Devin Haney claims that WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis will be surprised by the power that he brings to their fight this Saturday night because he’s feeling stronger at 140.
Prograis has the power to end it with one punch, but he’s going to have to figure out how to land his best shots while chasing Haney around the ring.
Regis is a fighter who needs to have his feet set for him to throw hard punches, and he can’t do that if Haney is using his evasive style, which involves movement, jabbing & clinching.
That said, Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) says he’s counting on his boxing IQ to be the telling factor in this fight and more of a factor than Prograis’ power advantage.
Devin feels that if Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) is hoping that his power will lead him to victory, he could be in for a rude awakening because he’s going to use his skills to win.
The way that Haney is talking, he’s going to make it a technical battle by jabbing, landing potshots, moving & holding to avoid getting hit by Prograis’ big shots. It could be boring for the boxing fans who like to see action, but that’s Haney’s best chance of winning.
Other than Haney’s last fight against a much smaller Vasily Lomachenko, where he was willing to exchange with him, he normally boxes his opponents and plays it safe.
It appears that’s what Haney is going to do on Saturday night in their headliner at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Haney says that he’s interested in the big-money fights if he’s victorious over Prograis, and he’s open to the idea of facing Gervonta Davis at 140.
Other than Gervonta, Haney didn’t mention who else he wants to fight next, but it’s reasonable to assume that he’ll want to face Ryan Garcia or Teofimo Lopez if he can’t get Tank.
Haney banking on skill
“He can say what he wants to say. He’s banking on power. I’m banking on skill, and I’m banking on IQ and experience,” said Devin Haney to the media about Regis Prograis. “He can say what he wants to say.
“He’s thinking, ‘I’m just going to go in there and bulldoze him. I’m going to knock him out.’ That’s crazy because I’m not a novice fighter. I’m not a fighter that just came off the street,” said Haney.
Prograis has obviously looked at Haney’s past fights against Vasily Lomachenko, Jorge Linares, and Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz, noting how he was staggered in each of those fights. If those smaller & weaker fighters could hurt Haney, Prograis believes he could do much worse to him.
“I have experience. I’ve been in with the best of the best,” said Haney. “In my last fight, I fought a future Hall of Famer in Lomachenko. He can say what he wants to say, but that’s what he’s supposed to say. I like that. It’s going to make for a great fight. With that mindset, it’s going to make for a great fight.”
Haney is going a little overboard, saying he’s “been in with the best” during his career. He’s fought an undersized 35-year-old Lomachenko, who was basically a super featherweight and had a massive size advantage over him last May.
Apart from Lomachechenko, Haney’s other best wins were against 35-year-old Jorge Linares, 38-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa, George Kambosos Jr. and Joseph Diaz. Those aren’t the best at 135. Kambosos was an accidental champion, winning against a ring-rusty, injured, and mentally vacant Teofimo Lopez. That is to say, a paper champion.
The best at 135:
– Gervonta Davis
– Shakur Stevenson
– Frank Martin
– Raymond Muratalla
– William Zepeda
– Keyshawn Davis
– Floyd Schofield
– Jamaine Ortiz
Haney didn’t fight any of those guys, and it’s lucky for him that he didn’t because many of them if not all, would have beaten him with fair judging.
“This fight was the easiest to make happen, and it’s a great fight for boxing. He keeps talking about his last performance. That last performance is in his head,” said Haney about Prograis believing that the only reason he selected him to fight, is because of the way he fought against Danielito Zorrilla.
Devin claims his power has increased
“We’ve seen a lot of greats going up in weight class and have more power and more strength. We’ve seen a lot of guys go up and get much stronger. So that’s what I look to do,” said Haney.
“I’m definitely much stronger, and he will feel me on the night. We got to see. My main focus is Regis Prograis and getting past him. We got to see what the 140-lb landscape looks like.”
If Haney chooses to test his power on Prograis, he’ll need to be stationary, and that wouldn’t be a good idea. With Haney’s chin problem, he could get clipped, and Prograis won’t let him off the hook the way JoJo Diaz, Lomachenko, and Linares did. Haney clinched his way out of trouble in those fights.
“I want to make the biggest fights happen. I became undisputed, and it was the biggest dream of mine. I got the belts, I made history, but now I want to make,” said Haney.
Devin got the belts by beating one fighter – George Kambosos Jr. He won three of his belts from Kambosos, a weak champion, and Haney got his other belt from the WBC when they elevated him outside of the ring, making him a paper champion.
No interest in becoming undisputed at 140
“Not really,” said Haney when asked if he wants to become undisputed at 140. I accomplished it at 135. Now, I want to make big fights happen. Big money, big fights. It’s been a long time coming [returning to the Bay Area], but they don’t want to say that they’re opening up more seats and that I’m selling out the Chase Center.:
For Haney to become undisputed at 140, he would need to beat these champions: Subriel Matias, Teofimo Lopez, and Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero. It’s self-explanatory why Haney doesn’t want to try and become undisputed at 140.
“We’re probably going to do 17,000, 18,000 people, but they don’t want to talk about that. They want to say, ‘Devin Haney can’t sell.’ That’s what they say. They say that I don’t sell and that I’m boring. Me and Lomachenko did 17,000, too. Kambosos, 44,000. I clearly sell,” said Haney.
“All the ticket sales come from him. It’s telling out because of Regis. Regis is doing a great job,” said Haney, responding to Prograis, who lives in California and is taking credit for the ticket sales at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Prograis has done by far most of the interviews and the hard work of promoting this Saturday’s event. The other guy who has played a huge part in the interest in this fight is Prograis’ strength & conditioning coach, Evins Tobler, who, with his natural charisma and trash-talking skills, dominated the kickoff conference.
Those two have done the vast majority of the hard work. Bill Haney has helped, too, but he didn’t connect as well with fans as Tobler because he rambles too much and goes off into outer space with some of the odd stuff he talks about.
“I said I’m going to disable and handicap him. He’s biting everything that I’m saying and doing,” said Haney. “I’m not going to lie. He’s done a tremendous job in the build-up. I’ve finally got someone on the other side that talks s*** and is willing to sell. I take my hat off to him. I know he doesn’t believe the stuff that he says.
“He’s delusional if he thinks he’s the one selling the tickets. We’re going to see it on fight night when the whole arena is going crazy for me, and people jumping out of their chairs and going crazy.
Haney says Prograis will be shocked
“I definitely have a lot of confidence, but everyone is different,” said Haney. “You cannot go into every fight with the same mindset thinking the last fight is going to be like this fight. I go in hungry, mentally and physically for the best.
“I’m super excited to show what I’m working on and how much better I am at 140. I don’t want to beat it down your throats, but it’s going to be a great night. My strength, my speed, my IQ, everything,” said Haney when asked what Prograis will be shock about him on Saturday.
Haney isn’t believable when he talks about shocking Prograis because he’s also talking about boxing him, and you have to believe that’s what he will be doing on Saturday night.
He doesn’t have enough power to try and slug with Prograis, and his chin, as I’ve mentioned, has been dented several times by weak punchers.
“That’s a huge fight for boxing. Like I said, I want to make the biggest fights happen. We just got to see after this one,” said Haney about his interest in facing Gervonta Davis. “My main focus is beating Regis Prograis.
“We got a guy that y’all are here to see me fight on Saturday night. I don’t want to get too drawn up on future opponents or past opponents because my main focus is Regis Prograis. Tune in. I’m going to beat the s** out of him,” said Haney.
Haney-Prograis is a good fight, but the success will be limited due to the PPV cost and the weak resume. Fans don’t want to pay $75 to watch just one good fight, and then the rest of the card is filled with junk fights.
The promoters of the vent could make more money in the long run if they dumped the undercard and just sold the main event for one-quarter of that price at $18. That would be a fair price for the Haney vs. Prograis fight alone, without wasting time on fights like Montana Love vs. Liam Paro.
“I like the adjustments he made. The shoulder roll was terrible, but he knocked him out. He made good adjustments. Congrats to Ryan,” said Haney when asked about his thoughts on Ryan Garcia’s performance last weekend against Oscar Duarte.