Eddie Hearn: Haney vs. Prograis winner poised for mega-fights

By Jake Tiernan - 12/08/2023 - Comments

Eddie Hearn believes the Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis winner on Saturday night will be in the perfect spot for mega-fights against Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, or Tefoimo Lopez.

If Prograis wins on Saturday, a rematch with Haney is a given, and that would definitely be a mega-fight.  Fans would be highly interested in seeing a second clash between the two if the 25-year-old Haney gets knocked out by Prograis on Saturday night.

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If the rumors are true that the deal that multi-fight deal PBC signed with Amazon Prime Video PPV, the fighters with Al Haymon’s stable will need to fight the best possible opponents to make the money they’d been getting when their fights were shown on Showtime.

That means they’ll need to move away from the previous model they had for match-match-making, which generally saw the A-side fighter facing a no-hoper in a gimme fight like we saw with David Benavidez being fed Demetrius Andrade & Caleb Plant in back-to-back fights.

It would be interesting to see Gervonta Davis suddenly forced to fight opposition outside of the PBC stable, wanting to face the winner of Saturday’s fight rather than playing it safe with a rematch with Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz or Ryan Garcia.

Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) will challenge Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) this Saturday, December 9th, at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The event will be shown live on DAZN PPV.

Potential mega-fights for Haney-Prograis winner

“I just think Gervonta is going to do what Gervonta does. They’re always going to want to keep it in-house [with PBC fighters], who actually knows the finances of the Amazon deal [with PBC],” said Hearn to Fighthype. “How that works, and what they need. But all those guys are going to need the winner of this fight because you’re going to see what they’re [Haney & Prograis].

That would be a shock to see Haymon reaching out to Hearn to put a fight together between the winner of Saturday’s Haney-Progais fight to face Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis in March in a cross-platform event.

It would bring in big PPV buys on Amazon Prime Video PPV, but it might not be good for Gervonta to suddenly be thrown in with actual good fighters for a change instead of the carefully picked opposition he’s been facing.

They may not have any choice because Gervonta won’t be able to ring in a lot of PPV buys fighting lesser opposition like he’d been doing for a decade on Showtime.

“They’re doing it at the game; they’re the numbers. I think if the performance is sensational, it’s going to put the winner of this fight in an unbelievable position,” said Hearn.

I think the winner of this is the big name. You talk about Shakur Stevenson and Teofimo Lopez. They can’t sell 3,000, 4,000. I don’t know what Shakur sold in Vegas [against Edwin De Los Santos on November 16th at the T-Mobile Arena]. I heard it was less than 2,000.

“1,800. He’s an amazing fighter, but the excuse used to be about Devin Haney, ‘He just doesn’t sell. What happens when he goes to a new city that doesn’t even host boxing [San Francisco] and sells 16,000? That’s down to Regis as well.”

Top Rank will also need to reach out to Hearn to try to set up a fight between Shakur and the winner of Haney vs. Prograis. Shakur’s contract with Top Rank ends soon, and he’s not progressing towards stardom. If anything, it’s regressing since he turned pro due to his fighting style.

“Devin is bringing these fans from the Bay Arena. So, all of a sudden, that excuse doesn’t really exist anymore. People like Teofimo Lopez. I’ve done a fight with Teofimo Lopez. The undisputed lightweight world championship. We just sold out the [Hula] Theater [at Madison Square Garden in New York: seating capacity 5,500],” said Hearn.

“When he boxed Josh Taylor for the unified championship at 140, they didn’t even sell out the theater, and that’s a massive fight. So, people have got to get realistic about the draw that they are, and I think the work that Devin has done is now showing. He’s now become that draw,” said Hearn.

Teofimo is still riding high off his victory over Josh Taylor last June, and he’s seemingly in an ego state where he’s not going to be easy to negotiate with for a fight with anyone. He’ll need to sit for a year or two so he won’t price himself out for a fight against Haney or Prograis.

Prograis ready to break through highest levels

“He’s got over 24 hours to calm himself down. He wasn’t erratic and smashing things backstage, but he’s pumped up for the fight,” said Hearn about Prograis, who was riled up during today’s weigh-in.

Hearn refers to the Prograis being agitated during today’s weigh-in, where he started swearing nonstop at the end and looked angry. As long as Prograis calms down by tomorrow, he should be fine by fight time.

“Don’t forget. Regis feels like boxing owes him this,” said Hearn. “I feel like he’s the one who says, ‘I deserve to be on this stage. I’ve been dedicated to the sport for a long time. I’ve had my ups and downs. It’s time for me to go earn my eight figures against Ryan Garcia or Teofimo Lopez and all the big leagues.”

Prograis has been locked out from the big fights by the more popular fighters at 140 for years. He couldn’t get a rematch with Josh Taylor after losing to him in 2019, and Jose Ramirez didn’t want to fight him.

Now, those guys are old and no longer the major players at 140, which is a good thing for Prograis, but he needs a win over Haney to keys to the kingdom to fight guys like Ryan, Teofimo, and the PBC guys.

“This is the fight that breaks him through. Devin feels like this is his natural progression, but you’re in with a guy with a chip on his shoulder in Regis Prograis, and that makes him very dangerous,” said Hearn.

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