Haney planning residence in San Francisco

Devin Haney hopes that Saturday’s fight with Regis Prograis will be the first of many in San Francisco, the city of his birth.

After vacating his remaining lightweight titles – until agreeing to move to 140lbs to challenge Prograis for the WBC title he had been the undisputed champion – the 25 year old is fighting to become a two-weight world champion at the Chase Center. 

Haney is a long-term resident of Las Vegas but was booed throughout the fine performance he produced to outbox Vasyl Lomachenko in May, after which his promotional agreement with Top Rank concluded.

He and Top Rank discussed the possibility of a rematch with Lomachenko before he instead committed to Matchroom to fight the 34-year-old Prograis and bring to an end his time at lightweight. Before doing so he also considered signing for the Saudi Arabia-based Skills Challenge Entertainment.

After his unconvincing victory over Danielito Zorrilla – shortly after Haney-Lomachenko – Prograis spoke of the pressure he had felt under fighting in his home city of New Orleans, but Haney, potentially in a similar position, said: “It’s a dream come true [to be fighting in San Francisco]. I’ve always dreamed to be coming back home. What a big event. We’ve done 17,000 tickets so far, so it’s amazing. The people that are supporting it and everything – I’m excited for the fight.

“I trust Allah – I trust God. You know, I have no control. I give Allah all the control and, you know, he prepared me for this moment and this moment came. I’ve been wanting for this moment to come for a long time where I get to go back to fight at home, and you know it’d be a big thing, and now it’s here. It’s because of Allah. So I feel no pressure. I’m excited for it – anxious for it. And you know, I’m prepared very well.

“I definitely do [expect to continue fighting out of San Francisco] But, you know, once I’m victorious – yeah, we could talk about that. But you know, I definitely want to come back to the Bay [Area], and also want to do a fight in the Middle East as well.

“Saudi Arabia; Dubai; Abu Dhabi; all those places. The Middle East, and in general. I’m a Muslim, and I love to be fighting in front of my people – my Muslim brothers and sisters.”

Asked about the reports of talks with Skills Challenge Entertainment, he responded: “There was definitely truth to it. It just didn’t come to fruition. You never know what the future holds, but it didn’t come into fruition.

“We all know that the money is crazy over there, but I definitely would like to fight over there, just like I’m fighting in San Francisco in front of my people – my day-one fans, family and friends and all that, and the same thing with fighting in front of my Muslim brothers and sisters [in the Middle East].”