(PRESS RELEASE) -- Undefeated 140-pound contender Regis Prograis scored a sensational second-round knockout over former unified world champion Julius Indongo to capture the Interim WBC Super Lightweight title Friday night on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION from Deadwood Mountain Grand in Deadwood, S.D.
With the win, Prograis (21-0, 18 KOs) will now likely face the winner of next week’s Amir Imam (ranked No. 1 WBC) and Jose Ramirez (ranked No. 3 WBC) matchup for the currently vacant WBC world title belt. Prograis, of Houston by way of New Orleans, was dominant from the opening bell and has now scored knockouts in 14 of his last 15 fights.
“I had to put on a show for SHOWTIME, for Deadwood, and for all my fans in Houston and New Orleans and just the whole division,” said Prograis. “I had to put on a show for everybody. I am now the man at 140.”
In the final seconds of the opening round, Prograis landed a fierce jab that knocked Indongo (22-2, 11 KOs) to the canvas. In the second round, Prograis continued to attack the much taller Indongo, and floored him for the second time with a huge left hand. With a wobbly Indongo returning to his feet, Prograis continued the onslaught and immediately attacked his prone opponent and knocked him down for a third time in the fight. Referee Ian John-Lewis gave Indongo one more opportunity to remain in the fight, but Prograis ended it once and for all with a third knockdown in the round via a left hook and fourth in the fight at 2:54 of round number two.
Following the knockout, SHOWTIME analyst Steve Farhood spoke to the rising star in the wide-open and competitive 140-pound division. Farhood was especially impressed with Prograis, who was making his fifth SHOWTIME appearance.
“It was an awesome performance,” said the International Boxing Hall of Famer and noted boxing historian Farhood. “I was surprised he finished Indongo as quickly as he did and as emphatically as he did.
“I think now boxing fans know that this guy deserves to be rated among the top three or four in the 140-pound division. Because it was a such an emphatic win, all the other fights at 140, whether it’s tomorrow’s fight between Mikey Garcia and Lipinets, you got to feel like they have to answer to Regis. He deserves it.”
The WBC No. 2 ranked fighter at 140 pounds immediately turned his attention to a possible matchup with the winner of next week’s Imam-Ramirez matchup.
“I want the real title now, and I don’t think those two dudes will fight me after tonight,” said Prograis. “Indongo only had one loss to Terrence Crawford, the pound for pound best, and I stopped him a round before Crawford did. I don’t see anybody trying to fight me right now.”
In an IBF Junior Welterweight eliminator, Ivan Baranchyk (17-0, 11 KOs) thrilled fans at The Deadwood Mountain Grand with his all-action style, stopping Petr Petrov (38-6-2, 18 KOs) at 1:12 of round number eight.
Baranchyk, making his sixth appearance on SHOWTIME, was the much stronger, more aggressive fighter than his game but ultimately overmatched opponent, who showed commendable toughness and resiliency to stay in the fight. Baranchyk knocked Petrov to the canvas with the very first punch of the fight, and scored a second knockdown in the second round with a barrage of powerful punches.
With a bruised and battered Petrov trapped against the ropes in the eighth round, referee Mark Nelson stopped the fight. With the win, Baranchyk moves a step closer to becoming the mandatory challenger for the winner of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event on Saturday night between 140-pound IBF world titlist Sergey Lipinets and lightweight titleholder Mikey Garcia.
Baranchyk, who out-landed Petrov 159-118 in total punches and 94-76 in power punches, was pleased with the improvements he showcased tonight.
“I thought I fought a more controlled than in the past and something my new coach has been helping me with,” said Baranchyk, who is currently ranked No. 4 in the IBF 140-pound division. “I knew I had to keep punching to the body, punching to the body. And I did that well tonight.
“I was surprised they stopped the fight when they did. I felt like I won every round and controlled the fight. I knew I won the fight. It was a good fight for me.”
In the opening bout of the telecast, heavyweight prospect Junior Fa (14-0, 8 KOs), of Auckland, New Zealand, kept his unbeaten record intact with a majority decision victory over Detroit’s Craig Lewis (14-2-1, 8 KOs). The judges scored the eight-round fight 76-76, 78-74, 79-73.
Fa, who twice beat fellow New Zealand native and current WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in the amateurs, was the more active fighter against the 33-year-old former collegiate basketball player Lewis, who took the fight on just two weeks’ notice. Fa started the fight quickly, throwing a fight-high 53 punches in round one and a 24-13 lead in overall connects in the first two rounds. As the fight wore on, Fa’s pace slowed and Lewis was able to grow into the fight, out-landing Fa 50-45 in rounds five through eight, to close the overall gap to 82-81 in favor of Fa.
Fa, who made his SHOWTIME debut in November with a first-round knockout of Freddy Latham, was unhappy with his performance despite the win.
“I’m happy I was able to get the decision, but I wasn’t happy with my performance at all,” said Fa. “If I had to give myself a grade, it would be an F. I fought with too much emotion the first few rounds and that threw me off a little bit.
“I was pretty surprised with the one judge who saw it even. I saw him getting tired but I was just flat tonight. I can learn a lot from this fight and where I went wrong and what not to do in my next fight.”
Lewis felt that taking the fight on short notice played a role in the outcome.
"I needed a little more time to train as my conditioning fell off a bit towards the end,” said the former National Golden Gloves gold medalist Lewis. “But overall, I was happy with my performance, I thought it was probably a draw.”
In non-televised undercard action, undefeated heavyweight prospect Trey Lippe Morrison (14-0, 14 KOs), the son of former heavyweight world champion Tommy Morrison, stopped Oswaldo Ortega (3-8, 1 KO) with a third-round (1:18) technical knockout in his first fight in 15 months since suffering a hand injury.
Undefeated 2016 United States Olympian Charles Conwell (7-0, 5 KOs) earned a unanimous decision victory over Mexico’s Juan Jesus Rivera (28-20, 18 KOs). The six-round junior middleweight bout was scored 60-53 on all three judges’ scorecards.
Friday’s tripleheader will replay on Saturday, March 10, at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME on DEMAND® and SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.
Barry Tompkins called the 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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