In a predictable move, former undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney will be vacating his remaining three titles at 135 to focus on becoming a two-division world champion against WBC 140-lb champion Regis Prograis on December 9th, then moving up to 147 to battle for one of the belts.
Haney is too big to return to the 135-lb division, and there’s no one for him to fight that would bring him a big enough payday to put his body through torture in draining down to make weight.
Devin has already named the fighter he wants to face at welterweight for one of the soon-to-be-vacated or stripped titles, saying he wants to fight Keith ‘One Tim Thurman.
Obviously, Haney isn’t going to tangle with newly elevated IBF 147-lb champion Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis because he’s not crazy. Haney is a risk-taker, but he’s not going to take a fight that he can’t win. He’s what you’d call a shrewd risk-taker.
That is to say, Haney is an opportunist; hence, he’s targeting the 34-year-old Prograis for his WBC 140-lb belt rather than messing with IBF champ Subriel Matias. Prograis looked awful recently, winning a twelve round split decision against second-tier fighter Danielito Zorrilla last June.
That will be a winnable fight for Haney, as the 35-year-old former WBA & WBC 147-lb champion Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) will have been out of the ring for two years by the time the fight and should be old & inactive enough for Devin to defeat him.
Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) says there was no point in him returning to the lightweight division because his efforts to set up a fight with the superstar, Gervonta Davis, had come up empty, and that was the only fighter in that weight class that he wanted.
“I did everything at 135 that I could. The biggest fight for me was making that Gervonta Davis fight, and his side showed no interest in making the fight. I’ve outgrown the division, so now I make my quest to 140 to become a two-division champion [against WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis on December 9th],” said Devin Haney to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger.
It’s surprising that Gervonta Davis’ management wasn’t interested in putting together a fight with Haney, but perhaps they’re going to continue to match their fighter Tank against the same type of opposition they’ve always done to keep him safe so he can keep bringing in money.
“And after this fight, I look to become a three-division champion and move up to 147, [if] I’m successful in this fight [against WBC 140-lb champion Prograis.”