The latest edition of the long-running “ShoBox: The New Generation” series on Showtime played out last night (March 25) at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma. In the featured fight, Regis “Rougarou” Prograis advanced to 17-0 (14) with a first round knockout over Mexico’s Aaron Herrera who was 29-4-1 coming in. A New Orleans native whose family relocated to Houston after Hurricane Katrina, Prograis is a 27-year-old southpaw who reportedly fashioned an 87-7 record in the amateur ranks. His unusual nickname is a derivative of the French word for werewolf.
The brief encounter, which Prograis terminated with a body shot, wasn’t the quickest knockout of the night. That honor fell to super lightweight Ivan Baranchyk, a Belarussian now living in Brooklyn, who needed only 21 seconds to put away Nicholas Givhan. A huge left hand was the crusher. The previously undefeated (16-0-1) Givran, from Kalamazoo, Michigan, said “this is the lowlight of my life.” Baranchyk improved to 10-0 (9).
Brooklyn-based welterweight Ivan Golub, a five-time Ukrainian national champion, needed six rounds to eliminate Marlon Aguas, a fighter from Ecuador who was making his U.S. debut. Aguas knocked Golub to the canvas in the second stanza, but Golub, who improved to 11-0 (9) wasn’t badly hurt. The fight was stopped by Aguas’s corner after the sixth round with the fighter complaining of a biceps injury.
The undercard fight that attracted the most advance buzz was the super welterweight contest between Dillon Cook and Justin DeLoach. Cook, who fights out of Joplin, Missouri, was 16-0 (6) and had the crowd in his corner; this was his seventh appearance at Buffalo Run. But he was exposed by DeLoach, now 14-1 (8), who landed many more punches en route to a fourth round stoppage. This was DeLoach’s first fight under the tutelage of Paul Williams who returned to the sport in the role of a trainer. A former WBO World welterweight champion, Williams was paralyzed from the waist down in a 2012 motorcycle accident.
Two fighters of note appeared on the off-TV portion of the program. Super welterweight Willie Nelson of Cleveland improved to 24-2-1 (15) with a second round stoppage of Jonathan Batista and heavyweight James McKenzie Morrison advanced to 7-0-1 (6) with a second round stoppage of Kris Renty.
This was merely a “stay busy” fight for the lanky 6’3” Nelson who was coming off a 9th round TKO over previously undefeated Tony Harrison. Batista, six inches shorter, came in with a deceptive 15-8 record. He was 15-0 in his native Dominican Republic and 0-8 on U.S. soil.
James McKenzie Morrison, formerly known as Kenzie Witt, is the son of the late Tommy Morrison, the former WBO heavyweight champion, to whom he bears a strong resemblance. He is younger by 10 months than his half-sibling Trey Lippe Morrison who is likewise an intriguing heavyweight prospect with an undefeated record.