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NOLA Press Conference: Prograis Ready to Put on a Show

*NEW ORLEANS (July 12, 2018)* – Regis “Rougarou” Prograis asked to fight
in his hometown of New Orleans for a long time. After 21 bouts and more
than six years as a pro, his wish is finally coming true.

The Prograis homecoming will occur Saturday evening at the Lakefront Arena,
where he will defend the WBC super lightweight diamond belt against fellow
unbeaten Juan Jose Velasco. And, in the co-feature, Brooklyn-bred Teofimo
Lopez (9-0, 7 KOs) will take on William Silva (25-1, 14 KOs) for the vacant
WBC Continental Americas lightweight title.

Prograis vs. Velasco and Lopez vs. Silva will be televised live on ESPN and
ESPN Deportes at 7 p.m. ET.

The undercard will be streamed on ESPN+ beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET. Several
young standouts will see action, including 2016 U.S. Olympian Charles
Conwell (7-0, 5 KOs) in a six-round middleweight bout against Baton Rouge,
Louisiana, native Travis Scott (19-3, 5 KOs), 2016 Olympic gold
medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (4-0, 2 KOs) versus fellow unbeaten Kevin
Johnson (5-0, 4 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight bout; unbeaten 130-pound
contender Erick De Leon (17-0-1, 10 KOs) against Adrian Young (25-4-2, 19
KOs) in a 10-rounder; and featherweight prospect Jean Carlos Rivera (13-0,
8 KOs) versus Angel Luna (12-4-1, 7 KOs) in a 10-round contest.

At Neyow’s Palace, located only a couple miles from the French Quarter, the
fighters gathered for the final press conference. Prograis and Lopez, as
always, exhibited their gift of gab. This is what they, and many of the
other combatants on Saturday’s card, had to say.

*Regis Prograis*

“It’s a dream to come here. The Lakefront Arena, I grew up right around the
corner from there. Like, in the car, you’d get there literally in two
minutes. Just to be headlining there, that’s super important to me. I’m
honored for it. I have to hide my excitement because I still have to fight.
{Velasco} is going to try and knock me out, you know what I mean? So I
gotta go out there and do my thing. I’m super excited. I might not show it,
but I’m really excited to be fighting in my hometown, and not only that, my
whole goal is to bring big-time boxing back to New Orleans. Not only a
Regis Prograis fight, but one day we may get {Terence Crawford, who was
seated in the audience} up here to fight. You know, one day, maybe me and
{Crawford} might fight here at ’47.”

“I’m focused. There are no distractions for me. This is normal. This is a
part of the game.”

*Teofimo Lopez*

“It’s about time {I stepped up the competition}. It’s about time. I
definitely want to showcase more of what I’m capable of doing. People have
yet to see everything of me. Top Rank’s matchmakers – Brad Goodman and
Bruce Trampler – they’re doing a hell of a job with me. This is a good step
up. Definitely. Fighting a guy whose only defeat was with Felix Verdejo {in
2016}, and he went the distance with him. At the end of the day, I’m no
Felix Verdejo.”

*Juan Jose Velasco*

“I’ve had a tremendous training camp, and I am thankful for this
opportunity. I am going to take advantage of it.”

“Regis is a great fighter. To be a great champion, you need to fight the
best fighters. And I want to prove that Saturday night, that I’m elite like
him.”

*William Silva*

“I’m ready for the fight. It’s a real important fight. I had a real good
training camp, and I’m ready to go.”

*Erick De Leon*

“I can’t wait to see all my fans. You guys are in for a really special
treat. I can’t wait to display my talent and everything I got, everything I
worked for in camp. It’s going to show Saturday, so make sure you’re there
early.”

“I make adjustments. I can do it all in the ring. I’m available to
capitalize and make adjustments, and that’s what it’s all about. Saturday,
you are going to see a more complete fighter. You’re going to see a more
exciting fighter.”

*Jean Carlos Rivera*

“I’m ready for the 10 rounds. We were supposed to fight Jose Haro for the
USBA title and unfortunately, he pulled out. Then, we were supposed to
fight Viorel Simion, who has fought Scott Quigg and Lee Selby, in a
12-rounder, and unfortunately, he also pulled out. Now I’m fighting Angel
Luna, and we’re ready for whatever he brings.”

*Charles Conwell*

“I feel as if my pro career is going real well. I’ve been active. I’ve been
up against good, tough opponents, and I’m just growing and getting better
as each fight goes on.”