LAS VEGAS – Devin Haney is convinced, based on what promoter Eddie Hearn has said, that Regis Prograis didn’t want to fight him next.

The WBC super lightweight champion preferred, according to Haney, to take another tune-up bout before facing Haney, boxing’s undefeated, undisputed lightweight champion. Prograis’ supposed reluctance only enhanced Haney’s confidence as his first fight at the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds approaches.

The powerful Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) is a career-long junior welterweight and a two-time 140-pound champion who has lost only a majority decision to former fully unified champ Josh Taylor. Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) is nonetheless listed by most sportsbooks as a 4-1 favorite to win their DAZN Pay-Per-View main event December 9 at Chase Center in San Francisco, the 25-year-old Haney’s place of birth.

“I mean, I don’t know if y’all watched the ‘Face Off’ yet,” Haney told a group of reporters about their promotional preview video during an open workout recently at the Top Rank Gym. “If you look at it, I told him he never wanted to fight. He didn’t wanna fight. He wanted to supposedly fight some tune-up fights or whatever, whatever, which I don’t understand why he wanted to fight some tune-up fights. This is my first fight at 140. You just won the title, so why would you wanna go fight some tune-up fights?

“But, I mean, easy to explain. He knows the type of fighter I am. He knows that he’s gonna lose, so you know, he was trying to get as much money as he could, trying to stall and get as much money as he could. But at the end of the day, I still respect him as a real fighter because he took the fight.”

The 34-year-old Prograis suspects that it was Haney, of Henderson, Nevada, who needed convincing to take their 12-round title fight. The New Orleans native believes Haney and his father/trainer, Bill Haney, wouldn’t have agreed to fight him if not for Prograis’ subpar performance in his last appearance – a 12-round, split-decision victory over Puerto Rican underdog Danielito Zorrilla on June 17 at Smoothie King Center in Prograis’ hometown.

Judge Craig Metcalfe scored their fight 114-113 for Zorrilla (17-2, 13 KOs), who was dropped during the third round. Judges Josef Mason (117-110) and Robert Tapper (118-109) scored nine and 10 rounds for Prograis, respectively.

A little less than a month earlier, Haney edged Vasiliy Lomachenko unanimously in their 12-round lightweight championship match May 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Judges Tim Cheatham (115-113), Dave Moretti (116-112) and David Sutherland (115-113) all scored their thoroughly competitive contest for Haney, who retained his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 135-pound championships.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.