The upcoming bout between Devin “The Dream” Haney of Las Vegas (30-0, 15 KOs) and Regis “Rougarou” Prograis of Houston (29-1, 24 KOs) offers plenty of intrigue and provokes even more questions from boxing observers and fans. Haney vs Prograis in the 140-pound division is just days away on Saturday, December 9, at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Promoter Matchroom Boxing will produce the card in cooperation with DAZN as a pay-per-view event, $59.99 with a current DAZN subscription. Fans can purchase the PPV for $74.99 on PPV.COM without a subscription.
We need to answer key questions in this bout as NY Fights sees it.
Is Regis Prograis past his prime?
At age 34, Regis Prograis is nine years older than Devin Haney. His two best performances include his narrow loss to Josh Taylor in the World Boxing Super Series in 2019 and his victory over Jose Zepeda in 2022 to win the WBC World Super Lightweight title.
Prograis has been relatively active, but after a seven-month break, Prograis struggled to win his last bout against Danielito Zorrilla. How much does his poor performance signal about his upcoming fight with Haney? Prograis says he was nervous in the homecoming fight in New Orleans and says it won’t happen on Saturday.
How will Devin Haney perform in a new weight division?
After fighting in the lightweight division since his professional debut in 2015, Devin Haney is finally moving up to the super lightweight division. He has always made weight, to his credit. But he admits it was hard work and often a struggle. Haney says will now be able to focus on training instead of making weight on the scale this week. How will Haney perform at 140 pounds instead of 135 pounds? Can he maintain his speed and footwork? Will he gain or lose power?
Can Prograis box with Haney?
Regis Prograis is known as a southpaw power puncher willing to brawl and mix it up to win a fight. His current knockout percentage is 82.76%. Prograis also scored knockdowns in three out of his five decision victories. He’s fought at 140 pounds or more his entire career. Will he be able to leverage his size and power against the technician Haney for a victory?
Can Haney bang with Prograis?
Devin Haney is admired for his craft, including superior footwork and defensive skills. He outboxed the master craftsman Vasily Lomachenko in a razor-thin decision win last May, and before that, thoroughly shut down power puncher George Kambosos Jr., who couldn’t find the target all night.
Haney’s knockout percentage is a respectable 50%, but his last knockout win was in 2019. Eleven of his 15 knockout wins took place between his debut in 2015 and the end of 2017 against less than inspiring opposition. Haney is sensitive to criticism about having “pillow hands” and insists he can bang with the best. But should he? Will fighting at 140 pounds make any difference in his approach against Prograis?
Will Prograis neutralize Haney’s favorite tactics?
Regis Prograis vows he will stop Devin Haney from using his four-inch reach advantage and pressure him, taking away his jab. Prograis also intends to prevent Haney from clinching with him, which Haney often relies on to excess once he’s ahead in the fight. Fans would rally to Prograis if he can maintain offensive engagement and keep the fight moving. But Prograis had trouble chasing Danielito Zorrilla around the ring. Haney will be even more elusive.
Will Haney avoid getting caught by a Rougarou shot?
It can’t be any secret to Devin Haney what the Prograis game plan looks like. The champion must let his inner Rougarou out and come right after Haney. Haney hasn’t shown the same power as Prograis. He will watch for the left hand and try to move toward Prograis’ right while maintaining distance. Fans might not like it, but Haney won’t care if he wins.
Which trainer will come up with the right game plan?
In Haney vs Prograis, it’s also trainers Bill Haney vs the team of Julian Chua, Bobby Benton, and Evans Tobler. Father Bill Haney has proved the exception to the rule dissuading fathers from training their sons once they reach the highest levels of the sport. The senior Haney has proven to be an excellent student of boxing and has kept a step ahead when his son Devin requires a higher skill level. He’s also been willing to bring in outside experts to shore up preparation.
Prograis recently added Chua to the team while training in Los Angeles. Chua also works with Stephen Fulton, Zurdo Ramirez, and John “Scrappy” Ramirez. Co-trainers Benton and Chua are aided by the outspoken strength and conditioning coach Tobler, who’s often the frontman alongside Prograis at media events. It’s a lot of input for a fighter. Is it too many cooks in the kitchen, or just the right recipe for Prograis?
Whose game plan will prevail on Saturday?
Devin Haney used his four-inch reach advantage and exceptional skills to keep power-punching George Kambosos Jr. at a distance. He poured cold water on any attempt at a firefight. This takes discipline and a constant change of levels. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Make no mistake, despite all the trash talk about beating up Prograis, this approach fits Haney like a custom suit.
Prograis’s best performances are when he lets it go and creates a brawling-type fight. Jose Zepeda was willing to go there with him, and it made for a terrific performance and a fan-friendly bout everyone enjoyed no matter who they were rooting for. Prograis says he’s going to put a hurt on Haney, and he means it.
Who has the better chin?
This might be the most difficult question to answer. Devin Haney’s defensive skills are so on point, he’s rarely taken a hard shot. Haney has never been stopped or knocked down. His December 2021 title defense against Jorge Linares was the closest he came. Linares connected on a short right hand to the chin in the 10th round, wobbling Haney. He made it across the finish line based on his otherwise strong performance.
Prograis has mixed it up with multiple opponents and taken plenty of hard shots. He has never been stopped or knocked down despite taking hard shots from the likes of Taylor, Zepeda, and Kiryl Rellkh. He went down against Zorrilla, but it was not ruled a knockdown. Prograis claims he tripped over his own tangled feet. Unless Haney throws the perfect punch, It’s hard to imagine him putting Prograis on the canvas.
Which fighter feels he has more to prove?
Devin Haney can reinforce his case for inclusion on the top ten pound-for-pound list in a new weight division with a strong performance. Both ESPN and RING Magazine have Haney at #7 overall and #1 at lightweight.
But this isn’t a fight at lightweight. Prograis is ranked #2 by RING and #3 by ESPN at super lightweight but isn’t ranked within either one’s overall top ten pound for pound. Regis Prograis can make a quantum leap up with a strong performance. If he edges Haney for the win, he may not make a lot of headway. Whether this motivates Prograis will play out in the fight.
Haney vs Prograis: The Trash Talk
Regis Prograis says:
“I’m big. You can’t knock shit out.”
“When you get hit by me, you’ll see the difference. I get hit; that shit doesn’t do nothing.”
“I hurt people, bro. Why would I box you if I can hurt you?”
“It’s going to be a different level (at 140). You got hurt by JoJo, Loma, Linares. When I hit you, I’m going to hit you, it’s going to be punishment.”
“You’re coming to box, I’m coming to fight.”
Devin Haney Says:
“You’re a one-trick pony. I’m going to show you. I’m going to take it away from you.”
“He does the same thing in his fights over and over. When it doesn’t work, he’s lost.”
“He don’t learn no new moves, same thing his whole career. Fight night, the same thing.”
“I’m 24, you’re 34, that’s the difference. I’m on a different level.”
“You’ve got no chin. If I knock you out, then what?”
“I can beat him at every fight. I can do everything better than him.”