By: Sean Crose
On the eve of his WBC junior welterweight title fight, Devin Haney showed nothing but confidence in front of the media. Although his opponent this Saturday evening, the brash defending champion Regis Prograis, has expressed belief that Haney, whose moving up from lightweight, will not be able to take the power of his shots, Haney argued that he’ll be able to land hard himself. “I’m definitely going to be able to touch him a lot, hit him a lot,” Haney told the press, “and we’ll see how he holds up.”
Although there’s already talk of Haney moving up to welterweight after Saturday, the former undisputed lightweight champion wants to keep his mind on what’s before him this weekend. “Right now my main focus is Regis Prograis,” he said, “and after that we’ll see.” Haney has good reason to keep his thoughts on the here and now, for the fight with Prograis is going down in his hometown of San Francisco. “We worked hard to get here,” said Haney, “and now that we’re here at this massive event, now it’s time to perform.”
The fact that Haney is moving up in weight to face a fighter of Prograis’ caliber is no small thing. Again, however, Haney conveyed confidence before the media. “I feel great at 140,” he said, “stronger than I’ve ever been.” And what of the hard hitting Prograis’ assertion that he, like Haney, possesses a formidable skill set? “He showed no skills,” said Haney. “He showed power.” Haney clearly feels he’s a step above Prograis on the ability scale. “The world gonna see,” he said in reference to his upcoming performance on Saturday.
Although he’s known primarily for being a smooth ring practitioner, Haney has indicated that he’s actually going to knock heavy hitter Prograis out. “It’s going to be a round,” he said. “I don’t know what round.” This may be hype talk – or Haney may well feel that the extra weight will present him with extra power. What makes Haney impressive, aside from his ring IQ and talent is the seriousness he brings to the table. This is not a man known for horsing around. If he says he feels he can knock out Prograis, it might be wise to believe he means it.
In a world where backbiting and behind the scenes innuendo absorb a great deal of boxing’s energy, it’s refreshing to see a fighter approach the sport like an adult. “I’m a true professional,” Haney told the media. “I perform no matter what.”
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