Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis Fight Analysis & Predictions
Devin Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) vs. Regis Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs)
When: Saturday, December 9, 2023
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
Weight Class: WBC 140-Pound Championship Fight
Betting Odds: Devin Haney (-450), Regis Prograis (+300)—Odds by Bovada – A bookie where you can bet on the fight live-in-progress!
Devin Haney battles reigning champion Regis Prograis for the WBC 140-pound belt on December 9. The belt-holder is no easy-pickings, with only a majority decision loss against Josh Taylor separating him from perfection in the ring. He has been near the top of the 140-pound class for a while, is a respected puncher, and represents a tough out for anyone at this weight. He last fought in June with a split decision over Danielito Zorrilla. Haney, meanwhile, is coming off what was a somewhat-disputed decision over the still-excellent Vasyl Lomachenko in May, as he now moves up to another weight class. Will he continue his run of wins, or will he run into a brick wall in the form of Prograis?
Haney is the unbeaten A-side of this equation, pitted against an aging longtime stalwart of the 140-pound class in Prograis, a loser only once in a career nearly a dozen years old. It’s a high-level matchup where you can either figure the younger and more highly-regarded Haney pulls through or that the hard-hitting Prograis represents some nice underdog appeal. It’s not like Haney has appeared invulnerable, but at 25, nine years Prograis’ junior, he has earned his status as a decent-sized favorite.
I think the trouble for Prograis is that despite a long career, world championship success, and some nice wins, he has never really scored the kind of win that would strike fear in the hearts of Haney backers. But he has ridden his power pretty far and before his last fight, had four straight KOs since losing to Taylor in ’19. But struggling with Zorrilla in his last fight wasn’t a great look for Prograis, who was in his hometown. With Haney having scored two wins over George Kambosos, a win over Lomachenko, and some other big wins, he is actually the fighter with the more-impressive resumé, despite fewer fights and almost a decade his opponent’s junior.
Prograis is a hard puncher, a well-schooled and very “together” fighter. I just question whether we’ve already seen his best, which is just below the category of elite. In a different day and age, Prograis would be a contender, a good fighter who gets some big fights and even wins a few, without ever really becoming the top guy in his weight class. Haney has already shown himself to be something different, coming off a run as undisputed lightweight champion and distinguishing himself as a possible pound-for-pound type guy, a list he has already cracked.
Nobody ever had those hopes for Prograis. He is a good fighter, one of the best in his class. He doesn’t have anything resembling a signature win, with the top 4-5 wins of either fighter in this matchup belonging to Haney. Prograis is a strong fighter who moves forward and tries to land that big left. Haney has more dimensions. He is longer than Prograis, able to use long-range boxing while also not being lost when the action goes more to the inside. I see Prograis as more the bull and Haney the matador—able to change distance and tempo while using his sharp jab to control the southpaw Prograis.
Haney is sharper and fresher. He has more options. He is crisper. That doesn’t mean Prograis is without hope, but it just means that he’s relying on things that don’t surface with the same reliability of what Haney brings to the table. It’s just that if you were picking against Haney, you’d like to see the opponent have some compelling trait, not just a stiff punch. And while it feels silly to call out a once-beaten titleholder, in this context, it’s only fair to cite what is a certain one-dimensional quality he has shown. Albeit, that one dimension yielded a level of success that would be the envy of 99% of fighters, so let’s not go overboard in poo-pooing the prospects of a guy like Prograis.
I still think the result of this fight comes down to how well Haney executes. Stepping up to a new weight class and having that come against a dangerous fighter, I’d expect an alert version of Haney, one who minds his Ps and Qs as he navigates the ring with caution, using his superior movement to keep Prograis from setting up shop for his power-offerings. I’d expect a heavy dose of the jab, something Taylor used well in Prograis’ only career defeat. And while his KO percentage of just 50% and the fact that he’s moving up in weight makes it seem that the power is in the hands of Prograis, let’s not forget Haney can sting, and Prograis was dropped in his last fight. If Prograis is starting to wane, and that was a sign of some chin-diminishment, Haney has enough pop to exploit that.
I’m going with Devin Haney, keeping in mind that there is ample danger in this fight. We’ve seen Haney’s legs act a little funny before, and Prograis is more than capable of eliciting that kind of response if he lands clean. I just think the narrowness of his path to victory is a drawback, with Haney holding the key in all other areas, one of which he will use to open the door to victory in this matchup with Prograis. I’ll take Haney in this one.
My Prediction to Win the Fight:
I’m betting on Devin Haney at -450 betting odds. He’s the younger, more versatile fighter with edges in boxing ability, freshness, and crispness. Over a 12-round fight, I see him doing the more eye-catching work in a fight where Prograis might have to win eight rounds to a get a draw fighting in Haney’s hometown of San Fran. Bet the fight for FREE by taking advantage of one of numerous 100% sportsbook bonuses!