A common move for boxers moving up in weight is to test to waters in a new division by taking on a lighter touch, but that notion isn’t true for Devin Haney,
The undisputed 135-pound champion and career-long lightweight Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) will move up to 140 pounds to take on WBC super welterweight titlist Regis Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) on Dec. 9 at the Chase Center in San Francisco on DAZN PPV in North America.
Prograis believes his paltry performance in a June title defense against Danielito Zorrilla inspired Haney to jump at the thought of taking the fight.
“I respect him for that [to move up and immediately fight me]. I know they are going off my last performance, but that’s cool man,” Prograis told BoxingScene.com in an interview.
“I’m glad. If I went out there and blasted Zorilla in one or two rounds, I wouldn’t be getting this fight. I’m glad and it’s a blessing that I didn’t look that good against Zorilla as he was running around the entire time. Now, I have a super fight, and that’s what boxing is about. We’re now in the era of the super fights.”
Prograis dropped Zorrilla and snuck away with a split decision, as both boxers combined to land just 42 punches each in their 12-round fight.
The 34-year-old Prograis believes there will be plenty of back-and-forth banter with Haney as they build up the fight.
“I’ve been trying to be quiet, but when somebody talks to me, I guess that’s just my attitude. The promotion is going to be something nice,” said Prograis.
Prograis’ best win to date throughout his 11-year career has been his 2022 stoppage victory against Jose Zepeda to score the WBC title he now owns. His most spirited performance, however, came in a fight of the year contender and majority decision loss to Josh Taylor in 2019.
A win against Haney will allow Prograis to finally break through.
“My road has never been easy. It’s always been kind of bumpy,” said Prograis. “I’m a two-time world champion and I don’t get the recognition I deserve. But this fight is going to put me on the map where I belong.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.