We take a look at the make-up of WBC super-lightweight strap holder Regis Prograis and Danielito Zorrilla as the pair get set to lock horns in New Orleans in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Regis Prograis joins Canelo Alvarez and Katie Taylor as the third top level fighter to receive a homecoming in 2023.
For Canelo it was Guadalajara, for Taylor it was Dublin, for Prograis, it's his home city of New Orleans, more specifically the Smoothie King Centre, for his 30th career contest.
While it can be billed as a homecoming for Prograis - - it was five years ago, back in 2018, that he last fought there.
This fight represents more than just a homecoming, however, as it will also represent his debut for Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing at a time in his career when stability and activity is needed.
Widely regarded as one of the best boxers in the world, Prograis possesses the type of power that runs from round one to twelve. He is unquestionably a dangerous man.
His sole loss to Josh Taylor in their thrilling battle in October 2019 was by the thinnest of margins. Since then, he has won four on the spin, but he has been plagued by inactivity due to promotional issues.
Fighting Zorrilla is a means to an end for ‘Rougarou’. His main objective is to clean up at 140lbs and there are a number of quality matchups available to him. Lightweight king Devin Haney has already expressed an interest in fighting Prograis.
At 1/18 it’s clear to see that a win, and a comprehensive one is needed, for the hometown favourite.
The 2/9 price to win inside the distance is evidence of the punch power he has demonstrated in 24 of his 28 fights. For value it may down to picking what round you believe the win will come in.
Zorrilla, promoted by the legendary Miguel Cotto, replaced Liam Paro as this weekend’s opponent when the Australian withdrew due to injury.
The 29-year-old Puerto Rican arrives in New Orleans with a form line. His only defeat in 18 fights came against top 140lbs contender Arnold Barboza Jr, who Hearn wanted to replace Paro.
Zorrilla surely won't prove too much of a problem for Prograis, but he serves a purpose, and whilst odds of 8/1 suggest this would be one of the upsets of the year if he was able to pull it on, there's no doubt that he does possess the shots and skills needed to dethrone the champ, if he isn't quite on it!
|Regis Prograis||Danielito Zorrilla|
|Height:||5ft 8ins||5ft 9ins|
|Trainer:||Bobby Benton||Roman Martinez|
|Record:||28-1 (24 KOs)||17-1 (13 KOs)|
|Titles:||WBC Super-lightweight title||None|
|Last Fight:||W - KO (R11) v Jose Zepeda (Nov 2022)||W - TKO (R1) win v Aristides Quintero (Mar 2023)|
In the final stages of the Barbosa fight Zorrilla launched an attack which troubled the 31-year-old, but he was also on the receiving end of shots that Prograis would have ended the fight with.
More development could see Zorrilla land a meaningful win at super-lightweight in the future but for me, that isn't going to come against Prograis.
Fights against Devin Haney, Jack Catterall, Ryan Garcia, Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez are all possibilities for the favourite in the future, but for that to happen, Prograis must impress this weekend.
He will not want to go the distance in New Orleans. The on offer for the champion to win in 'Rounds 1 - 6' and secure the statement KO he craves looks a good pick.