WBC World Super-Lightweight champion Regis Prograis has signed a long-term promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom – and will make the first defense of his title against Liam Paro on home soil at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Saturday June 17 – live worldwide on DAZN.
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Prograis (28-1 24 KOs) became a two-time World king at 140lbs by dismantling and knocking out Jose Zepeda in 11 rounds at the feted ‘War Grounds’ of the Dignity Health in California in November.
The New Orleans native previously held the WBA title at Super-Lightweight, winning the belt against Kiryl Relikh via sixth round stoppage at the University of Louisiana in April 2019 in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series, before meeting Josh Taylor in the final at The O2 in London in October in a barnstorming battle edged by the Scot.
The 34 year old returned to winning ways against Juan Heraldez, Ivan Redkach and Tyrone McKenna to lead to his win over Zepeda, and ‘Rougarou’ is looking to shine in his first fight at home since October 2018 as he aims to land the unification fights he craves in the second half of 2023, with undisputed on his mind in 2024.
“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.”
The man out to spoil that homecoming defense is the hard-hitting undefeated Queenslander that’s riding high after an explosive showing last time out. Paro (23-0 14 KOs) destroyed fellow countryman Brock Jarvis inside a round in Brisbane in October with a rocket left hook ending matters in stunning fashion.
The 27 year old is ranked at #3 with the WBO and #4 with the IBF, and lands his first World title shot in hostile territory – all the more motivation for the Aussie man to rip 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 140lb 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.”
“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.”