The 2023 boxing calendar has been filled with elite matchups, and the trend continues on Saturday night, December 9th, as the WBC super-lightweight world champion Regis Prograis will defend his title against the former undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney.
This high-profile bout is being promoted by Matchroom Boxing, and it will take place at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California. Haney is looking to become a two-weight world champion while Prograis will attempt to successfully defend his WBC world title belt for a second time.
Since the announcement of this championship bout, the promotion has been consistently good, and the trash-talking between the two fighters has been consistently heated. It’s safe to say Prograis and Haney do not like each other. Both boxers are ready to settle their differences inside of the squared circle.
A product of New Orleans, Louisiana, Regis Prograis became a world champion back in April 2019 when he defeated Kiryl Relikh by way of sixth round TKO. Six months later, Prograis made an attempt to become a unified champion, but unfortunately, he lost to Josh Taylor via a majority decision.
For Regis Prograis, the next couple of years would be filled with anger and frustration as a second opportunity to fight for a world title eluded him. He finally received another shot at a title back in November 2022 when he defeated Jose Zepeda and won the vacant WBC strap.
Six months later, Prograis started a new chapter in his boxing career when he signed with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing. Prograis was immediately rewarded with a homecoming bout, but unfortunately, he didn’t have a good performance as he defeated Danielito Zorrilla via split decision.
Now, the 34-year-old two-time super-lightweight world champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) is ready to make the second defense of his WBC title. On the night of December 9th, Prograis will face a very talented challenger who is nine years his junior.
Back in September 2019, Devin Haney defeated Zaur Abdullaev via 4th round stoppage and won the vacant WBC Interim lightweight title. A month later, the World Boxing Council decided to upgrade Haney to full champion due to their ruling to name Vasiliy Lomachenko the sanctioning body’s Franchise champion.
Haney’s peers made jokes about him becoming a full titlist by default as they gave Haney the label of being an email champion. Three years later, Haney would put that narrative to rest when he traveled to Melbourne, Australia.
On June 5, 2022, Devin Haney defeated unified champion George Kambosos Jr and became the undisputed king at 135. Four months later, Haney traveled back to Melbourne, and once again, he beat George Kambosos by way of a unanimous decision.
In his second title defense as the undisputed champion, Devin Haney defended his undisputed crown against Vasiliy Lomachenko. Haney did some good bodywork while Lomachenko landed the cleaner shots to the head, but in the end, Devin Haney won the bout via unanimous decision.
Now the 25-year-old Devin “The Dream” Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) is moving up to 140 as he will attempt to become a two-weight world champion. In this championship bout, both boxers face challenges as Haney is the most skilled boxer that Prograis has ever faced, and Prograis is the hardest-hitting opponent to date for Haney.
Devin Haney is a boxer who’s good on defense, has a high ring IQ, and is elite when it comes to controlling range, utilizing the jab, and fighting from the outside. He hasn’t shown much in the area of power, but Haney’s punches are well-placed, sharp, and accurate.
One of the keys to victory for Regis Prograis is to cleverly find a way to close the distance. Normally Prograis closes the distance by just pressing forward, but for this particular bout, it may be wise for him to utilize the jab while attempting to close distance against Haney.
Prograis has a twitching type of style in which he’s constantly moving his head from side to side. Prograis is a power puncher who is also a good counterpuncher, and he has the ability to land shots from unpredictable angles.
For this particular bout, the most important punches for Prograis will be the jab and investing shots to the body of his opponent.
Devin Haney wins this match by controlling range and keeping it a boxing match, but Regis Prograis can retain his title by closing the distance and turning this bout from a boxing match into a fight.
On Saturday night, December 9th, live on DAZN pay-per-view, the WBC champion Regis Prograis will attempt to successfully defend his title while placing a big name on his resume and in the city where he was born; Devin Haney will pursue the opportunity to enhance his legacy by becoming a two-division world champion.