LAS VEGAS – Devin Haney has dismissed Regis Prograis as a predictable opponent who won’t know how to handle his versatility Saturday night.
The undefeated former undisputed lightweight champion promised that his boxing ability, ring IQ and diverse skill set will separate him from Prograis when they fight for the strong southpaw’s WBC super lightweight title at Chase Center in San Francisco. Those that think he’ll just cautiously box from a distance and clinch Prograis are in for a surprise, though, according to what Haney told a group of reporters during an open workout recently at the Top Rank Gym.
“We gotta see,” Haney said. “I’m coming to punch on him. We gotta see. This ain’t no Shakur Stevenson sh!t. This some different kinda sh!t, so they gonna see. They gonna see. Imma show ‘em. Imma show ‘em something different. You know, he knows he can’t out-box me. He know that for a fact. He 35 years old. He not gonna learn nothing new in one training camp.
“He gonna go back to doing the same thing that he been doing. He’s flat-footed. He gonna try to come in and throw, you know, try to put the pressure and try to land one big shot. We all know what he gonna do. Ain’t no secret what he gonna do. But what I’m gonna do, the world gonna be surprised.”
The 5-foot-9 Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) feels fresher entering this bout because he hasn’t had to squeeze himself all the way down to 135 pounds, the lightweight limit. He admitted before and after his 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko on May 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena that he wasn’t sure he would be able to go through that grueling process again.
After vacating his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO lightweight titles last week, Haney seemingly has moved out of the 135-pound weight class for good. The Oakland native will make his debut at the junior welterweight limit when he opposes Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs), who has fought at or near 140 pounds since he made his pro debut in April 2012.
The 25-year-old Haney, of Henderson, Nevada, doesn’t think the 34-year-old Prograis’ experience in his new weight class will make much difference once the bell rings to begin their DAZN Pay-Per-View main event (8 p.m. ET; 5 p.m. PT; $59.99 for DAZN subscribers; $74.99 for non-subscribers).
“When we get in that ring, that squared circle, Imma show him that I’m a dominant, better fighter,” Haney said. “There’s nothing that he can do better than me. He can try to go land, you know, one big punch and it’s gonna be a long night for him.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.