Devin Haney’s ambitious move up in weight to challenge hard-hitting 140-pound champion Regis Prograis was finally officially announced Tuesday morning.
Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, which will promote their fight, revealed what has long been public knowledge, that Prograis-Haney is set for December 9 in San Francisco. Their 12-round fight for Prograis’ WBC super lightweight title will be the main event of a card held at Chase Center, the home arena of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
Haney, a resident of Henderson, Nevada, was born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland before his father, Bill Haney, moved him to the Las Vegas area when he was a teenager.
The price point for a fight that will headline a DAZN Pay-Per-View show in the United States was not revealed in the release sent out Tuesday morning.
Presale availability for tickets to the Prograis-Haney card will begin October 5 at noon PDT (see Matchroom’s X account for more information). Tickets will go on sale to the general public October 6, also at noon PDT, and can be purchased at www.chasecenter.com.
Haney, 24, will make his debut at the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds when the undefeated, undisputed lightweight champion opposes Prograis, a New Orleans native. Prograis, 34, has fought at or near 140 pounds for all but three fights since the strong southpaw made his pro debut in April 2012.
“Finally, we’re ready to go on Saturday, December 9, and I can’t wait to put on a show,” Prograis said. “I’ve already started training camp and I’ll be more than ready to do what I do best. Devin has done well at 135 pounds, but I’m the best in the world at 140 pounds and I will prove that once again!”
The younger Haney edged three-division champion Vasiliy Lomachenko on the scorecards in his last fight, a closely contested 12-round bout he won by unanimous decision May 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) retained the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO lightweight titles that night, but he indicated during his post-fight press conference that his well-documented difficulties squeezing down to that division’s 135-pound limit might’ve made his victory over Ukraine’s Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs) his last fight at that weight.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Haney said. “It’s been a dream of mine to fight in my hometown. I’m excited for the opportunity to become a two-division world champion in the city where it all started. The energy in the building is going to be electric. I haven’t fought at home since I was an amateur, so I’m looking for my city to show up and show out. As a kid, I always envisioned fighting at The Oracle in Oakland. Now with Chase Center, I have two dream locations with a bridge between them.
“So, my first order of business is to blow the roof off Chase Center on December 9 with an amazing event. I picked a focused and hungry champion to invite to my hometown. Regis is going to try to knock me out and that’s exactly what I need him to be trying to do. This is what you do when you are the youngest promoter in boxing. I’m the real face of boxing. December 9. Legacy and money.”
The WBC made Haney its lightweight champion in recess, which affords him at least the option of returning to lightweight as the division’s fully unified champion for his following fight. Haney still holds the IBF, WBA and WBO lightweight titles as well.
Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs), of Katy, Texas, will make the second defense of the then-vacant WBC super lightweight crown he won when he knocked out Jose Zepeda (37-4, 28 KOs, 2 NC) in the 11th round last November 26 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Prograis signed a three-fight deal with Matchroom four months ago in part because he wanted this type of high-profile fight.
Prograis’ performance in his first fight of that contract drew some criticism, but he dropped Puerto Rico’s Danielito Zorrilla (17-2, 13 KOs) in the third round and beat his cautious challenger by large margins on two scorecards June 17 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Judges Josef Mason (117-110) and Robert Tapper (118-109) respectively scored nine and 10 rounds for Prograis, whose aforementioned knockdown was the difference on the card of judge Craig Metcalfe (114-113).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.