There is some added incentive to the upcoming interim WBC junior welterweight title bout between Regis Prograis and Juan Jose Velasco.
The World Boxing Super Series announced that the winner of that fight, scheduled to headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card on July 14, will be inserted into the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight tournament.
Tournament organizers made the announcement official and Prograis said he is excited to be a part of the ongoing series.
“My biggest asset is my hunger to be the best. I have a chip on my shoulder and I want to prove to everybody I am the best at 140 lbs. I’m definitely excited to enter into the tournament. This is great for boxing. The best fighting the best," Prograis said.
Prograis had been initially listed among the reported list of contestants that signed on to compete in the second season of the WBSS, even after the announcement that he would defend his title against Velasco. Prograis, a heavy favorite against Velasco, will make his first title defense since winning the interim title with a second-round TKO win over former unified champion Julius Indongo.
A similar stipulation happened last year for the WBSS super middleweight tournament. Chris Eubank Jr. defeated Arthur Abraham to retain the IBO title and take the final spot in the eight-man field. Eubank would then fight all the way to the semifinals where he lost to WBA champion George Groves earlier this year.
The winner of the July 14 fight will join a loaded field of boxers that includes WBA champion Kiryl Relikh, WBC Silver champion Josh Taylor, Anthony Yigit and Ivan Baranchyk. Yigit and Baranchyk will fight for the vacant IBF title in the quarterfinals. With the winner of Prograis vs. Velasco entering the tournament, there are only two spots left in the eight-man tournament that has yet to be filled out.