The Bay Area hasn't had a massive boxing card since the retirement of Andre Ward. Top Rank came back to Oakland once, but really it has been barren. That was until the Bay Area's own, Devin Haney, decided to bring a fight card to the newly opened Chase Center in San Francisco, California, to face the WBC junior welterweight champion, Regis Prograis, on December 9th.
Haney is looking to fill the void left by Ward, and left by great fighters such as George Foreman, who came from this region prior. For those living under a rock, Haney is chasing greatness, actively seeking tough opponents. His toughest fight to date will be where he was born, and his family has strong ties.
Despite some fighters recently such as Katie Taylor and Regis Prograis having underwhelming performances at home, Haney is not worried about having the same thing happen to him.
"This fight I am finally going to have my people there, I have been getting booed...for some fights now," stated Haney in a media scrum that ProBox TV News was a part of as Haney referenced having spent a good part of his career on the road fighting in other fighters hometowns. "I mean, there are so many great fighters who have performed [well] at home. We could look at the ones who didn't do well, but so many fighters have brought back big-time boxing [to their home], and put on a great performance."
Haney also spoke about the importance of making the fight available to everyone. Despite being on pay-per-view, the tickets have different tiers with affordable options. Haney stressed this was something he wanted as he wanted young people to be able to see him fight, be a part of the event, and more so, be inspired
"It is very important [to show people in my community that they can do big things], these are my people," confessed Haney. "I want to show you can make it on a big stage and bring it back [home]. That is why we made a lot of the tickets affordable so people can come, see it, and be a part of this event. It is a big event, and I am their guy, and I am going to show them that."
As for the size difference, despite having fought in a smaller weight class, Devin Haney is regarded as the bigger fighter, even though he has never fought at junior welterweight. Haney explained that fighting at junior welterweight won't be a cakewalk in terms of making the weight, and that he will need the same discipline to get the job done.
"[lightweight] was hard for me to make, but [junior welterweight] won't be easy either," confessed Haney. "I'm a big guy, my body is getting bigger. My body is maturing, my muscles are filling out, even though I am moving up in weight, it won't be easy [to make the weight]."
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