Prograis’ performance criticized: Dominated, embarrassed, and devalued

By Rob Smith - 12/11/2023 - Comments

Trainer Stephen Edwards says former WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis’ performance last Saturday night against Devin Haney was so utterly terrible that he’s been “devalued” as a fighter, hurting his career to the point where he’ll be sought out by other fighters to be used as an opponent.

Edwards points out the obvious about Prograis (29-2, 24 KOs), namely that he didn’t make adjustments, failed to throw jabs, looked slow, and didn’t go balls to the wall to try and score a knockout when he was hopelessly behind late in the contest.

In fairness to Prograis, it would be nearly impossible for anyone to get to Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) to land shots last Saturday night because he’d been clearly studying Shakur Stevenson’s recent fight against Edwin De Los Santos and copied his step-back move perfectly, making himself difficult to hit.

Haney used the step-back move after every punch and when Prograis would come forward. He never stood in front of Prograis to meet him for an exchange.

Devin’s style:

1. Punch
2. Step back
3. Stop & punch
4. Step back

When you have a fighter who is using the Shakur style of fighting the way Haney does, it’s difficult to do much against them unless you have major one-punch power or fast feet.

Prograis didn’t have either of those things going for him. He can punch, but he needs to have his feet set for him to throw with power, and that was impossible because Haney was always moving.

Haney fought just like Shakur, retreating after throwing shots and moving laterally when pursued. He was not going to stand his ground, so there was little chance that Prograis could land anything unless he was willing to rush Haney as Vasily Lomachenko did.

Regis couldn’t do that because of his slow feet, which is why Haney’s father, Bill, chose him as his opponent. The times that Prograis did chase Haney, he would be tied up and couldn’t get his shots off.

They saw an old guy with slow feet, who couldn’t punch unless he was set. Someone can punch on the move would have been problems for Haney, but they wouldn’t have been chosen by Bill. He picks opponents well for Haney to keep him from getting beaten.

Prograis’ devalued after terrible performance

“He beat him up and embarrassed him. He tamed him. It got to the point where he didn’t even want to come in there anymore,” said Stephen Edwards to MillCity Boxing on Devin Haney’s win over Regis Prograis last Saturday night.

“It wasn’t a competitive fight. He landed 37 punches, which is awful. No adjustments, no jab. He didn’t close the distance, he didn’t have an answer for the right hand. He didn’t even say, ‘I’m going to go into beast mode and start chucking them, and I’m going to find out what kind of heart he’s got. I’m going to turn into an animal.’ He didn’t even do that,” said Edwards about Prograis.

Regis has never had a jab, so that was no surprise that he didn’t have one for this fight. He couldn’t make the adjustments that he needed because it would’ve required quick feet for him to chase Haney when he was stepping back with his step-back move.

He was another Shakur Stevenson with his style, and those types of fighters are difficult to beat unless you have someone that can catch them or time when they do eventually throw.

“Unfortunately, Regis is devalued. It was a terrible, terrible performance. I feel bad for him because what can he say now after that s*** talk,” said Edwards.

Prograis was already devalued from his previous fight against Danielito Zorrilla, and that’s obviously why Bill Haney chose him as Devin’s opponent.

What Stephen is failing to take into account is that Prograis & his coach, Evins Tobler, had to trash talk because their job was to market the fight, which meant more PPV buys and more money.

Yeah, it might make Prograis look bad now that he did all the trash-talking, but he’ll be crying all the way to the bank because he and especially his strength coach Tobler did an admirable job of promoting the fight by bad-mouthing Haney. It’s part of the business.

“It was a great performance from Devin, and Regis didn’t fight a good fight. I don’t want to kick the man while he’s down because I know he’s got to be embarrassed and going,” said Stephen.

Regis should have gone all out

“Nothing he did was good, and if it comes to that point, and you’re the guy that is trying to make the fight because that’s your style and you’re the pressure fighter, and at a certain point, you got to go balls to the wall,” said Edwards.

Prograis couldn’t go all out because he didn’t have the speed to get to Haney, who was not only faster on his feet but much bigger, looking like a welterweight. The size difference between them would have been an insurmountable obstacle to Prograis winning even if Haney hadn’t been using his Shakur step-back move all night.

“He got to a point where he allowed himself to get picked apart,” Edwards said about Prograis. “He’s lucky that Bill told Devin to stick to the game plan and keep boxing. I’m telling you that if that was Boots, he would have been carried out on a stretcher.

“Boots is a vicious finisher like Crawford, and those kinds of guys outbox you, but they don’t just outbox you to outbox you. They want to hurt you. Devin just listened to his dad. He wasn’t wrong for listening to his dad, but another kind of kid would have hurt him to the point where he would have been carried out of the ring.

“He was ready to go from the eighth round on. Devin started landing those body shots, and he started walking in sand. But Devin carried out the game plan. He was very, very fortunate because that could have been the end of his career with a different kind of fighter in there.

“Regis is very predictable with his movement, and he got him with a clean shot,” said Stephen about the knockdown that Haney scored in round three when he nailed Prograis with a right hand that put him down on the canvas.

Haney couldn’t afford to take risks

“The shots that you don’t see, that you can’t brace for, are the ones that hurt you,” said Edwards. “He looked good at 140. Sometimes, your body needs that extra five pounds of muscle. I think 140 is going to suit him just fine,” said Edwards when asked if Haney looked good in his first fight at 140.”

Haney looked like a welterweight inside the ring, and that helped him against Prograis. He still looked drained at the weigh-in, and that happens to a fighter that is boiling down huge amounts of weight to fight in a weight class below their body frame.

“Devin looked real sharp. He was bigger than Regis. His body filled out,” said Stephen. “I don’t know who did the tale of the tape, but they both weren’t 5’8”. Devin is going to be a problem at 140. Devin didn’t need a knockout. It would have been great if he did stop him, but he didn’t.

“Tank is such a sneaky, vicious counter-puncher that if Devin tries to do too much, he could get knocked out himself. Against Tank, the worst thing you can do is overcommit,” said Stephen.

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