As announced during the Canelo Alvarez vs. John Ryder card in Guadalajara, Mexico, WBC World Super-Lightweight champion Regis Prograis signed a long-term promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.
Prograis is wasting no time getting to work. He will make the first defense of his title against Liam Paro of Brisbane, Australia (23-0, 14 KOs) in front of his hometown crowd at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Saturday, June 17 – live worldwide on DAZN. An announcement regarding ticket sales is forthcoming.
Prograis Signs: “It's Official – It's The Right Fit”
“Now it’s official – I am with Matchroom,” said Prograis. “Over the last few weeks, I’ve been contemplating which move I should make next. I had a lot of good offers on the table. But I feel like Matchroom is the best for me. I just feel like it’s the right fit.
“From the beginning, I had that gut feeling and it never left. I can’t wait to start this chapter in my career. I’ll be fighting Liam Paro in New Orleans on June 17. This is a dream come true.”
Paro: “I Have Been Dreaming About Fights Like This”
Paro will try to spoil Prograis' homecoming party. The hard-hitting undefeated Australian destroyed fellow countryman Brock Jarvis inside a round in Brisbane in October with a left hook ending matters in stunning fashion.
The 27-year-old is ranked at third with the WBO and fourth with the IBF. The fight with Prograis will be Paro's first world title attempt. Paro says fighting on Prograis' home turf is the motivation for him to take the belt from Prograis.
“I have been dreaming about fights like this my whole life,” said Paro. “What better way to make a mark on the 140lbs division than taking out the top guy. This is what it’s all about. I’m coming.”
“I am so excited to welcome Regis to the Matchroom team,” said Hearn. “The 140-pound division is fast becoming the most exciting in the sport, littered with big names and glamour fights, so to have the WBC king in the team is a massive coup for us.
“Regis’ fights always promise action, and along with his charisma and personality, there’s a perfect blend that makes him one of the most marketable and fan-friendly fighters – and one that has told me he only wants the biggest fights in the division – unifications and undisputed.
“We have one of the best stables at the weight, and this is an all-Matchroom affair with Liam landing a dream world title shot. The Aussie destroyed fellow countryman Brock Jarvis last time out down under in one wild round in Brisbane, and Liam is confident that he’s going to be the one looking for those massive nights.
“Finally, I cannot wait to promote our first event in New Orleans. It’s another city to add to the growing list of places we’ve put on events in the States, and with our new three-year deal with DAZN, you can expect more great locations and more big-name signings to build in those cities.”
Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs), age 34, became a two-time world champion at junior lightweight, dismantling and knocking out Jose Zepeda in 11 rounds at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California in November.
The New Orleans native previously held the WBA title at super lightweight, winning the belt against Kiryl Relikh via sixth-round TKO at the University of Louisiana in April 2019 in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series. Prograis went on to lose to Scotland's Josh Taylor in the finals at The O2 Arena in London in a close, hotly contested decision.
Since the single loss, Prograis has victories against Juan Heraldez, Ivan Redkach, and Tyrone McKenna, eventually leading to the title fight with Zepeda.
‘Rougarou’ will want to shine in his first fight at home since October 2018, aiming toward a unification fight later in 2023 on his effort to become undisputed.
“This is the vision we had for Liam when he turned pro in 2016 and he has truly earned this opportunity,” said Angelo Di Carlo, ACE Boxing Group. “We're grateful to Eddie and Matchroom for delivering on their promise to secure this World title shot. Regis is the best fighter in the division and a great champion, but we have the utmost belief in Liam, and this is his time to deliver on the world stage.”