Undisputed lightweight champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney will take the step up to 140lbs this weekend as he looks to wrestle the WBC super lightweight title from Regis Prograis in California.
This is an elite matchup that boxing fans have been craving and the winner will find themselves highly placed on the sport’s coveted ‘pound for pound’ list.
Haney has been built to be a star from a young age and under the guidance of his father Bill, and he made his professional debut in Mexico while still a teenager. It’s been eight years since that debut and Haney has grown into one of the finest boxers on the planet, an undisputed champion at lightweight and the proud owner of a 30-0 (15KO) record.
Haney is trained by his father but he is a fighter that has travelled for years to get the expert opinion of fighters and trainers all over the world. In the early part of his career, he leaned on the knowledge of Floyd Mayweather and more recently, he has worked with British trainer Ben Davison to make sure that every aspect of his game is constantly evolving.
‘The Dream’ has cleaned up the lightweight division in the last two years by beating George Kambosos Jr (x2) and future hall of famer Vasyl Lomachenko and this move to super lightweight seems a logical decision. The American has always been exceptionally big at 135lbs and that size should help him even further now he doesn’t have to cut much weight before fights and he has a real chance of becoming a multi weight world champion this weekend.
The impact of Floyd Mayweather is evident when you watch Haney fight. He is a pure technician with a beautiful jab and he prefers to systematically beat his opponents rather than search for knockouts. This mindset has led to a narrative that Haney ‘can’t punch’ but his record suggests different and his power should be a big factor now he is up at 140lbs.
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Hailing from New Orleans, Regis ‘Rougarou’ Prograis is a throwback fighter who brings guaranteed entertainment to the ring. With a record of 29-1 (24KO), the 34-year-old is a two-time world champion at super lightweight and his sole defeat came in London when he lost a razor close decision to Josh Taylor in 2019.
Considered the best 140lb fighter on the planet, Prograis is a dangerous puncher who can end a fight at any moment and due to this power, people often underestimate his boxing IQ. As a southpaw, he is a difficult puzzle to work out which often leads to fighters getting frustrated and leaving openings, which Prograis makes them pay for. At 34, he is no longer a young champion but four knockouts in his last five fights demonstrates he is clearly still a force to be reckoned with at 34.
This is about as good as it gets in the world of boxing with two supremely talented champions putting it all on the line for the fan’s entertainment. It’s a game of small details at this elite level and while Prograis brings the experience and power, Devin Haney is a master at finding the small holes in his opponent’s game. This is the toughest test of his career but he should be even better, bigger, and stronger now he is up at 140lbs.
Prograis will give the former lightweight champion no respect but that could ultimately be his downfall. ‘The Dream’ thrives off having his opponents walk forward and he is so effective off the back foot. By banking early rounds, Haney could force Prograis to get desperate and if he does, gaps will appear. Haney to win by KO/TKO at (13/2) is the play here.
The best fight on the undercard is between Montana Love and Liam Paro who also compete in the 140lb division. Undefeated in 23 fights, Liam Paro is an exciting contender coming out of Australia and deserves his chance at this level. He hasn’t fought in over twelve months but last time we saw him, he knocked out Brock Jarvis inside a round and that is an impressive piece of form.
Montana Love, who hails from Cleveland, has been viewed as a big American prospect for some time but he finds himself on a rebuilding mission after being disqualified in his last fight against Steve Spark. In that fight, Love was frustrated and underperforming and reacted by hurling his opponent over the ropes which didn’t sit well with promoter Eddie Hearn.
Both men have a lot to gain here but Paro looks to be the fighter with the higher ceiling. He will need to overcome some time out of the ring but there is a clear blueprint on how to beat and frustrate Montana Love and providing the Australian has a solid game plan, he can claim a win by decision here and confirm his status as Australia’s leading prospect.
BACK Devin Haney to win by KO/TKO 2pts at 13/2 (⭐
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BACK Liam Paro to win by decision 1pt at 6/4 (⭐
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