Eddie Hearn optimistic about Haney – Prograis PPV numbers, eyes future fights for Devin

By Raj Parmar - 12/08/2023 - Comments

Promoter Eddie Hearn is optimistic that Saturday’s Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis event will bring in good pay-per-view numbers on DAZN but won’t be close to the totals from the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin or Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia fights.

Hearn expects the Haney-Prograis event to do more PPV buys than Haney’s last fight against Vasily Lomachenko, which brought in around 100,000 pay-per-views last May.

Eddie notes that the high number of tickets sold for Saturday’s Haney vs. Prograis fight at the Chase Center in San Francisco could translate to good PPV numbers. The event could sell out with 18,000+ fans. That is a massive audience, showing that Haney is in demand in the Bay Area.

What potentially limits the event from doing big PPV totals is the barebones undercard, as there isn’t much to see for casual boxing fans. In the co-feature, light welterweight Montana Love will face Liam Paro.

That’s a fight that only hardcore fans would care about, and even then, it’s not a great one. Paro is an excellent fighter, but putting him in with Montana doesn’t make for a compelling match-up.

PPV expectations

“What did Haney-Loma do? 100,000? I expect it to do a lot more than that, but I also acknowledge it’s not Canelo against GGG. It’s not Ryan Garcia against Tank Davis,” said Eddie Hearn to Fighthype when asked what PPV buy number he expects for Saturday’s fight between Devin Haney and WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis on DAZN PPV.

Prograis isn’t a PPV-level fighter, as he’s been mostly operating under the radar of fans due to his being avoided over the last five years. He tried to get a fight with Jose Ramirez for a while, but it never happened.

When he finally got an exciting match against Josh Taylor in 2019, he lost a close twelve round majority decision. That defeat hurt momentum of Prograis’ career, and he hasn’t been able to regain the popularity he was generating before that loss.

Haney vs. Lomachenko was a good fight but not one that generated a lot of interest. There wasn’t much back-and-forth trash-talk between the two fighters, and the only thing that created excitement was Haney shoving Lomachenko hard enough to whiplash his neck during the face-off at the weigh-in.

“I’m very optimistic because of the numbers at the gate. Some people might say, ‘The gate means nothing in relation to the pay-per-views.’ Pretty much most times when you have a strong demand for tickets at the gate, it gives you a good indication of the general demand of the show,” Hearn continued about the Haney vs. Prograis fight.

DAZN’s pay-per-view structure

“I think with the build-up, the promos, the press conference today. I think with the weigh-in, it’s going to be a lot of fun as well; I think we’re going to do a good number. No one could have done any more. DAZN is still in their infancy of their pay-per-view structure and pay-per-view system. They’re a subscription platform,” said Hearn.

It’s still early for DAZN with their PPV model, so it’s not unexpected that the events aren’t bringing in huge numbers yet. As time goes on, that could change.

“So, we don’t look to do many pay-per-views every time. Every now and again, there will be a big fight where guys will want to make sure there is money in the pot, and this is the model to make that happen. I’m very optimistic,” said Hearn.

“Teofimo if he’s sensible. Tank,” said Hearn on who he would be interested in matching Devin Haney against next if he’s victorious against Prograis on Saturday night.

Putting a fight together between Haney and WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez would be a longshot because negotiating with Teo would likely be a nightmare. Moreover, it would involve network & promotional hurdles that would need to be overcome for that fight to take place.

“We got loads of guys at 140. Jack Catterall, Richardson Hitchins, and the winner of Montana Love against Liam Paro, but Devin is going to want those big fights,” said Hearn. “He may end up moving to 147. He could easily do it. Try and become a three-division champion. The kid [Haney] wants to make history.

It’s reasonable to assume that Haney wouldn’t be too amped up about fighting Montana Love, Richardson Hitchins, Jack Catterall, or Liam Paro. While those guys are good fighters, they’re household names and wouldn’t bring much to the table for a fight with Haney.

If that’s all that is available to Devin at 140, he would be better off moving up to welterweight and going after Keith Thurman. That’s not a great fight either for Haney, but far better than the guys Hearn mentioned. Haney would much prefer to face Gervonta Davis or Ryan Garcia.

“I think he’d be big enough to make those fights, where it’s a PBC guy, whether it’s Mario Barrios or Conor Benn up at 147. Who knows?” said Hearn.

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