By Vince D’Writer: Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing are setting the precedent in regards to the homecoming bout, as WBC super lightweight champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis is set to defend his title against Liam Paro (23-0, 14 KOs) on Saturday, June 17, at the Smoothie King Center, in New Orleans, Louisiana, live on DAZN.
The formal announcement was made on May 6 at the Canelo vs. Ryder event in Guadalajara, Mexico. Prograis, a two-time super lightweight champion, is looking forward to fighting in front of his hometown crowd, and he’s also excited about the opportunity to clash with other future elite opponents in the 140-pound division.
Participating in the main event in New Orleans is very special to Prograis. He was born and raised in the Big Easy, but he and his family relocated to Houston due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Despite the fact that he currently lives in a different city, New Orleans remains close to his heart as he has the Superdome and the city’s skyline tattooed on his chest.
Back in April 2019, Regis Prograis won the WBA super lightweight title when he scored a sixth round TKO victory over Kiryl Relikh. On that historic night in 2019, Prograis became the first boxer from the city of New Orleans to win a world title in over 50 years.
Six months after his triumphant victory, Prograis traveled to London for a unification bout against Josh Taylor. It was a thrilling back-and-forth match, but in the end, Taylor was able to earn the win by way of majority decision.
The following two years were filled with pain and frustration as Prograis was unable to secure a rematch with Josh Taylor, and all the big fights he wanted to participate in for some reason or another, they never materialized.
Finally, in November 2022, Prograis received the chance to fight for a world title that was vacated by the former undisputed super lightweight champion. Prograis took advantage of his long-awaited opportunity as he stopped Jose Zepeda in the 11th round and won the WBC super lightweight strap.
Now the latest addition to the Matchroom Boxing stable is ready to return to his native New Orleans to make his first WBC title defense. His opponent for June 17th, the undefeated Liam Paro, plans on taking Rougarou’s title and spoiling his homecoming event.
However, Regis Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) is aware of the fact that as a champion in the loaded 140-pound division, he has a target on his back, but, Prograis is more than ready to make his first title defense at the Smoothie King Center, in front of thousands of New Orleanians.
“June 17th, yeah, man, we fighting in New Orleans at the Smoothie King, that’s a homecoming for me. This is something that I dreamed of, and I’m just glad that Matchroom is putting this on.”
Up to this point, Regis Prograis has been very successful in regards to his career as a boxer. Nevertheless, Prograis feels he could’ve experienced even greater success if he was more active and properly promoted.
Prograis has only fought four times since his epic battle with Taylor back in October 2019. The opportunity to be more active, and earn more notoriety for his brand, are a few of the reasons why Regis Prograis believes he made the right decision when he opted to sign with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.
“With this contract I just signed, it’s going to be a lot of activity. Way more than I’ve been over the past few years.” Prograis went on to state, “I’m a two-time world champion, like they have people right now that are bigger than me that haven’t been a champion before.
I’ve been a champion two times, and so right now, I feel like it’s the right time, and with the right platform, and it’s definitely the right move.”
Regis Prograis is confident that his career is about to rise to another level due to the combination of his elite boxing skills and the Matchroom Boxing platform. Prograis has big plans as it relates to defending his title multiple times and then unifying the division, but first, he must take care of business in New Orleans on June 17th, live on DAZN.