On a night of knockouts, unbeaten super lightweight Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (17-0, 14 KOs), of Houston, scored his third consecutive dominant victory on ShoBox: The New Generation, knocking out Mexico’s Aaron Herrera (21-5-1, 12 KOs) at 2:17 of the first round Friday in the main event on SHOWTIME from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.
In scheduled eight-round bouts that all ended early, Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (10-0, 9 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., registered a 21-second, first-round knockout over Nick Givhan (16-1-1, 10 KOs), of Kalamazoo, Mich., in a super lightweight scrap, Ukrainian welterweight Ivan “The Volk” Golub (16-0, 10 KOs, 5-0 in World Series of Boxing), of Brooklyn, N.Y., scored a sixth-round TKO over Marlon Aguas (9-1, 6 KOs), of Quito, Ecuador, and Justin DeLoach (14-1, 8 KOs), of Augusta, Ga., who is trained by former world champion Paul Williams, registered a fourth-round knockout over undefeated super welterweight and local favorite Dillon “White Lightning” Cook (16-1, 6 KOs).
All but Prograis and Baranchyk were making their ShoBox debuts. Cook, Aguas and Givhan became the 143rd, 144th and 145th boxers to suffer their first pro loss on the prospect developmental series.
“I can’t remember in 15 years of working ShoBox a show with such emphatic knockouts – and two of them being spectacular knockout of the year candidates,’’ said ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood.
Prograis, a 5-foot-9, 27-year-old originally from New Orleans, was fighting in his second consecutive ShoBox main event and second scheduled 10-rounder. The aggressive-minded southpaw pounded Herrera’s body from the opening bell; five of his six power punches were targeted to the Mexican’s midsection. A left hook to the body downed Herrera, who crumpled to the canvas and wasn’t able to beat the count.
“I was prepared to go 10 full rounds, the last thing I was expecting was a first-round knockout,’’ said Prograis, who was making his 2016 debut. “I’m making hard fights look easy but they’re really not. It’s all the daily work in the gym all day every day that is paying off for me. Tonight was fun. I’m very satisfied.
“I want all the fighters in my division to know one thing: I’m coming after all of you.’’
“He just got me with a great shot, it was simple as that,’’ said Herrera, who making his second start in the United States. “There’s really not that much that I can say.’’
The highly regarded Baranchyk – making his second eight-round start and second in a row on ShoBox – knocked out Givhan with a huge left hand with the first power punch of the fight. He required only two punches to finish the 17-fight veteran. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the quickest professional KO for the Belarus native. Baranchyk owns a three-second KO over Angel Figueroa from 2015.
“I’m very happy,’’ Baranchyk said. “I was expecting a much longer fight. I was focused on a full fight. But knockouts are good. I know fans like knockouts.
“I’ll take a week off and then go back to the drawing board. I’m looking ahead to fighting again soon and on ShoBox again.’’
Givhan was shocked with the result.
“I’m good but I am very, very disappointed,” Givhan said. “This is the lowlight of my life. For me to get knocked out by someone I know I can beat is just the worst feeling. And there’s nothing worse than for it to happen on national television.
“No one expects 20-second fights. I just got caught, that’s all.”
Golub, a former standout amateur from Ukraine, had to rally from the first knockdown of his career. “This was a little tougher than I expected,’’ he said. “But it’s all about learning. I had to go through some adversity to win. You don’t know adversity until it hits you in the face.”
Golub was the more active fighter against the awkward Aguas, who was at his best when matters turned ugly. In a bizarre second round, southpaw Golub scored a questionable knockdown as Aguas hit the canvas while clinching and off-balance. Aguas bounced back seconds later to knock down Golub with a short right, sending the Ukrainian to the canvas for the first time in his career.
“I was surprised that I got knocked down, but he caught me off-balance,’’ Golub said. “Overall, I am very happy with my performance.”
Golub resumed control after the second and a series of combinations in the sixth sent a gassed Aguas falling back through the ropes in the closing seconds of the round. Aguas somehow rose to his feet to beat the count, but his trainer quickly waved off the bout when the Ecuadorian returned to the corner.
Aguas said an injury, not fatigue, was the reason his corner stopped the fight at the end of the sixth. “I hurt my right bicep in the fifth round,’’ he said. “That’s the reason we stopped it. I wasn’t that tired.”
In the opening fight of the telecast, DeLoach made Williams a winner in his training debut. With Williams looking on from his wheelchair in the corner, DeLoach, a winner of four in a row, dropped Cook with a devastating, counter-overhand right at 2:47 of the fourth that sent Cook awkwardly to the canvas in a knockout of the year candidate.
“I’m happy with my performance,’’ said DeLoach, who was the more active fighter, throwing nearly 100 more punches over the four rounds. “This was a great experience fighting a guy like this in his backyard. I enjoyed the crowd and their enthusiasm. It motivated me. I got a little lazy in parts of the second and third rounds, but I listened to my corner and picked it up on offense and got my punch count up and going again.
“Dillon was a good fighter who moved a lot. I know I have to do better cutting off the ring. He landed with a left a second before I landed that big right. This was a great win for all of us. I’m ready to do this again.’’
“Look at me, look at my shirt. It feels like I was sweating worse than when I fought,’’ said Williams, who’s pro career came to a sudden and tragic end when he was paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident in May 2012. “I am very relieved to get this one out of the way. I’m very happy for Justin and Mr. Pete (Paul’s longtime manager and trainer and DeLoach’s assistant trainer, George Williams).
“I’m OK, all things considered,’’ said Cook. “He was a tough guy. I’ve never been knocked out before so I don’t exactly know how to act. I felt I was in the fight until I was caught. It’s disappointing, but this was a great learning experience for me. It can only help me in the long run.’’
A taped interview with Williams and ShoBox analyst Steve Farhood aired prior to the bout. In the discussion, Farhood asked the former two-time champ why he chose to return as a trainer for the first time since the 2012 motorcycle accident left him paralyzed. Full Interview: http://s.sho.com/1WPrJ28
Friday’s four-fight telecast will re-air Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND beginning today, Saturday, March 26.