Devin Haney didn’t deliver the knockout win over Regis Prograis he promised. He delivered a performance even better than promised.
In a dominating show of speed, power, and ring generalship, Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) of Las Vegas thrilled 16,000 hometown Bay Area fans at the Chase Center in San Francisco with a third-round knockdown and complete shutout decision over Prograis (29-2, 24 KOs) of Houston. Not one judge scored a single round for Prograis on their 120-107 cards.
Haney is now a two-division world champion, winning Prograis’ WBC Super Lightweight title.
“I did what I said I was going to do. My dad came up with a tremendous game plan, and I did what I said I was going to do,” said the victorious Haney.
Prograis made no excuses for himself after the drubbing. “He was quicker than I was, I’m not going to lie. I couldn’t seem to get to him. His power did surprise me.” Prograis said after the fight it was Haney’s superior footwork that shut him down. “. I was trying to catch up to him, trying to get to him, and I couldn’t get to him.”
Here’s how good Haney’s footwork and performance was. Prograis was defanged, landing just 36 of 363 punches thrown, a 10% connect rate. This is the lowest rate by a fighter in a 12 round fight in the 38-year history of CompuBox. Haney landed 129 of 367 punches thrown, a 35% connect rate.
Lightweight Suits The Dream
Entering the ring, Haney looked equally as big as Prograis, nicely muscled and comfortable in his first fight at 140 pounds. His speed and footwork were not diminished. With added power and snap on his punches, Haney’s hand speed seemed even faster.
The speed caught Prograis by surprise. As he tried to move in on Haney, Haney kept methodically circling away from the southpaw Prograis’ left hand. He attempted a few big right-hand haymakers in the first few rounds but dropped the tactic as he found success sticking and moving.
This permitted Haney to assess what Prograis had to offer. His speed caught Prograis coming in, and it’s how he scored the knockdown with a straight right hand on a single punch.
Prograis said he was not hurt by the knockdown punch, and never in serious trouble during the fight. But he gave full credit to Haney for delivering the punch. “I was just on the canvas. What happened?” said Prograis. “He doesn’t have power to hurt you, but it’s the quick power. You have to watch out for that.
“He has sneaky power for sure. Not the concussive power, but the sneaky power where he can run you into it,” said Prograis. “I told him, ‘Bro I’m not gonna lie. You’re better than I thought you was.”
With Prograis trying to compose himself after being rattled by the knockdown and the crowd roaring for Haney, Haney increased his work rate and began to stick and move with ease and increasing confidence.
The challenger pounced on Prograis and wobbled the champion several more times through the middle rounds, but he couldn’t deliver the knockout. It didn’t matter. Haney’s father/trainer Bill told him to stay composed, and he put the rest of the fight on cruise control without losing a single moment of the fight.
Devin and Bill: Fighter and Trainer of the Year?
After the fight, Haney said he realized how drained he was trying to make the 135-pound limit for his last few fights. “I had power in the gym, but by the time I got in the ring it was gone,” explained Haney. No more.
Haney said he thought he should be the Fighter of the Year and made a strong case for Bill Haney being Trainer of the Year. “I don’t understand why they never mention my dad. He should be the Trainer of the Year. I went in there and pitched a shutout. I didn’t get hit with nothing. I should be Fighter of the Year and my dad should be Trainer of the Year,” declared Haney.
“Devin is special and he showed that in there tonight,” said the senior Haney. “His ability to handicap a fighter. Whatever a fighter does that’s special, you won’t get to see it against Devin,” said Bill Haney.
Next Steps for Devin Haney
What’s next for Haney? Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn seems to be leaning toward a big money fight with Ryan Garcia. Haney would like to unify titles at 140 pounds. But he’d also like to win a title at 147 pounds. Bill Haney wasn’t shy about naming Terence Crawford as a possible opponent. “We’re looking at legacy… It’s one of the options out there.”
Haney said he’d like to fight in Saudi Arabia, and he’d also like to return to the Chase Center. Given the success of Saturday’s event, it seems like a lock.