Regis "Rougarou" Prograis and Joel Diaz Jr. made weight on Thursday just hours after the "Opening Bell" to kick off festivities for the 2017 International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend.
The undefeated Prograis (19-0, 16 KOs) and fellow unbeaten Diaz (23-0, 19 KOs) will square off in the 10-round super lightweight main event of a Hall of Fame edition of ShoBox: The New Generation tomorrow/Friday, June 9, live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT) from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
The ShoBox tripleheader will celebrate longtime analysts Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood just two days before their induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Farhood and Tompkins were joined at the Opening Bell on Thursday by a handful of their fellow 2017 inductees: boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera, Australian trainer Johnny Lewis, and the wife of the late Johnny Tapia, Teresa Tapia.
In the ShoBox co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Steve Rolls (15-0, 9 KOs) will take on the hard-hitting Demond Nicholson (17-1-1, 16 KOs) in an eight-round bout. In the opening bout of the telecast, Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez's protégé, Jon Fernandez, (12-0, 10 KOs) faces Juan Reyes (14-3-3, 2 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight matchup.
10-Round Super Lightweight Main Event:
Regis Prograis - 139 ½ pounds
Joel Diaz Jr. - 137 ¼ pounds
Referee: Mark Nelson; Judges: Don Ackerman, Tom Schreck, John McKaie
Eight-Round Super Middleweight Co-Feature:
Steve Rolls - 161 pounds
Demond Nicholson - 162 ½ pounds
Referee: Benjy Esteves; Judges: Glenn Feldman, Don Trella, Wynn Kintz
Eight-Round Lightweight Telecast Opener:
Jon Fernandez - 132 ½ pounds
Juan Ramon Reyes - 131 ½ pounds
Referee: Charlie Fitch; Judges: Don Ackerman, Glenn Feldman, John McKaie
"The person that wins this fight goes up, hopefully, to a title fight. I'm 19-0, he's 23-0. I feel like this is a real big fight.
"I take all my opponents seriously, but I'm taking this one even more seriously than others in the past. He's 23-0, and there's a reason he's undefeated. He's good, and he has the best record I've ever faced.
"I'm at a stage in my career where every fight can lead to the next big thing and I think this fight may be it for me. I'm patient, but I'm ready for more. I want a shot at a title.
"He's a brawler fighter, but I have the better punching power, and the speed.
"If I feel like he [Diaz] can't hurt me from the first round, I'll probably just walk him down the whole night and punish him.
"Seeing what [Errol] Spence did motivates me, especially the way he did it in his opponent's hometown. It got me thinking: that can be me one day. We went at it in the amateurs, so I know how good he is, but I'm good too. Just seeing him go over there and take the title away, I know my time is coming next.
"I grew up watching Macho Camacho, Roberto Duran, Mike Tyson, but I watched more Duran than anything. I really liked his style. I learned a lot watching the boxing greats on tape.
"Terence Crawford, Adrien Broner, Victor Postol. Those are the type of guys I want to fight.
"I started boxing in New Orleans, and if it wasn't for Katrina, I probably wouldn't be where I am right now. When I moved to Houston, I got into the boxing scene and started taking it seriously. It was a horrible situation [in New Orleans], but it changed my life.
"My family went back [to New Orleans], but not me. I stayed in Houston to box. I feel it's not time for me to go back home just yet. I'll come back when I become a superstar, like I'm supposed to be."
Joel Diaz Jr.
"This is my chance, this is my opportunity. I've been told, 'you only get one chance', and this is it for me. I know Regis is good, but we're going to put it on him. I'm going to be on him like flies on shit. This is one of the opportunities I can't let pass.
"We're going to break him down mentally, find our way in, and drop the bomb.
"He throws combos, and that's what I have to take away from him. I have to be on him and be the first to attack. My power will take care of his speed.
"This means a lot to me, getting to show the world who the 'secret' is. People haven't really seen what I have, but there will be no more secrets after tomorrow.
"I'm going to show the world who the real Joel Diaz is. I'm now at the right weight for me and I'm 110 percent. I didn't waste four weeks of training camp trying to lose weight. I feel strong.
"A world championship after this fight, that's what I want. This is my opportunity to actually show who I am and I can't let it go. If I let this go, I might as well go back to school. This is going to open all the doors for me.
"We've been ready for this step for a while. I'd like to fight the winner of [Adrien] Broner- [Mikey] Garcia, but we'll see. I know Broner doesn't want to fight me. I tried to fight him and he turned it down. He knows I'll give him trouble.
"I changed trainers. I used to be with Abel Ramos, now I'm with Chris Byrd. With Coach Chris, it's more defense than offense. Working with Chris is amazing. He was a fighter, so he knows what it takes to step in that ring. He's been there, so he understands me from a fighter's perspective and that's very important for me. The bond we have inside and outside the ring is special.