Celebrated boxing pundit, trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas has offered a detailed prediction ahead of this weekend’s WBC super-lightweight clash between Regis Prograis and Devin Haney.
Haney aims to become a two-weight world champion on Saturday as he fights his fellow American in the 140lbs division after vacating his 135lbs version of the same belt just months ago.
In an interview with Pro Box TV, Atlas explained that Prograis’ best days may well be behind him and feared that the stylistic match-up suited the challenger.
“I like Haney, other than the weight advantage, Haney has fought at higher weights but never at this level. I think that is the difference, he has never fought at this level at higher weights. Prograis is the naturally bigger guy, but I don’t know if he has already had his best fight, and it was in the one loss that he has [to Josh Taylor], but he fought a tremendous fight.
“I don’t know if the best is past him already, he didn’t look good in his last fight [against Danielito Zorrilla], it could have been the style, the style of the guy that he fought was a horrible style. A guy that is taking no chances at all, a guy who is using his legs, a guy who is [boxing] on the outside and looking for you to take the chances, looking to pot-shot you all night long.
“I think that Haney’s style is difficult for Prograis’, Prograis is going to have the burden of really having to behave the bigger guy, to come forward and bring it to Haney. Haney is longer, taller, he controls the outside, he’s a sharp-shooter, a terrific counter-puncher, a surgeon with his punches, very accurate.”
Atlas did point out that there is one flaw Haney may bring from his last outing against Vasily Lomachenko, which could prove detrimental against the harder-hitting Prograis.
“I think that Prograis will be forced to come to him, and Haney will do his thing, pot-shot, counter-punch, box brilliantly and give a lesson in the sweet science, boxing 101.
“The only X-factor for me is that, in his last fight with Lomachenko I saw a little chance, where Haney wanted to be more exciting and please the critics or please himself.
He bent his knees and he sat down [on his punches] more, he was looking to do more damage than to just beat you by boxing. I wonder if he is going to bring that same Haney, or the beginning of that new Haney, into this fight with Prograis. If he does, maybe it is a mistake.”
The card will take place on DAZN on Saturday night. Prograis and Haney top a bill that features another world title bout, as well as the return of amateur sensation, Andy Cruz.