By Jim Calfa: Regis Prograis is having a hard time with the ego-hit that he took with Devin Haney picking him out of the four champions at 140 for him to try and capture a belt on December 9th. It can’t be a good feeling for Reegis that the 24-year-old Haney saw him as the weakest link.
Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) is popular enough to where he could have picked any of the four champions at light welterweight, and they likely would have all said yes. He wanted WBC champ Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs), and he and his father, Bill Haney, view him as more beatable than the other three belt-holders.
Prograis always knows why Haney & Bill selected him, as they saw weakness in his last fight against Danielito Zorrilla last June because he looked dreadfully bad in that fight and was lucky not to lose.
Regis must learn from the experience to decrease the chances that Haney can take advantage of the flaws that Zorrilla exposed in that fight because there were many of them. If it was just one thing, Prograis could feel confident of fixing the flaw.
Devin probably wouldn’t have selected Prograis if he’d looked sensational in his last fight because he would have recognized that he could lose.
“I’m definitely surprised. I respect him for that because I’m going to beat his a**,” said Regis Prograis to Sporting News when asked if he’s surprised that Devin Haney chose to fight him.
“He’s coming up. He’s trying to do everything he can. He’s working with Freddie Roach. That s**t isn’t going to matter. I saw that he was hitting the heavy bag. He put on some size and was hitting the heavy bag.”
If Prograis can return to the form that he showed against Jose Zepeda, he’s got a chance of beating Haney. Regis also looked bad in his fight with Josh Taylor in 2019, which he lost. There were plenty of flaws in that fight for Haney & his dad to pick out.
“He was sitting down on his punches, and he was still hitting soft,” said Prograis. “He might be physically stronger, but that doesn’t equate to punching power. People think because he’s physically strong, that equates to punching power. It doesn’t.”
Haney isn’t going to try and knock out Prograis because he knows he doesn’t have enough power to score a KO over him, and he’s not going to want to risk getting hurt while looking for a stoppage.
“It’s going to put me on the map where I need to be where I feel I deserve for a long time,” said Prograis. “After I beat Devin, I’m definitely going to be a top ten pound-for-pound. I feel like this fight is my stepping stone to my superstardom.”
If Prograis wins, he’s going to have to fight Haney a second time because he’s not going to want to walk away. Beating Haney will be difficult because he’ll make adjustments, fix the mistakes he made in the first fight, retool, and come back a better fighter.
“It’s me getting what I deserve. A long time ago, I became a two-time champion,” said Prograis. “My fight with Zepeda was a big one for the boxing world, but who saw it? It was put on the wrong platform. It wasn’t in the right spot.
“I love this idea. I think I do better fighting away [from home]. I think I do better away. I had to fight at home in New Orleans. It wasn’t what I liked. I could have pushed back and said, ‘No, Devin is from there. I’m not doing that,'” said Prograis about the fight with Haney taking place in San Franciso, California. “Where we’re fighting now, I’m cool. I’m good with it.
“Of course, that’s exactly why. They’re in for a rude awakening,” said Prograis about Haney picking him because of the way he looked in his last fight against Danielito Zorrilla in New Orleans last June.”
It sounds like Prograis can’t face the truth about why he struggled against Zorrilla because it had nothing to do with being at home in New Orleans, and everything to do with these areas:
- Can’t cut off the ring
- No jab
- Poor defense
- Timid after getting dropped
“Since right after the Zorrilla fight, I’ve been training,” said Prograis. “It was just an off night. In boxing, you’re not supposed to have an off night because it’s just that one night. But in every other sport, football, basketball, people have off nights, and they get to go prove themselves a few days later.
“With us, you can’t prove yourselves until a few months later, so you have to be perfect every time. It was just a lot going on with some personal things. It was just too much going on, that’s all,” said Prograis about his fight with Zorrilla.