The early reception has been overwhelmingly favorable regarding the Regis Prograis-Devin Haney WBC junior welterweight title fight.
A tasty press conference set the tone for what should be a fun promotion for their December 9 DAZN Pay-Per-View headline from the Chase Center, home to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, California. Haney was born in the Bay Area and was raised in Oakland before his family moved to Las Vegas.
His ties to the area made it a no-brainer to the Matchroom Boxing team to bring home this fight. Prograis (29-1, 24KOs)—a New Orleans-bred southpaw who lives and trains in the greater Houston area—put forth his usual anyone, any place, anytime mentality to secure the fight. The actions of both were not at all a surprise to anyone involved in the event.
“I think when you map out the career of a fighter, you have to come in with the big sell,” promoter Eddie Hearn explained in an in-house interview posted on Matchroom’s YouTube channel. “Then you have to deliver it. Too many people in the sport say, ‘Yeah, we’ll do this’ but they haven’t got the minerals or the ability to make it happen.
We were lucky. Ourselves and Devin go back a long way. We had a pact together that he would become Matchroom’s first [male] undisputed champion. Unfortunately, he had to take a deal that he was railroaded into taking. We talked about it. He said he would be back and he’s always been a man of his word.”
Haney (30-0, 15KOs) fought six times under the Matchroom banner from May 2019 through his December 2021 win over Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz to defend his WBC lightweight title. He then entered a three-fight, co-promotional deal with DiBella Entertainment and Top Rank to secure an undisputed championship clash versus then-unbeaten, unified champ George Kambosos Jr.
Two wins in Australia and another over Vasiliy Lomachenko in Las Vegas completed Haney’s commitment to that agreement. He returned to Hearn for a one-fight deal and the room to do future business together.
Prograis signed with Matchroom in May and made his debut under the banner just six weeks later in a June 17 win over Danielito Zorrilla in his New Orleans hometown. The rest of his year was spent waiting on Haney to sign the contract and pick a location for what will be Prograis’ second defense of the WBC junior welterweight title.
“If [Haney] wins on December 9, I believe he’ll fight Ryan Garcia, he’ll fight Teofimo Lopez,” noted Hearn. “But if Regis Prograis wins… he’s our client. He’s our champion. Our job was to deliver him a superfight, a pathway to become a pound-for-pound superstar.
“They both got it on a plate. It’s all there for them. You want to fight Ryan, you want to fight Teo, you want to fight Tank, you have to win December 9.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox