By Sean Crose
Regis Prograis will be home in a few weeks. The 17-1 world welterweight champion will now defend his WBC title on June 17 at the Smoothie King Center in his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. Prograis’ opponent will be 17-1, promoted by Miguel Cotto Danielito Zorrilla in a fight that will be broadcast live on DAZN and scheduled for a twelve-round championship. Prograis was scheduled to face Liam Paro that night, but Paro’s injury gave Zorrilla the opportunity of a lifetime.
“I’m glad Zorrilla took the fight,” says Prograis. “Nothing changes for me; I’m still working hard to go out there and prove that I’m the best fighter in the world at 140 pounds. I will go out, do my job, show up for my city and defend my title with pride. Although he was supposed to face Paro, Prograis is nevertheless happy with how things turned out. “I’m sorry about Liam,” says Prograis, “but we have a great replacement and I’m going to make everyone proud of me. Everyone in town is stopping me on the street asking me about the fight, so I can’t wait to get in there and put on a show, it’s going to be a fire fight.”
Zorrilla, of course, is in seventh heaven, and for good reason. “We have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time in my career and it has finally arrived,” says the challenger. “I am ready to be world champion, I am grateful to Prograis for giving me a chance, but on June 17 there will be a new world champion.” Although he will be a clearly weaker dog entering the ring on the night of June 17, Zorrilla exudes confidence. “I’ve been watching Prograis for a long time,” says Zorrilla, “and I know his style, I know I have the talent and the ability to win by any means. The world will know who Zorro is.
A legendary player turned promoter, Cotto is also confident of his protégé’s chances against Prograis. “Zorrilla has worked hard for this opportunity and it’s definitely time to fight for the world championship,” he says. “Prograis is a great champion, but on June 17 he will have a complete boxer in front of him, hungry and ready to be world champion.”