Bill Haney is happy about Devin Haney returning to his roots in the Bay Area to fight in front of his fans at the Chase Center in San Franciso, California, against WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis on December 9th.
If things go well for Haney (30-0, 15 KOs), he’ll become a two-division world champion and have the bait with the WBC belt to encourage Ryan Garcia to face him in early 2024.
Even if Ryan chooses not to accept the fight, Haney can still use the WBC strap to face one of the other champions at 140, such as IBF champ Subriel Matias, WBA belt holder, or WBC strap-holder Teofimo Lopez.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Prograis’ strength & conditioning coach Evins Tobler is going to be the one doing most of the talking.
Tobler went at Devin and Bill during the kick-off press conference and made it one of the best non-violent, non-scripted events in boxing for quite a while.
“We go on the road and come back home as champions, but to have the wherewithal and understanding, we can’t bring a soft touch back to the Bay Area with all the respect that we’ve got for Oakland, California, and the Bay. We got to come back home a challenger,” said Bill Haney to GHBTV, talking about Devin Haney returning to San Francisco, California, to challenge Regis Prograis for his WBC light welterweight title on December 9th.
This might be the best that Haney could get for his December 9th homecoming because trying to negotiate a fight with Teofimo Lopez would be near impossible, and Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero is injured. Ryan Garcia doesn’t hold a title, and he’s coming off a loss.
“I want to say it’s the biggest event to come to the Bay Area because, with the way the seats is going, they’re flying,” said Bill. “I heard there are a couple of front-row seats still available, but the good seats are gone. So if you really want to be in the building, the seats that are available now are up top.
“For this facility, it’s going to be my first time there. They say that every seat is a good seat. They say the arena is the state of the art, and I’m just happy, bro. For Devin to go back home, it’s like a 360-degree turn from where we came,” said Bill Haney.
That would be impressive if Devin could sell out the 18,064-seat Chase Center in his first fight in his hometown during his career. I’m sure if Haney knew that the tickets would move this well, he would have returned home a long time ago.
“For Devin to come back home as a challenger to bring in a champion like Regis Prograis, who can end the s**t in one night and spoil the homecoming with one punch, says a lot about Devin and his character,’ said Bill.
“It gives us the opportunity to bring boxing back to the Bay to give the fans the opportunity to go to that Chase Center in San Francisco if it’s your first time like it is for me.
“This is a homecoming, but it’s all business because of the kind of guy that we got that we’re bringing. We have to be 100% focused because you can go in there bull s***ting and end up getting clipped.
“We’re very focused on Regis Prograis and giving him an opportunity because a lot of times fighters don’t get that opportunity. Everybody ducking them, and we can understand it.
“Nobody was raising their hand, talking about Regis, and taking him to their hometown, not since his fight with Josh Taylor [in 2019], which was a war. Like I said. It was a great opportunity for us to go back to our hometown with a formidable foe or opponent [WBC light welterweight champion] Regis Prograis.
“You want to give the institutions the credit. You want to say what Stanford, Harvard, Bishop O’Dowd High School, what St. Francis , the high school, what certain schools do. You want to say he [Haney] was a private kid. Really, he was home-schooled,” said Bill, talking about the label that Evins Tobler, the strength & conditioning coach for Prograis, made about Haney being a “private school’ educated kid.
“You don’t want to tell the truth that a black family was able to carefully educate a kid and keep him out of trouble and give him all the lessons and all the tools to arm him to speak correctly in front of the people to have confidence. That was not private school. That was home school, man.
“We had no time to go to private school. We were knocking on Shakur Stevenson’s door. We were knocking on Tank Davis’ door; we were knocking on Richardson Hitchinson’s door and Ryan Garcia’s.
“These were the guys that you guys know that have careers in the pros. We’d already knocked on their doors as amateurs when they were in school,” said Bill Haney.