SAN FRANCISCO – Regis Prograis implored one of the most experienced, effective referees in boxing to limit Devin Haney’s clinching Saturday night.

Prograis expects Haney to try to tie him up repeatedly during their 12-round fight for Prograis’ WBC super lightweight title at Chase Center. The hard-hitting Prograis plans to do his part to work out of clinches, but he believes Haney will attempt to hold him incessantly once the former undisputed lightweight champion feels Prograis’ power during Haney’s first fight as a full-fledged junior welterweight.

That’s where Prograis feels Jack Reiss, the referee assigned to their bout by the California State Athletic Commission, can help allow him to work on the inside against a fighter who sometimes initiates clinches.

“We definitely gonna talk to the referee about that,” Prograis told “It’s not gonna be a clinch-fest. He not gonna throw a jab or a 1-2, and then just hold. We not gonna be doing that stuff. Me and my team, we already talked about the clinching and how we’re gonna counter that stuff. I’ll be involved in that and my team will be involved in that. We’re definitely gonna talk to the referee about that.”

Consistent clinching wouldn’t only prevent Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) from letting his hands go. The two-time 140-pound champion also wants to deliver an entertaining fight for fans who are expected to pack the home arena of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and those that pay $59.99 (DAZN subscribers) or $74.99 (non-subscribers) to purchase this four-fight show on pay-per-view.

“It can’t be clinching all night long,” said Prograis, who repeatedly promised to “beat the sh!t” out of Haney during their final press conference Thursday at Chase Center. “We not gonna do that. People are not gonna pay to see two people hug. You know, they can go to the movies to see people hug if they want. We not doing that. They wanna see a fight, and that’s what they’re gonna get. The referee can’t allow people to clinch all night.”

Haney has said that he’ll surprise Prograis, fans and media by the way he approaches their fight. The Oakland native often works well off his jab and out-boxes opponents, yet Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) has also come forward and pressed the action at times, most notably during victories over Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jorge Linares.

“We been working on everything,” Prograis said. “Any possible thing he’s gonna do, I wanna do everything to kinda reverse it. So, yeah, of course that’ll probably be part of his game plan, to tie me up and hold me. And like I said, I’ll be ready for that. And whatever else he does, I’ll be prepared for it.”

The 25-year-old Haney is listed as a 4-1 favorite to top Prograis, despite that the New Orleans native has lost only a 12-round majority decision to eventual undisputed 140-pound champion Josh Taylor and is much more accustomed to this weight class. Haney, though taller than Prograis, has moved up five pounds to challenge Prograis in a division in which Prograis has competed almost exclusively since he made his pro debut in April 2012.

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