Regis Prograis: “Devin Haney Isn’t As Good As People Think”

Regis Prograis: “Devin Haney Isn’t As Good As People Think”

Regis Prograis says Devin Haney isn’t as good as some people think he is, and he will prove that on December 9th when he defends his WBC light welterweight title against him at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California.

Despite his low opinion of Haney’s ability, Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) is the underdog, and he’s going to need to fight well above his paygrade for him to pull off the upset against the superstar Devin.

Prograis is the B-side opponent in this fight, and he’s got to learn from the things that Vasily Lomachenko exposed in Haney for him to win.

Regis’ flaws:

  • Inability to cut off ring
  • No jab
  • Slow in adapting
  • Easily confused
  • Timid when facing aggressive fighters

Prograis says Haney lacks ability to beat him

“We’re both going to make a lot of money, and we’re only going to have one winner. That’s going to be me,” said Regis Prograis to Brian Campbell’s forum. “If I had to thank anybody, it would be Danielito Zorrilla. If that wouldn’t have happened, I’d never be getting this shot.

“He’s good, but I don’t think he has what it takes to beat me. I know I’m better. I know how fast I am, I know how strong I am, and I have a chin. Devin Haney isn’t as good as people think he is.

Haney’s flaws:

  • Fragile chin
  • No power
  • Overaggressive at times
  • Holds too much

“A lot of people look at the outside things compared to the inside stuff. Yeah, Devin Haney is good. Undisputed at 135. Is he even the best at 135? I really can’t say. I really don’t think so. I thought somebody else is the best at 135. Still, with me saying all that, I’m not overlooking him,” said Prograis.

Regis is right about Haney not being the best fighter at 135. You can argue that these fighters would all beat Haney at lightweight:

Gervonta DavisShakur StevensonRaymond MuratallaVasily Lomachenko – with quality judgesWilliam ZepedaEdwin De Los SantosKeyshawn DavisFrank MartinIsaac Cruz

Regis has been working on cutting off the ring

“Haney is someone who wants to prove himself. When the fight gets hard, and it will get hard, he won’t lay down,” said Prograis. “He’s going to be forced to lay down. That’s what I’m going to do.”

If the 34-year-old Prograis is going to knockout Haney, he will have to put nonstop pressure on him for three minutes of every round without taking rounds off, as we saw with his last opponent, Vasily Lomachenko.

It’s unclear how good of a gas tank Prograis has, but he’s not going to get Haney out of there if he fights in brief spurts, as he showed in his last fight against Danielito Zorrilla last June in New Orleans.

Regis made what should have been an easy fight into a difficult one by not keeping the pressure on and not being aggressive enough. If he had followed Arnold Barboza Jr’s blueprint on how to beat Zorrilla with pressure, it would have been an easy fight for him.

Of course, Barboza Jr. is taller, faster, and has a better jab, so Zorrilla couldn’t get away with running against him.

“I don’t think he’s going to be one of those that quit or nothing like that, but I’m going to force him to lay down,” said Prograis. “It’s going to be twelve rounds of hell. That’s what I’m prepared for. I don’t know if he’s going to be able to get out of my grip. That’s it.

“I know people are going to say ‘Cutting off the ring’ and stuff, but I’ve been working on that for four months already. Literally, everything that I’ve needed to work on, I’ve already been doing for four months. I’m prepared for anything he can do,” said Prograis.

Regis’ slow feet and the way he looked so clueless against Zorrilla, make it difficult to picture him having success cutting off the ring against a highly mobile fighter like Haney.

It probably won’t be a big deal, though, because Haney doesn’t move a lot. He’s usually putting pressure on his opponents because he wants to entertain and he’s a natural fighter. The things that Prograis must do to defeat Haney are these:

  • Getting past the jab
  • Fighting through the clinch
  • Dealing with roughhouse tactics
  • Catching him during exchanges

“If he wants to come in and fight me, if he wants to move, if he wants to jab around, and even turn southpaw. I’m prepared for anything he can do, anything,” said Prograis. “I don’t see no way that he can beat me. I’m so super confident in my ability and what I’m doing.

“It’s always a difference when you put those eight-ounce gloves on. It’s a big difference. The stuff I’m doing in training, the stuff I’m doing in sparring, it’s going to be scary with eight-ounce gloves on,” said Regis.

The confidence that Prograis has is nice, but he had the same self-belief going into his fights with Zorrilla and Josh Taylor, and he still fought poorly.

Regis should have two defeats on his record, as Zorrilla deserved a win over him last June. That was a hometown decision for Prograis because he was dropped, hurt multiple times, and outboxed by the Puerto Rican fighter.

Prograis learned from last fight

“I think there were 18,000 people in the stadium when I fought Josh Taylor,” said Prograis. “Of course, I still feel like I won the fight, but I lost. I still feel like I could have done so many other things that could have ensured me a victory or even a stoppage win. I didn’t do it.

“You learn from your defeats. You learn a little bit from your wins, but you learn more from your defeats. Even though my last fight wasn’t a defeat, it wasn’t a good fight. So you learn more from things like that.”

Prograis had better hope that he learned from the Zorrilla fight because Haney is a more advanced fighter than that guy, and he’s going to use a lot of the same tactics on December 9th. Whatever Zorrilla did in that fight, Haney will have added to his weaponry, and will come into the fight with a solid game plan to not only beat Prograis but dominate him.

“If I knocked him out in the second like I usually do with people, I wouldn’t be getting this opportunity, so I’m definitely thankful for that,” said Prograis. “To me, it was an off night. He [Zorrilla] came to run around the ring the whole time.

“You’re only as good as your last fight, and for me, I can’t wait to prove on December 9th. Me just being at home, being distracted,” said Prograis, giving excuses for his poor performance against Zorilla. “It was a mess going into that fight, and I performed bad.”

It seems pretty clear that Prograis hasn’t come to terms with his performance against Zorrilla and failing to accept that he’s a badly flawed fighter.

Losing to Josh Taylor, a fighter that was toyed with by Teofimo Lopez, should have been a wakeup call for Prograis, but he’s in denial about that fight, too. He still thinks he deserved the win against him, and he didn’t.

“I think it’s a pick ’em fight. I think it’s 50-50. You’ve got two good guys, very competitive, very smart. Regis is very smart. Haney is very smart,” said Buddy McGirt to Boxing Social about the Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis fight on December 9th.”I think it might come down to the corners.”

 

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