Devin Haney has been given an extension by the WBC until July 27th to hammer out a deal for a fight with light welterweight champion Regis Prograis.
Prograi’s promoter Eddie Hearn requested an extension from the WBC so that he could have more time to negotiate with Haney, according to Dan Rafael.
WBC had originally set a deadline of today for the undisputed lightweight champion Haney to decide whether h would stay at 135 to face Shakur Stevenson or move up to 140 to take on Prograis.
Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) has decided not to stay at 135 to defend against his WBC mandatory Shakur Stevenson, which no one expected him to. That fight would be bad for Haney’s career.
Boxing fans on Twitter are ridiculing the WBC for granting Haney an extension after previously setting a deadline of today. The fans feel that if WBC is going to create deadlines, they need to stick to them and not give extensions.
The money that Haney will make fighting WBC 140-lb champion Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) likely won’t be greater than he would get fighting Shakur Stevenson.
If Haney were to stay at 135, he would be in a world of hurt against Shakur, and if he squirm out of that fight by vacating his WBC title or asking for the handy Franchise tag, there would be pressure on him to do the right thing by giving Vasily Lomachenko a rematch. That’s a fight Haney could lose as well, provided quality judges are working the rematch.
However, Haney’s chances of beating the 34-year-old Prograis would appear to be much greater than it would if he were to stay at 135 to defend against Shakur.
Prograis looked like an old & faded fighter in his title defense against Danielito Zorrilla last June. What’s unclear is whether this is age or a case of Prograis always being an overrated fighter.
Remember, this is a guy that lost to Josh Taylor in 2019, and that’s a fighter that Teofimo Lopez recently easily beat. Haney wants the easy mark and a chance to become a two-division world champion.
Even if Haney defeats Prograis, he’s going to have a difficult time holding onto the WBC 140-lb title. The division is like a minefield, filled with talented fighters that could end Haney’s reign almost immediately unless they’re avoided forever. We’re talking about these guys:
– Gary Antuanne Russell
– Richardson Hitchins
– Jose Ramirez
– Sandor Martin
– Arnold Barboza Jr
– Jose Zepeda
— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) July 21, 2023