Regis Prograis must fight Sandor Martin or Devin Haney next says Eddie Hearn

By Boxing News - 07/08/2023 - Comments

By Albert O’Bryant: Eddie Hearn says WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis must face his mandatory Sandor Martin or Devin Haney next.

According to Hearn, the Prograis-Haney fight is “Close” to getting made, but in the next breath, he talks about Sandor & Jack Catterall as possibilities for Regis’ next fight.

Hearn states that the World Boxing Council will allow Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) to bypass his mandatory Martin (40-3, 13 KOs) next ONLY if he fights Haney and no one else.

That pretty much ties Prograis’ hands, leaving him with just two options, making it even more critical that Hearn try to hammer out a deal with Haney (30-0, 15 KOs).

The southpaw Sandor wouldn’t be big a big fight for the 34-year-old Prograis, and it’s one that he could certainly lose. The Spaniard has the skills that would capitalize on Prograis’ eroded skills & his gun-shy nature.

Hearn says he’d like to set up a fight between #6 WBC Jack Catterall and Prograis, but that match-up could prove impossible to make, given the WBC’s tying Regis’ hands, giving him two choices.

If Catterall were a popular fight in the U.S. & UK, it would makee sense, but he’s not. He’s just one of Hearn’s many fighters in his Matchroom Boxing stable.

Putting together a deal for a fight between Prograis & Haney might be too expensive for Hearn to do because to come up with the money that the arguably spoiled rotten Devin could cost a vast fortune. If Hearn has $10 million+ to pay Haney for the fight, it could be doable, but the event would bleed an enormous amount of money by failing to bring in the PPV buys to cover Devin’s purse.

Putting Prograis vs. Haney on DAZN PPV would be a gamble because it’s not one that the average fan would be chomping at the bit to order.

Prograis vs. Haney fight “close” 

“We’ve made an offer to Devin and Bill Haney. I think we’re close on that fight. I spoke to Devin tonight. I’m seeing him in Los Angeles this week,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV when asked about his reaction to Ryan Garcia Tweeting about wanting to fight WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis next.

When Hearn says the Prograis vs. Haney fight is “close” to getting done, you got to take that with a grain of salt because it could be something he’s throwing out there as cover so he won’t get jumped on by the boxing public if Regis winds up fight British fighter Jack Catterall or Sandor Martin.

Will Hearn make the Prograis-Haney fight? It’s doubtful because Haney has been paid huge money for his last three fights, and he’s not going to be agreeable to a pay cut, especially if it’s a big one.

“Ryan Garcia’s now reached out to fight Regis Prograis. Jack Catterall and Sam Jones are driving me mad,” said Hearn. “Regis Prograis is in a great position right now, probably because of a subpar performance [against Danielito Zorrilla]. Do you know what I mean?

“So Devin [Haney] wants that fight against Regis Prograis. It’s a massive fight for the DAZN. Ryan Garcia wants a fight with Regis Prograis. We’ll speak to his team. We haven’t yet, but we’ll see what happens.

“Jack Catterall, I’d love to make that fight as well [against Prograis]. So, you’re going to see Regis Prograis in a huge fight at the back end of this year,” Hearn said.

Prograis-Martin ordered by WBC

“Regis Prograis has been ordered to fight [WBC mandatory] Sandor Martin, which is not the fight we want, and the only way the WBC won’t make that fight is if he [Prograis] fights Devin Haney,” Hearn said. “They put that in writing. So obviously, our focus is on making the Devin Haney fight.”

You can’t blame Hearn for not wanting Sandor Martin for Prograis’ next fight because he could lose that fight, provided the scoring is done by a crew of quality judges.

If the WBC is serious about Prograis only having two options, he’ll have no choice but to take that fight unless Hearn can come up with a king’s ransom to meet Haney’ss asking price. Can Hearn afford Haney?

“Jack Catterall will fight in September or October. If it’s not against Regis Prograis, it’ll be a big fight in Manchester,” said Hearn. “The same with him. He’s been inactive for a long time. We’ve got to keep the momentum.

“Fights don’t just happen the way you want them all the time. So the key is to make great money, to stay active, to drive your value, to drive your profile to keep improving whilst you wait for those big fights. But to make the fights relevant, not just a tick over fight where you can’t perform and Jack will be in a big fight next whatever happens,” said Hearn.

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