Regis Prograis coach says Devin Haney won’t be able to clinch

By Raj Parmar - 12/01/2023 - Comments

Regis Prograis’ strength coach, Evins Tobler, states that Devin Haney will not be able to use his constant clinching against him on December 9th without getting “slung” to the canvas each time he attempts to do this.

Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) has become a John Ruiz type of fighter who does a lot of holding to neutralize the superior power & offensive ability of his opponents, and it’s worked well for him.

The reason for that is the fighters that Devin has fought have been much smaller than him, and many of them weren’t trained properly on how to fight through a clinch.

Vasily Lomachenko is the only one who showed the skills to fight his way out of Haney’s clinching, but even he had problems due to his lack of size.

It remains to be seen if Prograis will be able to able to deal with Haney’s clinching tactics because you have to believe that he’ll be using that tool whenever he gets in punching range.

George Kambosos Jr. wasn’t able to deal with Haney’s holding, even though he’d had an entire training camp to work on it after being held all night in their first fight in June 2022.

Haney won’t be able clinch nonstop

There ain’t going to be no clinching. If he clinches, his a** is going on the floor,” said strength & conditioning coach Evins Tobler to ESNEWS on what would happen if Devin Haney attempted to clinch all night against WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis on December 9th.

Prograis has never shown an ability to fight through a clinch during his career, so it’s going to be interesting to see how he adjusts to having the welterweight-sized Haney grabbing him each time he gets close to shutting down his offense.

You have to believe Haney will be clinching all night against Prograis because he used that constantly in his fights with George Kambosos Jr., Vasily Lomachenko, and Jorge Linares.

“He’s going to get slung on the floor 50 times,” said Tobler when told that Haney will clinch 50 times against Prograis like he’d done against George Kambosos Jr.

“If he clinches, he’s going to the ground 50 times. I just tell the truth. The truth is Devin Haney ain’t fought nobody, no fighter of this magnitude, and it’s going to show on December 9th. I’m not talking no s***. I’m speaking the straight facts.”

Tobler expects Prograis to throw Haney to the canvas when he attempts to hold, but that doesn’t sound likely. It’ll take a lot of energy for Prograis to throw Haney down, and he’ll be warned & penalized for that kind of professional wrestling move.

“Regis Prograis is going to knock him out before twelve rounds. This fight ain’t going to last. I say seven,” said Tobler.

Prograis not pleased with underdog role

“I’m going to beat Devin Haney’s a***. The power, he’s not going to be able to take that,” said Prograis to Fighthype. “Devin don’t have no power. Who did he knock out?”

It’s quite possible that Haney will fall apart under the punching power & size of Prograis and will get knocked out on December 9th. Haney has been hurt by much smaller fighters than him at 135, guys that don’t have Prograis’ size or power, and he might not be able to handle getting hit by that type of fighter in a new weight class.

“If you let the fans and the media get into your head, they can kind of create a narrative, but it don’t work for me,” said Prograis. “I don’t listen. He got hit by a lot of smaller guys. Linares, JoJo, and got hit by Lomachenko. When I land those same shots, it’s going to be different. It’s definitely going to be a different thing.”

The media overwhelmingly are picking Haney to beat the 34-year-old Prograis, as they feel that he’ll be able to replicate what his last opponent Danielito Zorrilla, did to him last June. Prograis looked lost against that fighter, couldn’t cut off the ring, handle his outside game, and looked afraid.

“With eight ounces on, I know it’s going to be different,” said Prograis. “It’s going to be a different thing. I don’t play into that. I don’t play into the media and stuff saying that I’m the underdog. I don’t play into that. I asked him, ‘Who did you knock out.’ He literally couldn’t say.

“He didn’t knock out nobody. In my championship fights, who did I beat, who did I stop, who did I knock out? In his championship fight, who did he stop that was a good opponent? Literally nobody,” said Prograis.

Haney hadn’t knocked out anybody since 2019, when he stopped Zaur Abdullaev in the fourth round. In Haney’s last seven fights, he’s been forced to go the distance against some fighters that he should have stopped, like Yuriorkis Gamboa, George Kambosos Jr., Jorge Linares, Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz, and Alfredo Santiago.

“It was literally zero. He stopped nobody. Did he stop Gamboa?” said Prograis. “He couldn’t even stop Gamboa, a little, little guy. No, it’s not going to happen. I know what I can do, and he can’t do s*** with me.”

Haney’s power, or lack thereof, will be even more noticeable at 140, and it’s going to be interesting to see how he plans on keeping Prograis off of him. Unlike his last fight against the unpredictable, heavy puncher Zorrilla, he has little to fear against Haney, aside from being tied up all night and jabbed.

“Eddie [Hearn] came to me before I signed with Matchroom. Eddie said, ‘We’re going to do this, and then it’s going to be Devin Haney for this amount of money.’ Then he offered me Devin Haney for a different amount of money,” said Prograis.

“I said, ‘No, I’m not going to do it.’ That’s why people want to know about the tune-up fight. I ain’t said with the face-off stuff. That’s actually what happened. It isn’t what they said. People got to get their perspective straight.

“He told me, ‘You’re going to do this. You’re going to fight this due in New Orleans, and after that, you’re going to fight Devin Haney.’ He told me that. This was even before he knew about Devin Haney coming back to Matchroom. Devin Haney was still with Top Rank at the time,” said Prograis.

Regis to beats Eddie’s guy

“So, that’s why I was like, ‘No,’ but then we got everything straight. My people were like, ‘Please don’t let Devin off the hook.’ I was like, ‘S***, I can’t let him off the hook. So, that’s what happened. Eddie might be busy. That’s his boy,” said Prograis about Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn favoring Haney in their fight.

If Prograis does beat Haney, it’ll definitely surprise Hearn because he’s been talking about fights between Devin and Ryan Garcia or Teofimo Lopez next, which suggests that he feels confident that he’ll be victorious on December 9th.

You can’t blame Hearn for backing the younger fighter, 25-year-old Haney, to win, as he’s got the youth and the popularity, at least for now, for him to be excited about.

What we don’t know is if Devin will enjoy the same kind of success at 140 & 147, fighting guys closer to his own size, as he did against the much smaller opposition at 135.

At lightweight, Haney was the equivalent of what David Benavidez is at 168. He was a guy that was humongous for the weight class after he’d rehydrated for his fights.

“I was over there at the fights, and I said, ‘I’m going to beat your boy [Haney].’ He said, ‘That’s not my boy.’ ‘Eddie, come on, bro. That’s your boy. I know that’s your boy. You like him more than me.’ It’s cool. I like it. It actually gives me more motivation to do what I’m doing,” said Prograis about Hearn.

“I ain’t tripping. Let it be his boy. I never got promised the Gervonta Davis fight. That was never in the works in the first place. I don’t know what happened with that. I don’t think it’s happening. We’ll see after I beat Devin,” said Prograis.

You could tell from watching Prograis that he’s hurt by Hearn wanting Haney to win, as the British promoter had been so high on Regis after signing him recently to his Matchroom stable. However, things seem to have changed after Prograis’ disappointing performance against Danielito Zorrilla, and now he’s facing the popular fighter Haney. Now, things have changed.

If Prograis defeats Haney and exposes him as being incapable of defeating fighters close to his size with power, Hearn will come around and root for Regis once again. The worm will have turned.

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