By: Sean Crose
Provided there’s no draw or disqualification, Saturday’s Regis Prograis-Devin Haney junior welterweight title bout will present the sport of boxing with a legitimate new star. While both Prograis and Haney are popular and well regarded, neither man has reached the point in his career where he is widely considered a true giant in the sport. That, perhaps, is what makes this weekend’s match, which will go down at San Francisco’s Chase Center, so fascinating. While the WBC junior welterweight title is at stake (it’s currently in Prograis’ possession), the chance both these fighters have of attaining stardom makes the scheduled 12 rounder all the more relevant.
With Prograis-Haney being broadcast on DAZN pay per view, there’s an argument to be made that, since neither fighter has the ability to bring in a large number of buys, their fight, relevant though it is, should not cost fans any more than a monthly streaming payment. This, however, is the world of contemporary boxing, where even fights that once might have occurred on the undercard of a cable broadcast’s main event now cost fans close to one hundred dollars to see live. Having said that, there’s no denying that this match is intriguing, as well as relevant.
The 34 year Prograis has turned out the lights on 24 of his 29 opponents, having gone the distance only six times in his professional career. What’s more, only one of those fights ended in defeat – a close encounter with the then undefeated Josh Taylor back in 2019. Brash, hard hitting, and fast, the New Orleans’ native is colorful both in and out of the ring. Prograis has certainly been talking a great deal in the leadup to this weekend’s showdown. Whether or not he’s managed to get inside Haney’s head remains to be seen.
As for Haney, the 25 year old has gone undefeated since starting his professional career back in 2015. With a record now standing at 30-0, the polished and determined San Francisco native is clearly looking to impress in front of a hometown crowd Saturday night. Having bested the likes of Vasyl Lokachenko, there’s no doubt Haney has the more impressive resume. Little surprise then that it’s Haney whose favored heading into the weekend. Yet it’s Prograis’ weight class that Haney’s entering on Saturday, as well as Prograis’ title that he’s fighting for. With much more than a world championship at stake, then, there’s no reason in the world for each man not to bring his A-game.
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