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Having both come up short in their respective fight-of-the-year contenders at junior welterweight in 2019, former world champions Regis Prograis and Maurice Hooker have decided to face one another. 

The pair of all-action fighters went face to face at Thursday's press conference to announce their 143-pound catchweight bout for Friday, April 17, in the main event of a DAZN card at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. 

"I can't wait to get back in the ring and prove that I'm one of the best fighters in the world," Prograis said. "Maurice Hooker is a former world champion with a good skill set but I'm very confident that I will be victorious and begin my march towards becoming a two-time world champion this year. We have a history of bad blood and this is a fight that I've wanted for a long time. I'm excited for this fight and I'm glad I'm going right back into a fight with a good competitor.

"I'm very grateful to my team for putting this fight together and to my fans all over the world, thanks very much for your continued support."

The southpaw Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs), a native of New Orleans who fights out of Houston, lived up to his reputation as a fighter who exclusively seeks bouts against the very best in the sport despite being just four months removed from his first defeat. Prograis lost a majority decision to unbeaten Josh Taylor in a 140-pound unification classic during the final of the World Boxing Super Series.

Hooker (27-1-3, 18 KOs) came up short in his own unification bout last July when he was stopped by unbeaten Jose Ramirez in a thrilling slugfest. The native of Dallas bounced back to score a first-round TKO over Uriel Perez in December.

"I'm excited to face a former World Champion," said Hooker. "In my mind, he is still one of the best out there at 140 which, when I beat him, gives me a chance to show the world I'm also one of the best at this weight. You can bet this fight will get me closer to winning another belt. It's going to be an exciting match and I'm ready to take him out."

The power and aggressive style of both fighters have fans expecting nothing but two-way action. The fact that both fighters don't like each other and have sparred both as amateurs and on social media only adds to the event. 

The catchweight also suits Prograis, 30, well because of his willingness to follow Taylor up to the welterweight division to seek big opportunities. 

Taylor to defend 140-pound titles in May

Fresh off signing a new deal with promoter Top Rank, unified junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor will make his ESPN debut May 2 in a mandatory defense on home soil in Scotland. 

Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) will defend his WBA and IBF titles against Thailand's Apinun Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs) at the SSE Hyrdo in Glasgow in his first appearance since unifying belts last October in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series tournament.

In addition to signing on with new management team MTK Global, the 29-year-old Taylor has enlisted the series of trainer Ben Davison, who guided heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to an inspirational comeback from drug abuse and depression before the two parted ways in December.

Taylor's last four fights have lifted him from virtual unknown in the U.S. to a rising star who has gained pound-for-pound votes following wins over Viktor Postol, Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk and Prograis. 

Now aligned with Top Rank, Taylor is expected to move up to welterweight for an eventual showdown with WBO champion Terence Crawford. 

Usyk, Chisora to square off in heavyweight clash

Former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will finally get his first difficult challenge as a heavyweight. 

Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) will face hard-hitting Dereck Chisora on May 23 at the O2 Arena in London, promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport told CBS Sports' "State of Combat" podcast on Tuesday. The fight will be streamed in the U.S. on DAZN.

A mandatory opponent for Anthony Joshua's WBO title, a victory for Usyk could lead him into a showdown with the unified champion and British star, who faces fellow mandatory Kubrat Pulev in June

"AJ has to fight Usyk after Pulev. The only way he won't fight Usyk is he gets the [Tyson] Fury-Wilder [III] winner. That's basically it," Hearn said. "Usyk will fight Dereck Chisora in May. We are going to find out a lot about Usyk as a heavyweight because Chisora is on a great run, he's a rough house, he's strong and he can punch. It's going be a great fight."

Usyk became the first four-belt cruiserweight champion in 2018 when he capped off a fighter of the year campaign by winning the World Boxing Super Series tournament. Following a resounding knockout of Tony Bellow, the native of Ukraine's heavyweight debut was postponed nearly a year due to injuries. 

Last October, the 33-year-old Usyk made his heavyweight debut against late replacement Chazz Witherspoon and cruised to a stoppage win in a one-sided and not particularly exciting performance. It's likely he won't get that luxury this time given Chisora's aggressive nature. 

Seemingly reborn thanks to a three-fight win streak in the aftermath of his 2018 knockout loss to Dillian Whyte in their rematch, the 36-year-old Chisora is a knockout threat against any opponent and hopes to secure a trilogy fight of his own against Fury, who identified "Del Boy" as one of three opponents he would like to face before retiring.