Devin Haney and Regis Prograis, are scheduled to fight at the Chase Center in San Francisco on December 9. The bout which will be available on DAZN PPV will see the return of boxing at a world-class level since the Hall-of-Famer Andre Ward used to fight at the Oracle Arena in the last decade.
Devin Haney returns to his roots for the first time with the goal of being a two-weight World champion on his mind. Haney, who is in a grey area around whether he is the undisputed champion at lightweight currently, has shifted up in weight divisions and is primed to seize this moment.
Meanwhile, New Orleans' WBC junior welterweight champion, Regis Prograis, is looking to defend his title for the second time.
Promoter Eddie Hearn, the head of Matchroom Boxing, who is promoting a show in the United Kingdom this Saturday made the very long flight to the San Francisco Bay Area just for this media event. Despite the coaches stealing the show, the numbers are an underlying theme that so far has not been mentioned.
The fight is good, yet, the numbers attached to Haney’s homecoming seem impressive so far. Despite Haney being available to the media for only roughly ten minutes in a group scrum, Hearn boasted of the sales to the event.
The fight is selling well in an unproven boxing market, that has a brand new sports arena that if this is successful might host more boxing events in the future.
“I know we are only one week or so into the promotion, but we have nearly [sold] 9,000 tickets, I think that is a huge success,” Hearn told ProBox TV News. “Getting [the] sports community of the Bay Area together to witness a great fight, and [I think] it will do really well.”
When looking online for tickets. It appears either the upper level or section is sold out or blocked out, as well as nearly the whole floor to the event is sold except for one subsection. In short, despite limited local media such as TV, newspapers, or even national coverage, the hardcore boxing pages, along with fight fans are carrying the interest of this fight.
Hearn reflected on the difference between this event, and the prior time Hearn had co-promoted an event in the Bay Area, Oakland, California, to be exact, when Andre Ward fought a fighter he promoted Paul Smith.
“When we came over to the U.S. the things we had to learn was where it works and where it doesn't,” said Hearn. “San Francisco and the Bay Area is a little bit unproven in terms of big fights. I actually was part of a promotion of a fight here between Andre Ward and Paul Smith in the Oracle [Arena] in Oakland. I wouldn’t say it was a huge success, it was okay. When you haven’t had something in a long time, and a big fight comes you hope it will do as well as it has.”
Haney himself commented on bringing boxing back to the Bay Area, and in fact, the city he was born in San Francisco in his limited media appearance when he said the following.
“It is a blessing to be that guy to bring it back, I always said I was going to bring big boxing back to the Bay Area,” said Haney to a sea of reporters inside the Chase Center on Tuesday. “I have been getting booed [when Haney won the undisputed lightweight world title in Australia from George Kambosos Jnr.], so it feels good that now I am going to have that support, and my people embracing me, but at the end of the day I still have to go in there and take care of business.”
The bout has several onions to peel back. For starters, legacy. How good is Devin Haney will be answered in this fight? Secondly, we will also learn if the Bay Area will embrace Haney, and if this region will get an annual fight card as a fighter signed to his promotion, Amari Jones is from Oakland, California, and his brother owns a boxing gym in Pittsburg, California. Three, how does the Chase Center handle as a world-class boxing venue and does Matchroom Boxing see this as an option for other events in the future such as fighters from California like Diego Pacheco or Marc Castro?
All of this will be answered shortly.