Regis Prograis wants Devin Haney, talks Zorrilla fight

By Boxing News - 06/20/2023 - Comments

By Brian Webber: WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis still shaken up about his performance last Saturday night against Danielito Zorrilla, blaming himself for not doing what he should have against the negative style of the challenger.

(Photo credit: Sumio Yamada)

Prograis still won the fight by a twelve round split decision, but the fans felt that it was a closer contest than the judges scored it. They had it 117-110, 118-109 for Prograis, and 114-113 for Zorrilla.

What makes Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) feel especially bad is he fought at home in front of his fans in New Orleans, and it was his debut with his new promoter Eddie Hearn.

The nonstop movement that Zorrilla (17-2, 13 KOs) used took Prograis by surprise because, in the Puerto Rican’s past fights, he’d been knocking out his opponents. Against his toughest opponent Arnold Barboza Jr, he stood in front of him the entire fight.

Prograis says he’s going to learn from the performance, make improvements and move on to his next fight, which he hopes will be against Devin Haney.

Bill Haney was at ringside scouting Prograis last weekend for his son Devin, but we’ll see if he wants to go in that direction. It could be that Bill will let his son Devin get a fight under his belt before he takes on Prograis.

Also, with Teofimo Lopez saying he’s vacating his WBO belt, Haney could go in that direction.

Prograis failed to cut off ring

“I won’t be considered the best. So you know with a performance like that, I don’t like it. I’m definitely hard on myself. I don’t feel good about it,” said Regis Prograis to Fight Hub TV about his harder-than-expected win over substitute opponent Danielito Zorrilla last Saturday night.

“I talked to my coaches, and I have a lot to improve on. Yeah, the dude was tricky. He ran around. His thing was he wanted to come and survive. He didn’t want to get knocked out, especially after I dropped him. He was more wary.”

Most boxing fans would agree that the 34-year-old Prograis has been around the ring long enough to know how to cut off the ring.

He didn’t do it, and it looked like he was afraid of getting caught coming in by Zorrilla, who dropped him in the first round but wasn’t given credit for it.

“He didn’t want to engage,” Prograis continued about Zorrilla. “He just ran around the ring the whole time. I never had that happen before. I sparred with people like that but not that much. He literally just ran around the whole time. I’m just like playing cat and mouse, just trying to catch him the whole time.

“When he was on the outside, he wasn’t even like jabbing too much. like sometimes, when you move your feet on the outside, you’re jabbing or at least trying to do something. He just was like just moving just and just trying to land one big counter the whole time,” said Prograis.

Regis could have cut off the ring if he’d been willing to take some shots from Zorrilla, but he didn’t want to take those punches to force the issue.

“Well, for this fight, cutting off the ring,” said Prograis when asked what he wants to work on after this performance. “That’s something that we didn’t work on because we didn’t think we needed to work on, to be honest.

“The fights I watched of him, he knocked some people out, and then with the fight with Barboza, he stood there and fought him. So I thought that he was going to do that with me. He was going to stand there and at least try to be in the pocket and try to fight me a little bit, but he just ran around the ring.

“It’s like hard to prepare for that if you don’t even know what’s going to happen. I still feel like I’m the best at 40. I had an off night, but I still feel like I’m the best,” Prograis said.

Regis wants Haney next

I think me and Devin are easy to be made. I think we can do that, Matias,” said Prograis. “He has a belt. I got to talk to Eddie [Hearn] obviously. We going to talk next week or something like that, and we’ll see what happens.”

It’s probably not a good idea for Prograis to fight the big-punching IBF light welterweight champion Subriel Matias after a performance like the one he had against Zorrilla. Matias is from Puerto Rico as well, and he’ll stop Prograis if he shows the same timidity against him that he displayed against Zorrilla.

“There is Teofimo if he doesn’t stay retired,” said Prograis. “I don’t know if he’s officially relinquished the belt. I feel like Josh [Taylor] is not the same fighter he was in 2019 when he fought me. I think we’ll never see that Josh ever again. I think he’s done. I don’t think he’s at that elite level no more.

“Hopefully, we can do it. I think it’s an easy fight to make. They have a good relationship with Matchroom,” said Prograis about Devin Haney and his father, Bill. “I think it’s a good fight.

“I definitely want the biggest fights. I don’t know how willing Eddie is to work with Don King,” said Prograis about a fight with Adrien Broner.

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