ESPN Regis Prograis vs Juan Jose Velasco and Teofimo Lopez vs William Silva
By Kid Hersh
From the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans came ESPN boxing.
First up was Teofimo Lopez (9-0, 7KO's) vs William Silva (25-1, 14KO's). Silva had Teofimo thinking in the ring for a little bit, but suddenly the athleticism caught up and Teofimo was starting to get into a rhythm. Near the end of the first round, Teofimo scored a beauty of a knockdown off a lunging left hook that sent Silva to the canvas hurt. He rose and made it through the round, as he is a sturdy veteran. in the second round, Lopez was clearly in control at this point - using his speed to get off first and his power to keep Silva thinking. Silva was not looking outwardly discouraged and was still trying but looks very out-gunned already. Lopez shifted more towards outboxing his man but then ended the fight abruptly in the beginning of the sixth round with another knockdown scored after heavily beating him up at the end of the fifth round, dropping him to end the round. Amazing performance by Teofimo - who it turns out hurt his right hand in the very first round - which is why we saw so many lefts!
Main event time featuring Regis Prograis (21-0, 18KO's) vs Juan Jose Velasco (20-0, 12KO's). In the first round, Prograis was looking very athletic and was tough to hit coming forward at first but just as Timothy Bradly was saying that you could time his head movement Velasco was landing some good punches on Prograis and appeared to perhaps stun him momentarily with a right hand. Prograis shook it off and came forward - ever the "fighter" as he likes to come forward when he gets hit in order to hit you back. In the second round, Prograis continued coming forward and while he was getting hit with occasional punches he was obviously making Velasco uncomfortable. The announcers were saying how great he looked but I really think he is getting hit too flush too often. That being said, he has very heavy hands and you can hear his thudding punches land and see the effect they appear to be having on Velasco. Velasco looked like he was trying to hold back the tide in the second half of the fourth round, as he was looking very tired and weary from all the bodywork Prograis put in in the earlier rounds. Again at the end of the round (the fifth) Velasco was looking like he was trying to hold off Prograis. He went down from a left hook to the solar plexus that looked like the end of the fight but he really showed a lot of heart and will as he pulled it together just in time to beat the count and did a great job of buying time for the remaining thirty seconds or more to make it through the round. The fight continued in a very similar pattern, with Prograis looking very calm and controlled as he continued pressing forward and throwing heavy punches to the body. Velasco went down at the end of the seventh round from another body shot, once again to rise and make it through the final seconds in the round. His corner was giving him a pep talk before he came out for the eighth round 9 (Velasco) because it seemed like he was really falling apart. Velasco did not want to continue fighting but we were told that his corner was basically pressing him to continue fighting. You could tell he had nothing left in the eighth round, making that decision highly debatable (if true) as he went down again, then even slipped to the canvas from exhaustion, en route to the fight finally being stopped after Prograis was absolutely murdering his body further.