Matchroom promote an intriguing headliner in Haney vs Prograis at the Chase Centre in San Francisco this Saturday night, as WBC super lightweight champion, Regis Prograis, defends his gold for a second time, this time against the unbeaten former undisputed lightweight champion, Devin Haney.
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Prograis (29-1, 24KOs) is a solid operator, and the Houston resident first reigned as world champion in 2019, when he stopped Kyril Relikh in six for the WBA belt. That bout would form part of the World Boxing Super Series, and Prograis would suffer his only career defeat in the final at the O2 Arena, London, where Josh Taylor won by a razor-thin majority decision.
Since then, ‘Rougarou’ has won five times on the spin, and took the vacant WBC strap he now holds last November, knocking out Jose Zepeda in the penultimate frame. His first defence came in June, where he knocked down Danielito Zorrilla in round three, but had to settle for a split decision victory, despite winning by nine and seven points respectively on two cards.
He now squares off against Las Vegas based Haney (30-0, 15KOs), who is coming up from lightweight. ‘The Dream’ has passed every test he has faced with flying colours to date, and was upgraded to WBC lightweight champion after a spell as interim boss in 2019.
Four defences followed before he was given a shot at the remaining big three belts, and he expertly outscored George Kambosos Jr in Australia to become undisputed king. A rematch returned the same result four months later, and Haney was last out in May, taking a tight win on the cards against Vasyl Lomachenko.
Prediction: Haney could really break out in this one, and I think it will be a tough acid test for him. The smart money is for Haney to come through via decision.
Love takes on Paro and the return of Andy Cruz
A decent scrap takes place at the same weight, where Liam Paro (23-0, 14KOs) and Montana Love (18-1-1, 9KOs) clash. Australian Paro has only boxed outside of his homeland once, a split decision win over ten against Yomar Alamo in December 2021, coming off the canvas in the opener, and he was last seen last October, knocking out Brock Jarvis inside a round. Love is coming off a disqualification loss to Steve Spark, after being dropped in the second round and then throwing Sparks over the top rope in round six.
Prediction: I think Love can rebound to take Paro’s WBO Global belt on the scorecards.
More world title action comes at bantamweight, where Ebanie Bridges (9-1, 4KOs) defends her IBF title for a second time against Japan’s Miyo Yoshida (16-4, 0KOs). Bridges won the belt in March 2022, outpointing Maria Roman, and defended last December, stopping Shannon O’Connell in eight. Yoshida is a former WBO champion at super flyweight, but has lost three of her last five contests. Bridges should retain on points.
The precocious Andy Cruz (1-0, 0KOs) also sees action, and the Cuban should defend his IBF International lightweight title against Jovanni Straffon (26-5-1, KO19), possibly inside schedule.
Brazilian talent Beatriz Ferreira (3-0, 1KO) should take a points win over eight at super featherweight against Destiny Jones (5-1, 2KOs), and Amari Jones (10-0, 9KOs) can get the better of Quilisto Madera (14-4, 9KOs) inside their eight round distance at middleweight.
The sole six rounder is at featherweight, where Shamar Canal (6-0, 4KOs) can outscore Jose Antonio Meza (8-8, 2KOs).