Paulie Malignaggi Questions Haney’s Preferential Treatment In Promotional Materials For Prograis Fight
Paulie Malignaggi believes Devin Haney will defeat WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis this Saturday night in San Francisco, California.
Malignaggi doesn’t like the way that the 25-year-old Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) is given preferential treatment in the promotion of his fight with Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs), even though he’s the challenger.
For example, Haney’s name comes first in the promotional banner for the fight ahead of the champion Prograis. That’s silly in Malignaggi’s view because Haney hasn’t beaten any big names without controversy for him to be given star treatment.
Haney is being given a big push by his promoters, and Malignaggi doesn’t understand why because he hasn’t shown great talent and charisma and lacks the model looks that Ryan Garcia has.
If Haney wins this fight and stays at 140, he’s going to need to face more talented fighters like Subriel Matias, Teofimo Lopez, and Gary Antuanne Russell
Haney needs a controversy-free win
“I see myself leaning towards Haney. I don’t see it as a one-sided fight. I think it’s going to be a very competitive fight, a good fight with Haney’s boxing ability just edging it out for him. Plus, the fact that it’s in San Francisco. So anything close probably gives Haney an advantage,” said Paulie Malignaggi to ProBox TV, giving his precision for Saturday night’s fight between Devin Haney and WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis.
The whole world views Haney as the guy who will probably win on Saturday night. It’s not that Prograis is a bad fighter. The things that Haney does are ones that Regis is good at neutralizing.
“I do see Haney’s boxing ability being just enough to get by a very determined and a very good fighter in Prograis,” said Malignaggi. “If Haney can win it without controversy, it’s the biggest win of his career. I think he needs a trademark win that’s controversy-free and really solidifies him that he can handle this level of opposition and win against this level of opposition.”
Haney might not be able to win without controversy, but he obviously won’t reject the win if it’s given to him. The way that Haney fights, using movement, jabbing & clinching, makes the rounds close because he’s fighting in a negative way.
“That’s why I struggle to see what the fuss is all about as far as from the promotional side. He doesn’t have that kind of win. The Lomachenko win was very, very controversial, and it didn’t wow anybody,” said Malignaiggi about Haney’s victory over Lomachenko last May, which the boxing world saw as a robbery.”
Haney has brought back the Mayweather-esque style of fighting, and the fans who enjoy that approach to the sport love watching him. The ones that prefer exciting fighters and a lot of action view Haney as boring, which he certainly is.
“The rest of his opposition is pretty average. If he can do this here against Prograis, that I think we all agree is a dangerous guy no matter what style,” said Malignaggi. “If you get a win over Prograis controversy-free, I think it’s a big step for what Haney wants to achieve, which is become a very notable fighter within the business within the sport.”
Haney’s best wins are these fighters:
- Vasily Lomachenko – *controversial
- Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz
- George Kambosos Jr. x 2
- Jorge Linares
- Yuriorkis Gamboa
“I think that’s their goal, and DAZN’s goal, and Team Haney’s goal. It’s not a cupcake, gimme. Prograis is a good fighter. He’s got some smart guys in the corner with Julian Chua and Bobby Benton. I’m really looking forward to watching this fight. I think it’s going to be a good fight,” said Malignaggi.
Devin being rushed into being a star
“I do see Haney as a fighter with some skills and can box, but when everybody pushes this star power thing, I’m not seeing it,” said Malignaggi. “I think he’s a good fighter. He didn’t sell a lot of pay-per-views, even against the most recognizable opponent of his career, which was the Lomachenko fight.”
Haney isn’t a PPV fighter, and this Saturday’s fight with Prograis will likely do poor numbers on DAZN because it’s not viewed as a fight that is worthy of pay-per-view. Also, the undercard is horrible, with Liam Paro taking on Montana Love.
“I don’t understand what the rush is to say that he’s a star. He’s not a star,” said Malignaggi. “He’s not a big puncher. He’s not an explosive personality. He’s not a pretty boy looks like a Ryan Garcia, for example. I don’t understand the extreme punch for the marketing ploy here.”
Haney is being put on PPV because he has a high purse demand for his fights, which would cost his promoter an arm & a leg. Putting his fights on PPV at least helps, even if they bring in poor numbers.
“I think Haney is a good boxer in an overall exciting weight class. He doesn’t stand out to me like, ‘Oh, this guy, who among all these great fighters, all these good fighters among this fun weight class, this guy stands out as something special. Dude, I don’t see it. I just don’t,” said Malignaggi.
“I think he’s a good fighter. I think he can box. I don’t see any separation from anybody else. Usually, the intangibles that you need, like a big personality or big punching power or one of those things or being the model, looks like Ryan Garcia; he doesn’t have that either,” said Malignaggi.
Haney doesn’t have charisma, power, or great looks. He’s just a pure boxer, and has the Mayweather style that he uses, and fans that were fans of his like seeing that style reincarnated.
“So, I’m struggling to see why the push. Why the disrespect for Prograis where the promotional banner says, ‘Haney vs. Prograis’ rather than ‘Prograis vs. Haney.’ This is not Floyd Mayweather post-Oscar De La Hoya where Mayweather was doing this post-Oscar De La Hoya.
“This is not Canelo where they can fight the doorknob on the door here, and they get a million pay-per-view buys. This is not that kind of thing, and even then, I kind of had a problem with it, but at least there’s a reason to say, ‘Paulie, there’s a lot of money. The guy’s worth so much money. He generates a lot of money.’
“You kind of have to understand it, even if you don’t agree with it. I didn’t agree with it then, but I understood it. This right here, I don’t agree with it. Just like I don’t understand how DAZN influxes money into a channel that constantly loses money, and they still influx money somehow. I don’t know if they’re getting it out of the sky. I don’t get that either,” said Paulie.
Is Prograis being written off?
“I think Haney is a good boxer, a solid boxer. He’s talented, and I think it’s a good fight. I think styles make fights, and for that reason, I think Haney’s ability to control range a little bit better than Prograis gives him a slight advantage here,” said Malignaggi.
If Prograis can close the distance without getting hit too much, he’s got a chance to land some of his bombs once he gets in range. However, for him to do that, he’s going to have to be prepared to be held by Haney because he’s clearly going to be tying him up like he does all his opponents when they get near enough to get their shots off.
“Are we writing off Prograis here? He only has one loss, and that’s to Josh Taylor, who at the time, was on a roll. Is Prograis’ kryptonite, or this ability or inability to close range in a deceptive enough way to catch a guy like Haney?”
Prograis has been written off by the boxing public & media since the fight with Haney was signed. If Regis’ last fight against Danielito Zorrilla had never happened, he would likely be the favorite for this fight, as he had looked good in his four precision fights against Jose Zepeda, Tyrone McKenna, Ivan Redkach, and Juan Heraldez.
“‘In order to close range against a guy like Haney, who is very good at controlling range, you’ve got to be deceptive enough. You’ve got to have a lot of trickery to you. Otherwise, you’re going to be walking into his shots, leads, and counters,” said Malignaggi.
Prograis isn’t very deceptive, and he doesn’t have a good jab. His feet are slow, and he’s going to be getting hit a lot on the way in by Haney. Regis could wind up frustrated by the moment by Haney, and he’ll likely look at the crowd a lot to let them know that he’s dealing with a runner.
That won’t change anything, unfortunately, because Haney will keep doing what he’s been doing and stay on the move the whole fight.