Avila Perspective, Chap, 263: Regis Prograis and Devin Haney target San Francisco


By David A. Avila

Back in the 60s San Francisco was home to Flower Children, free love and open concerts.

Not today.

Now it’s more cauliflower ears, gentrification and professional fighting.

Welcome to San Francisco and welcome to the battle between WBC super lightweight titlist Regis Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) and former undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) on Saturday Dec. 9, at the Chase Center.

DAZN pay-per-view will stream the Matchroom Boxing card that includes Ebanie Bridges versus Miyo Yoshida.

It’s been a long time since San Francisco hosted a big-time event like this. Back in the 1890s until the 1950s the Golden Gate city was a leader in prize fighting. Gentleman Jim Corbett, Abe Attell, and Willie Ritchie, among others, were world champions from the city back more than 100 years ago.

I even have a relative who lived and fought in San Francisco from 1915 to 1930 among other cities. It’s good to see the bay city back hosting pugilism.

Prograis and Haney are kind of throwback fighters.

The challenger Haney has that classic smooth boxing style that kind of reminds me of the great Sugar Ray Robinson. He doesn’t have that shocking power that enabled Robinson to dominate the welterweight and middleweight divisions during the 40s and 50s, but he’s smooth.

The champion Prograis hails from New Orleans and kind of reminds me of Aaron Pryor, a beast of the super lightweight division during his heyday in the 70s and 80s. Who can forget Pryor and Alexis Arguello’s two epic battles? Today’s champion has some of those fierce qualities of Pryor.

Mix them together and what will we get?

Prograis, 34, has been put on the back-burner for years after losing a very close battle to Scotland’s Josh Taylor in 2019. No other world titlist wanted to risk facing the native of New Orleans who left due to Hurricane Katrina. He’s fast, fearless, has a good jaw and cracks hard.

“I’m going to hurt that boy,” says Prograis with dead seriousness.

Haney, 25, was born in San Francisco and lived across the bridge in Oakland until the age of 14 when he moved to Las Vegas. Due to his age, he began his pro career in Mexico. Ten of his pro fights took place in cantinas, small arenas and gymnasiums against unknown but dangerous fighters. When he turned 18, he ventured back home and has remained undefeated with his blend of stylistic boxing and athleticism.

“Regis is going to be trying to knock me out and that’s exactly what I need him to be trying to do,” said Haney who seeks to add a super lightweight division title to his resume. “I’m going to be stronger and faster than ever. I’m going to dominate him.”

Throughout the media week Haney and crew have been badgering and taunting the current champion Prograis. Is that a good idea?

“I’m going to hurt that boy,” Prograis reiterated.

Amanda abandons WBC

Puerto Rico’s Amanda Serrano, the undisputed featherweight world champion tossed aside the WBC featherweight title because the organization refuses to budge on its two-minute rounds for women’s boxing.

“if a sanctioning body doesn’t want to give me and my fellow fighters the choice to fight the same as the men, then I will not be fighting for that sanctioning body,” stated Serrano the seven-division world champion.

“The WBC has refused to evolve the sport for equality. So I am relinquishing their title,” said Serrano the first ever undisputed featherweight world champion.

How many other WBC titlists will follow her lead?

Already Mikaela Mayer has asked for three-minute rounds in her upcoming match with Natasha Jonas. Both publicly said they want three-minute rounds. Will the promoter for BOXXER fulfill their request?

So far, it’s really only been the WBC and various promoters who keep women at two-minute rounds.

Serrano has lit the match.

La Cobra in Long Beach

Super flyweight contender Adelaida “La Cobra” Ruiz (14-0-1) and Mexico’s Mayela Perez (19-26-4) meet eight rounds at Thunder Studios in Long Beach, Calif. on Saturday Dec. 9. The Los Angeles fighter is one of the best kept secrets in pro boxing.

Ruiz is one of those fighters that the elite vividly know about her abilities and take a pass. She is the interim super flyweight titlist, which means she is the top ranked super flyweight without a world title.

PBC on Amazon

Premier Boxing Champions with its abundance of stars such as Jermell Charlo, David Benavidez and Errol Spence Jr. just signed a multi-year deal with Amazon Prime Video to feature its more than 150 fighters on the media platform, it was announced on Thursday, Dec. 7.

Showtime announced last month that it was ending its broadcasts of boxing this year. It had been 37 years and included some of the most historic fights ever witnessed. That has ended.

Amazon stated it will be streaming boxing in 2024.

Fights to Watch

Sat. DAZN pay-per-view 5 p.m. Regis Prograis (29-1) vs Devin Haney (30-0); Ebanie Bridges (9-1) vs Miyo Yoshida (16-4); Andy Cruz (1-0) vs Jovanni Straffon (26-5-1).

Sat. ESPN 7 p.m. Robeisy Ramirez (13-1) vs Rafael Espinosa (21-0).