Benton hopes losing to Haney will open the door to big fights for Prograis

Bobby Benton has been with Regis Prograis since the two-time world champion’s fifth pro fight.

Yet when Prograis lost his WBC junior-welterweight world title to Devin Haney, Benton was a shocked observer. 

Benton never runs to the cameras. The only running he seems to do is to the gym, or running a gym. Benton was the second-assistant for Prograis’s last fight as Prograis entrusted Julian Chua to be the lead voice. 

Benton, though, is becoming famous for pep-talks during fights. He gave one to O’Shaquie Foster during the Eduardo ‘Rocky’ Hernandez fight. He gave one to Miguel Flores when he fought Abner Mares, and he tried with Prograis when he fought Devin Haney.

“Of course, I am going to always to give him a pep-talk, push him, see what I can get out of him,” Benton told ProBox TV. “It was just too far gone already. We were already down way too far to [comeback]. We weren’t landing any shots on [Haney]. Haney was smart, he kept his space real good.

“I feel like we did a lot of things wrong, not feel I know we did a lot of things wrong.”

“I knew [Haney] was going to be sharp. I knew [moving up in weight] was going to help him, but we just fought the wrong fight. I knew Haney was that good, but I feel like we could have done a lot better.”

What is next? Benton expressed the same belief that Prograis displayed in the post-fight press conference after being outpointed by Haney. Prograis stood in-front of the media and answered every question asked. His only focus, though, was becoming a three-time world champion. The path is now unclear concerning who he would fight to accomplish that, or what sanctioning body belt he’d target. 

“He is a two-time world champion, and you can’t ever take that away from [Regis Prograis],” Benton added. “I think he can bounce back from it and become a three-time world champion.”

Always the optimist, Benton sees the positives. He believes that Prograis’s awful showing opened the door to big fights in the future. Prograis was having trouble landing significant contests before, but now he might have a handful of fighters willing to face him. 

“I don’t think it is over,” Benton said. “A lot of people are going to write him off… I always try to take the positive out of everything. I think people are not going to fear him like they used to. So I think he’ll be able to get these fights that he wanted rather than having to fight [Ivan] Redkach and guys like that. He will get the big fights now.”