By: Sean Crose
“I’m going to beat the shit out of him.”
Devin Haney didn’t hem and haw when it came to discussing his upcoming junior welterweight title fight against Regis Prograis during a Tuesday press conference. “I’m thankful to be in this position and it’s a dream come true,” Haney continued. “This is a huge fight for boxing and it’s a big opportunity for me because I have always dreamed of becoming a two-weight division world champion.” Indeed, Haney – should he best Prograis in their December 9th WBC title battle – will have good reason to be happy. He’s been a lightweight titlist, after all, and will also be a junior welterweight titlist should he best Prograis.
“I’m happy,” said Haney, “that I can hold on to my titles but also happy that I can challenge Regis, who is the best at 140. But I will show that I’m on a different level and that I am the best. I’m excited for it, and I think the fight is going to fireworks. I’m far above him.” Of course, Prograis is excited about the fight, as well. He also feels he’s in a position to take the high road in regard to pre fight trash talk. “We can go back-and-forth” he said, “but I don’t try to get underneath anyone’s skin. That’s not what I do. Maybe he (Haney) doesn’t get the respect he deserves.”
Sure enough, Prograis thinks Haney is in for a rude awakening this December. “I don’t want to say too much but I think he’s going to be surprised at my skill,” Prograis said. “I’ve been working my ass off. I’ve been in LA training and sparring and in Texas doing the same shit for a long time. It’s not going to be no ’skill versus power,’ it’s going to be ’skill versus skill and then I still have power, too. I want to show people in this fight my skill…I’m going to keep my belt. I’m not giving it up and I’m going to keep it, for sure. I feel like I’m going to stop him.”
Promoter and Matchroom honcho Eddie Hearn spoke of Prograis-Haney as being the intriguing pairing it is. “People may talk about a clash of styles and Haney’s skill and precision,” he said, “but he likes to stand and fight as well – Regis Prograis is technically gifted as well as being a huge puncher. This is one of the top fights in boxing and both guys believe they are the favorite going into this fight.