Fighting in his hometown of New Orleans, LA for the first time as a professional fighter, Regis “Rougarou” Prograis thrilled his hometown fans by starching Jose Velasco in round eight at the UNO Lakefront Arena.
Prograis, a southpaw, walked Velasco down and rocked in the opening stanza. Velasco, the taller fighter, backed off and fired his jab. Prograis (22-0, 19 KOs) bobbed and weaved. He clubbed Velasco (20-1, 12 KOs) with a solid left hand. Velasco landed a combination. Prograis ended the round by scoring with a four-punch combo.
In round two, Prograis went to the body. Velasco connected with a short right. Prograis appeared to be finding his rhythm. He let his hands go and landed a number of thudding shots.
The first two rounds were closer then many had expected. Prograis went back to working the midsection in round three. He had fund the key. Velasco continued to hang in. He landed a sharp right hand. Prograis landed two sharp left hands that knocked Velasco back a step.
In round four, Progaris worked his way inside and landed a number of shots. Velasco tried to keep his distance, but Prograis strafed him with more punches to the head and body.
Prograis stalked Velasco in round five. He shot his jab and looked to set-up his power punches. A vicious body shot sent Velasco crumbling to the canvas. He pulled himself up and survived the last 20 seconds of the round.
Prograis was in search of a knockout in round six. The game Velasco ate more heavy punches. Velasco surprised Prograis by landing a uppercut, but the hometown hero continued to dominate.
Velasco had some success in round seven until a crunching body floored him for the second time. Velasco was talked out of quitting after round seven.
He came out to the center of the ring, but within seconds he was down again from a combination of shots to the belly. Velasco got up again, but seconds later his corner waved to referee Lawrence Cole that the fight was over.
The time 1:59 seconds into round eight.
“This was super special,” said Prograis. “My goal was to bring big time boxing back to New Orleans. This dude came in an unknown, but now he’s a known. He kept getting up.”
Prograis will next be seen competing in the World Boxing Super Series 140-pound tournament.
Talented 20-year-old Teofimo Lopez (10-0, 8 KOs) brutally knocked out the much more experienced William Silva (25-2, 14 KOs) in round six on the undercard of the Prograis vs. Velasco main event. Lopez floored Silva three times before the referee halted the contest 15 seconds into round six. Lopez is quick and powerful and loaded with confidence.