With just days to go until the interim WBC junior welterweight title fight between big-hitting southpaw Regis Prograis 21-0 (18) and unbeaten Argentinean Juan Jose Velasco 20-0 (12) the 29-year-old American titleholder has revealed he delights in hurting his opponents.
“I’m not going to say I go looking for the knockout,” said the New Orleans-born, Houston-based knockout artist with an 86% stoppage ratio. “But I go in to try and hurt my opponent. Boxing is a brutal sport and that’s how it’s supposed to be.
“I feel like a killer. Of course, I’m nice. I can smile with y’all, but when I get in there, I’m a killer. When I hit somebody and I know they’re hurt, then I know I got them.
“My whole thing is if I hit them and I see some type of weakness in their body, or I see something going, then I know automatically I got them. It’s over.”
There is a lot on the line for the winner of this fight that will headline the 10-fight Top Rank card from the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana live on ESPN this Saturday night. The winner will have their ticket stamped for the season two of the World Boxing Super Series that will feature the 140-pound division and is set to commence in September.
For the South American challenger this fight represents just the third time he has fought outside of his native Argentina – and only his second time boxing in the United States.
But Velasco, who goes by the nickname “El Pitbull”, believes all the pressure if on Prograis.
“The pressure is not an issue for me,” Velasco said. “The pressure is on Regis. I’m not expected to do much, which is fine by me.
“I’ll prove the experts wrong. I feel like everyone is pulling for him, that it’s a gimme fight for Regis. Everyone can talk, but on Saturday, he’ll have to fight.”