Regis Prograis denies suggestions of Devin Haney's 'hometown' advantage

Regis Prograis has dismissed suggestions that he is defending his WBC super lightweight title in Devin Haney’s hometown. 

The 34 year old on Saturday enters the biggest fight of his career against Haney, at the Chase Center in San Francisco, where Haney was born.

Prograis’ most recent fight came in New Orleans, where he was born and raised, but after defeating Danielito Zorrilla that night in June he spoke of the pressure he had consequently felt.

A long-term resident of Las Vegas, Haney is fighting in San Francisco for the first time in his 31st professional fight. In May he impressively defeated Vasyl Lomachenko at the MGM Grand in Vegas, but he was also booed throughout. 

In the region of 17,000 fans are expected to attend Saturday’s fight – Haney’s first at 140lbs after he twice successfully defended the undisputed lightweight title – but Prograis believes that they are attending because, like those in Vegas, they want to see Haney suffer his first defeat.

“It’s not his backyard,” he said. “Stop that shit, bro. Devin lived here; he left when he was seven. He’s from Henderson, Nevada. This is not his fucking backyard. 

“I’m going to gyms; I’m running down the street. People are stopping their cars and they’re like, ‘Man, stop Devin, man; you gotta beat Devin, man – we don’t like him’. How is that his hometown? If Devin did that shit in New Orleans, ain’t nobody that ever gonna do that shit about me. How is this his hometown? 

“He left when he was seven years old. This is not his hometown. People keep saying that. Yeah, he’s from here – maybe his daddy got ties here. [But] Devin is not from here, bro. Literally, we ran and stuff yesterday on the street, and people are pulling over in their cars, off the street, pulling over, ‘Man, you gotta whoop Devin’s ass, man. Fuck Devin.’ All that shit. ‘Fuck the Haneys.’ All that. How is they from here – [if] the people on the street here feel like that?”

Asked about the expected attendance, the 25-year-old Haney, whose team have long adopted a siege mentality often built on suggestions that Shakur Stevenson and Gervonta “Tank” Davis were superior lightweights, responded: “It’s been a long time coming. They don’t want to say that though. 

“They don’t want it to be known that they opening up more seats; that I’m selling out the Chase Center. We’re probably gonna do 17,000, 18,000 people; they don’t want to talk about that. They say ‘Devin Haney can’t sell’ though, right? That’s what they say. They say I’m boring; I’m this; I’m that. But when I sell, they don’t wanna say nothing. 

“Me and [Vasyl] Lomachenko did 17,000 too. They can say what they wanna say; [George] Kambosos [Jr, in front of] 44,000. It is what it is. I clearly sell. But it is what it is. What can I say? The people who say it – they know who they are.”

Told that Prograis had claimed that those preparing to attend aren’t Haney’s fans, Haney then sarcastically said: “Oh yeah for sure, yeah. Yeah. 

“All the tickets come from him. It’s selling out because of Regis. Regis is doing a great job.”