Regis Prograis: My Performance Against Zorrilla Gave Haney Confidence To Take The Fight

Regis Prograis is convinced that Devin Haney wouldn’t have agreed to fight him had Prograis performed more impressively against Danieltio Zorrilla.

Prograis dropped Zorrilla in the third round and beat his cautious challenger comfortably on two scorecards June 17 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The WBC super lightweight champion admits he wasn’t nearly at his best when he faced Zorrilla, despite that he won 10 rounds according to judge Robert Tapper (118-109) and nine rounds on the card of judge Josef Mason (117-110).

That was all Bill Haney, Devin’s father and trainer, needed to see, according to Prograis, to think his son could beat Prograis (29-1, 14 KOs) in what will be Haney’s debut at the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds. The undefeated, undisputed lightweight champion will challenge Prograis for his WBC belt in a DAZN Pay-Per-View main event December 9 at Chase Center in San Francisco.

“After my performance against Zorrilla, it gave him confidence,” Prograis told BoxingScene.com. “You know, his daddy was there and, you know, it just gave him some confidence. I think they think that, you know, they saw some things. His dad was there like, ‘Dang, you probably could take Regis,’ because the Zorrilla performance, it wasn’t a good performance for me.

“So, I think after that – listen, if I woulda went and blasted Zorrilla in two or three rounds, you know, [Haney] wouldn’t have stepped up to the plate. But, you know, after that performance they was like, ‘You know what? I think I might could do it.’ So, that’s why I believe they’re doing it.”

Devin Haney disputed Prograis’ theory on why he took their fight during a subsequent interview with BoxingScene.com. The 24-year-old Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) noted that he began pushing to oppose Prograis before the strong southpaw fought the right-handed Zorrilla (17-2, 13 KOs), who lost a split decision after replacing injured Australian southpaw Liam Paro (23-0, 14 KOs) on short notice.

“That’s not true,” Haney said. “If you look at the dates, I called Regis out before that fight [with Zorrilla] even happened. So, my dad went to the fight because he knew there was a possibility of us making the fight before then. So, if he woulda went in there and knocked him out, we were already in talks with [promoter] Eddie [Hearn] about making the fight happen. So, you know, it didn’t matter if he looked like Superman in that fight. It’s still a fight that I wanted to make happen. Because even though he didn’t look good in that fight, I do feel like he’s the best at 140 right now.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.


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