tournament. He’ll need to show more sense of urgency for him to win the tournament. Prograis can’t let his opponents hang around like he did with Velasco tonight.