The back and forth between the fighters and camps of Devin Haney and Regis Prograis has only added hype to what was already a great matchup at the junior welterweight division. Haney is moving up in weight after becoming undisputed in the lightweight division. Regis Prograis is looking for the biggest win of his career. This event on Saturday night will be live streaming on DAZN PPV.
Regis Prograis has won 5 fights in a row since taking his first loss as a professional back in 2019 to Josh Taylor. Prograis’s best victory of those 5 is Jose Zepeda, whom Regis stopped in the 11th round. Devin Haney has been on an impressive roll in the past 5 outings, with victories over Vasyl Lomachenko, George Kambosos(twice), Joseph Diaz, and Jorge Linares. This bout will have Prograis’s WBC strap on the line, the one he won as a vacant belt over Jose Zepeda.
Whether you think Devin Haney defeated Lomachenko or not, it was a close fight so any talks of robbery are completely ridiculous. Either way, it appears Loma will be fighting Kambosos for the IBF, with Haney recently dropping all of his belts at 135. Nothing but respect should be given to Devin for moving up in weight and facing one of the best fighters in the division. This boxing junkie is also happy for Prograis because he, unfortunately, has been sidetracked after almost beating Taylor in a great fight.
Let’s begin with the Haney side, which starts with his jab obviously. Devin has won many fights using mostly a jab or at least the jab being the main weapon and most effective part of his offensive game. In his second fight versus George Kambosos, Haney did throw more right crosses, among other punches. Haney’s bodywork was another addition he added, this time against Loma. Much has been discussed about Haney holding too much, which may very well be the case in Saturday’s main event.
Beyond establishing his jab, lateral movement will come in handy for this particular style. Haney can’t ignore targeting Regis’s body, especially with the type of defense Prograis tends to employ. Jabbing to the body, following it up with more right hands, or throwing lead right hands in pot shots form, then clinch is likely the recipe to win rounds. As you probably know, the clinch will be important for Haney as well as Regis.
Prograis will have to find his way inside without smothering his work. Avoiding the clinch is a must, and if held, using his free hand to land will at least get Haney’s attention and the referee involved. We can talk about Devin’s jab, but Regis has a quality jab he likes to throw quite often. One item to note is the habit Regis has of reaching with his jab while coming forward.
Speaking of being the aggressor, Prograis makes the mistake of not moving laterally quick enough to beat the outside boxer to the spot. A great YT channel for boxing is Boxing Gems. He made an interesting point recently about a tell Regis has pertaining to shuffling his feet before jabbing. Prograis has real power and loves to attack the body, but he also has underrated reflexes. Regis is a capable counterpuncher and is often more comfortable at range or on the back foot.
Neither guy is bad on defense in fact their pretty good. Both depend on their instincts, maybe a little too much. Haney has been susceptible to getting hit with the same punch normally it’s been the left hook. Regis moves his head on defense, but it becomes repetitive, so look for Haney after a few rounds to be able to time Prograis’s movements. Regis’s high guard leaves him wide open as well, something we’ve seen Haney of late taking advantage of by mixing to the head or body.
The biggest difference maker for the outcome of this fight will be Regis not being able to move quickly enough to cut off Haney. If Haney is able to pivot and circle Prograis while popping the jab and picking his spots to land follow-up punches it could be an uphill battle to win 7 or 8 rounds. By the sounds of it, the Chase Center in San Francisco will be packed with pro-Haney fans meaning Regis will have to clearly win more rounds. Can Regis find his way to the inside and do damage with short punches to the head and body? If the answer is yes, then this boxing podcaster believes Prograis will get his hand raised. Cutting the distance won’t be easy along with staying in range to get his punches off without getting held.
Although Regis is getting undervalued as a +275 and well beyond +300, I’m just not sold he can land telling blows repeatedly. When Lomanchenko pushed Devin, he responded and did what he had to do to win rather than just jab and grab. Regis Prograis will need to hurt Haney more than once within the first say 4-6 rounds. If he can accomplish that Devin will be in spoiler mode instead of scoring points and stacking rounds. I really like this fight on paper, but I’m not sold it will feature as much sustained two-way action as, say, Haney/Loma. Age plays a factor as well, and it’s difficult not to think Regis may’ve missed his window as an elite boxer. Which fighter will come out on top after talking all the jazz?
My Official Prediction is Devin Haney by Unanimous Decision.
Side Note: As a reminder DAZN subscribers get a 15 dollar discount rather than paying the whole amount of about 75 dollars for the PPV. Also, I can’t forget to give credit to Stetsasonic for the title of this article, which was taken from one of their popular songs.
Written by Chris Carlson, Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio