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Prograis Wins Impressively on SHOBOX

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Nothing like nasty and/or exceedingly efficient knockouts to perk up interest in a prospect.

“I want to see that guy again,” is what headliner Regis Prograis (seen below in Esther Lin pic) and undercarder Ivan Baranchyk had watchers of the Friday night ShoBox from Oklahoma saying to themselves.

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After the Belarus born Baranchyk (below) launched a Smokin Joe style left hook which discombobulated Nick Givhan, Prograis matched him with a combo platter that stopped Aaron Herrera. Both winners upped their buzz measurably on this Lou Dibella promotion.

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Here is the release which went out talking about the show:

MIAMI, Okla. (March 26, 2016) – On a night of knockouts, unbeaten super lightweight Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (17-0, 14 KOs), of Houston, scored his third consecutive dominant victory on ShoBox: The New Generation, knocking out Mexico’s Aaron Herrera (21-5-1, 12 KOs) at 2:17 of the first round Friday in the main event on SHOWTIME from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.

In scheduled eight-round bouts that all ended early, Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (10-0, 9 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., registered a 21-second, first-round knockout over Nick Givhan (16-1-1, 10 KOs), of Kalamazoo, Mich., in a super lightweight scrap, Ukrainian welterweight Ivan “The Volk” Golub (16-0, 10 KOs, 5-0 in World Series of Boxing), of Brooklyn, N.Y., scored a sixth-round TKO over Marlon Aguas (9-1, 6 KOs), of Quito, Ecuador, and Justin DeLoach (14-1, 8 KOs), of Augusta, Ga., who is trained by former world champion Paul Williams, registered a fourth-round knockout over undefeated super welterweight and local favorite Dillon “White Lightning” Cook (16-1, 6 KOs).

All but Prograis and Baranchyk were making their ShoBox debuts. Cook, Aguas and Givhan became the 143rd, 144th and 145th boxers to suffer their first pro loss on the prospect developmental series.

“I can’t remember in 15 years of working ShoBox a show with such emphatic knockouts – and two of them being spectacular knockout of the year candidates,’’ said ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood.

Prograis, a 5-foot-9, 27-year-old originally from New Orleans, was fighting in his second consecutive ShoBox main event and second scheduled 10-rounder. The aggressive-minded southpaw pounded Herrera’s body from the opening bell; five of his six power punches were targeted to the Mexican’s midsection. A left hook to the body downed Herrera, who crumpled to the canvas and wasn’t able to beat the count.

“I was prepared to go 10 full rounds, the last thing I was expecting was a first-round knockout,’’ said Prograis, who was making his 2016 debut. “I’m making hard fights look easy but they’re really not. It’s all the daily work in the gym all day every day that is paying off for me. Tonight was fun. I’m very satisfied.

“I want all the fighters in my division to know one thing: I’m coming after all of you.’’

“He just got me with a great shot, it was simple as that,’’ said Herrera, who making his second start in the United States. “There’s really not that much that I can say.’’

The highly regarded Baranchyk – making his second eight-round start and second in a row on ShoBox – knocked out Givhan with a huge left hand with the first power punch of the fight. He required only two punches to finish the 17-fight veteran. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the quickest professional KO for the Belarus native. Baranchyk owns a three-second KO over Angel Figueroa from 2015.

“I’m very happy,’’ Baranchyk said. “I was expecting a much longer fight. I was focused on a full fight. But knockouts are good. I know fans like knockouts.

“I’ll take a week off and then go back to the drawing board. I’m looking ahead to fighting again soon and on ShoBox again.’’

Givhan was shocked with the result.

“I’m good but I am very, very disappointed,” Givhan said. “This is the lowlight of my life. For me to get knocked out by someone I know I can beat is just the worst feeling. And there’s nothing worse than for it to happen on national television.

“No one expects 20-second fights. I just got caught, that’s all.”

Golub, a former standout amateur from Ukraine, had to rally from the first knockdown of his career. “This was a little tougher than I expected,’’ he said. “But it’s all about learning. I had to go through some adversity to win. You don’t know adversity until it hits you in the face.”

Golub was the more active fighter against the awkward Aguas, who was at his best when matters turned ugly. In a bizarre second round, southpaw Golub scored a questionable knockdown as Aguas hit the canvas while clinching and off-balance. Aguas bounced back seconds later to knock down Golub with a short right, sending the Ukrainian to the canvas for the first time in his career.

“I was surprised that I got knocked down, but he caught me off-balance,’’ Golub said. “Overall, I am very happy with my performance.”

Golub resumed control after the second and a series of combinations in the sixth sent a gassed Aguas falling back through the ropes in the closing seconds of the round. Aguas somehow rose to his feet to beat the count, but his trainer quickly waved off the bout when the Ecuadorian returned to the corner.

Aguas said an injury, not fatigue, was the reason his corner stopped the fight at the end of the sixth. “I hurt my right bicep in the fifth round,’’ he said. “That’s the reason we stopped it. I wasn’t that tired.”

In the opening fight of the telecast, DeLoach made Williams a winner in his training debut. With Williams looking on from his wheelchair in the corner, DeLoach, a winner of four in a row, dropped Cook with a devastating, counter-overhand right at 2:47 of the fourth that sent Cook awkwardly to the canvas in a knockout of the year candidate.

“I’m happy with my performance,’’ said DeLoach, who was the more active fighter, throwing nearly 100 more punches over the four rounds. “This was a great experience fighting a guy like this in his backyard. I enjoyed the crowd and their enthusiasm. It motivated me. I got a little lazy in parts of the second and third rounds, but I listened to my corner and picked it up on offense and got my punch count up and going again.

“Dillon was a good fighter who moved a lot. I know I have to do better cutting off the ring. He landed with a left a second before I landed that big right. This was a great win for all of us. I’m ready to do this again.’’

“Look at me, look at my shirt. It feels like I was sweating worse than when I fought,’’ said Williams, who’s pro career came to a sudden and tragic end when he was paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident in May 2012. “I am very relieved to get this one out of the way. I’m very happy for Justin and Mr. Pete (Paul’s longtime manager and trainer and DeLoach’s assistant trainer, George Williams).

“I’m OK, all things considered,’’ said Cook. “He was a tough guy. I’ve never been knocked out before so I don’t exactly know how to act. I felt I was in the fight until I was caught. It’s disappointing, but this was a great learning experience for me. It can only help me in the long run.’’

A taped interview with Williams and ShoBox analyst Steve Farhood aired prior to the bout. In the discussion, Farhood asked the former two-time champ why he chose to return as a trainer for the first time since the 2012 motorcycle accident left him paralyzed. Full Interview: http://s.sho.com/1WPrJ28

Friday’s four-fight telecast will re-air Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND beginning today, Saturday, March 26.
Barry Tompkins called the ShoBox action from ringside with Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer was Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

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Tonight is a start towards crossing over from prospect to contender, to a place where Regis Prograis’ team will be looking to match him with Top 20-10 guys.

The Louisianan needs to get the W on ShoBox this evening, of course, and no surprise, his promoter believes he does that this evening.

So, does Lou Dibella KNOW how good this kid is, and will be? “I know he’s very talented,” Dibella told NYFIGHTS. “He’s got a great backstory, what he’s been through, getting hit by Katrina, having to evacuate, bounce around from hotels to short term housing, feeling like a fringe being. It’s made him tough, speaks to his resiliency. It shows he can adapt in the ring.” Dibella loves his reflexes, and yes, doesn’t know his ceiling. “He has stuff in him that is innate. It’s what makes him so compelling. He’s in with a rugged guy (Aaron Herrera), and if he beats him, then next is a top 15, top 10 guy.”

Dibella also promotes 140 pound Russian Ivan Baranchyk, who lives in Brooklyn. “He’s a big puncher, he is in with an undefeated guy (Nick Givhan), from Detroit, which tends to produce fighters. Both have never been tested like this. A victory propels the winner forward.”

Ivan Golub from the Ukraine is another Dibella guy, also in against an unbeaten foe, Ecuadorian Marlon Aguas. “Golub has tremendous amateur experience so I don’t think he needs 15-20 fights before a bigger test,” Dibella said. Golub enters 9-0 versus 10-0 Aguas.

Really, should be a couple compelling rumbles, law of averages says, among the four slated for TV tonight.

Here is a release which went out talking about the program:
MIAMI, Okla. (March 24, 2016) – All eight fighters, including the six undefeated ones, made weight Thursday for the ShoBox: The New Generationquadrupleheader tomorrow/Friday March 25, live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Buffalo Run Casino.

In the main event, unbeaten emerging star, Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (16-0, 13 KOs), of Houston by way of New Orleans, will meet Mexico’s Aaron “The Jewel” Herrera (29-4-1, 18 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight bout.

Four unbeaten boxers will collide in two of the three eight-round bouts: Hard-hitting Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (9-0, 8 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., faces upset-minded Nick “King Beamen” Givhan (16-0-1, 10 KOs), of Kalamazoo, Mich., in a super lightweight scrap and Ukrainian Ivan “The Volk” Golub (10-0, 8 KOs, 5-0 in World Series of Boxing), of Brooklyn, N.Y., takes on Marlon Aguas(9-0, 6 KOs), of Quito, Ecuador, in a welterweight match.

In the eight-round telecast opener, undefeated super welterweight and local favorite Dillon Cook(16-0, 6 KOs), of Seneca, Mo., will meet once-beaten Justin DeLoach (13-1, 7 KOs), of Augusta, Ga. DeLoach is trained by former ShoBox fighter and two-time world champion, Paul Williams, who is making his training debut.

Tickets for an event presented by DiBella Entertainment and Tony Holden Productions are priced at $45, $55 and $75 and are available for purchase at buffalorun.com and at stubwire.com. The first live fight is at 8 o’clock.

The Weights:
Prograis: 141 pounds
Herrera: 142 pounds

Baranchyk: 139 ½ pounds
Givhan: 140 ¼ pounds

Golub: 146 ½ pounds
Aguas: 147 pounds

Cook: 154 pounds
DeLoach: 153 ¼ pounds

Here’s what the fighters said Thursday:

REGIS PROGRAIS

“This is my biggest fight. We’ve been in the gym for two months getting ready. We’re sparring with every style, anything it takes to get me ready.

“I had a whole lot fun in my last fight because (Abel) Ramos just kept coming. I’m fighting a veteran, a different kind of guy tomorrow. He’s tough with the Mexican style so I expect him to be smart and know all the tricks.

“Herrera is coming with nothing to lose, but I love fighting the Mexican style. I’ve been training in Houston, so he won’t bring anything I haven’t seen before.

“I can be a slick southpaw or I can brawl. I just love to fight, which is why I started in boxing. My mindset is to bang and fight, when it comes down to it. Sometimes if I don’t hit I get bored so I mix it up a little more so I will get hit and then I can come back. I can adjust to any style.

“This is my third fight on ShoBox and second main event. I welcome the pressure but at the same time I know I have to ignore it and just enjoy and have fun in there.

“Mentally, I feel I am ready for a major fight against any of the top contenders, but I know those kinds of fights are still a little down the line for me. I still have a lot of work to do; I need to keep pounding it until I get it all right.

“I’m looking forward to a good fight tomorrow.’’

AARON HERRERA

“This is an interesting fight because we’re both coming up in the sport. I’ve seen a few of his fights and know what I’m up against. It looks like Prograis likes to come forward and comes to fight, and I will do the same, although I am probably more of a boxer than a slugger.

“This is about taking care of business. I’ve been 12 rounds before. I’ve fought some good fighters with good records. This is only my second fight in America but I learned a lot from the first one and that will definitely help me. I have more confidence. This won’t be a new experience for me.

“I’ve fought with left-handers before so after a couple of rounds, I’m sure I’ll feel comfortable. I’m definitely coming to win. I can’t wait to hear the opening bell ring.’’

IVAN BARANCHYK

“This is 100 percent the best guy we’ve faced. Nick is a great fighter and we can’t underestimate him. We know that anything can happen in boxing. I put the work in the gym and now I need to do my job in the ring.

“I’m a puncher, I like to bring it and I’m coming for the knockout.

“I’m only 23 but I work very hard and feel I’m coming along. I’m in the gym all the time. One of the main things we work on the most is composure inside the ring. I feel like I’m settling down more and working the jab, but it is still something we work on.

“You just can’t go in and knock everybody out. It’s not that easy. You need to set up your punches sometimes. I am never going to change from being a natural puncher, my team is not trying to take away the fire in me, they just want me to settle down.’’

NICK GIVHAN

“This is a big opportunity and I feel blessed to be getting it, but it’s something I’ve been working towards for years. I feel this is where I’m supposed to be at this stage of my career. I just need to get in the ring to make sure I handle my business in the ring.

“He’s definitely one of the toughest opponents I’ve faced. He’s big, powerful and hits hard the whole fight. But I’m the toughest he’s faced.

“This shapes up as a boxer versus puncher fight that favors me. He may come out jabbing at first, but once he’s touched he can be frustrated. That’s what I will take advantage of, his over-aggressiveness.

“I’m looking forward to seizing the moment tomorrow night.’’

IVAN GOLUB

“I’m very excited to be on this card and looking forward to fighting on my first ShoBox card. This is a big step up and it’s going to be a great fight.

“When I got the chance to fight on ShoBox, I didn’t even ask who I was fighting. I spar with some of the best out there (Ievgen Khytrov, Sergey Derevanchenko, etc.). But I’m more of a boxer-puncher than some of my teammates.

“I work very hard. I study boxing a lot. I know my time is coming. As long as I show good boxing skills, the knockout will come.”

MARLON AGUAS

“You have to be careful with hungry fighters you don’t know anything about, but I’m going to give 100 percent in there. I’m here to show that I have what it takes to become a world champion.

“I am very motivated. This is my first fight in the U.S. and on SHOWTIME so I’m looking to make a statement. I know that after this fight a lot of doors will open. People may not know me now, but they will know me after tomorrow night.

“I have a lot of movement but can also stand there toe to toe and brawl. They are making a mistake taking a step up and fighting me. They don’t know what they’re getting into.

“I’ve been off because of an injury to my left hand but it is totally healed and I am ready. I’ve had lots of sparring.

“I’m more of a stylist, a boxer. I like to move around a lot. But if I have to go at it and brawl I will. I really want to show the fans that I am worthy of watching again.’’

DILLON COOK

“This will be my toughest fight but I’m feeling great. I’m excited but not all that nervous. There is some pressure fighting on TV the first time, but it hasn’t been nerve-racking.

“This is such a big fight; I’m ready for anything he brings. I’m not trying to over-think anything. I just want to do what I do.

“This is a home game for me. I live about 25 minutes away. So it helps that I’m used to the atmosphere and don’t have to travel.

“I’ve seen a little of him. I feel the things he does all the time will work against him. His come-forward style is a good one for me. I’ve had plenty of time to prepare (five weeks) so there will not be any surprises.

“I believe I have the skills to go a lot father, so I want to leave a good impression.

“Speed and footwork are my biggest weapons. I’ve been dazed before, but not knocked down.’’

JUSTIN DELOACH

“Everything to this point has been a blessing for me. This is definitely a big fight and I’m looking forward to doing what I do and putting on a great show. I haven’t seen a lot of Dillon but he is undefeated and is coming to win. I’m ready for whatever he brings.

“I feel I have a lot of raw talent that has yet to be seen. My main thing is to take control of the fight from the start.

“This is so exciting. My biggest and most important fight yet. If I do what I’m supposed to I’ll be OK. This is my first eight-rounder but I’m not worried about that at all.

“We’re part of a great ShoBox show. I can’t wait.’’

Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raúl Márquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hallwith Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

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Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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