Prograis accuses Hearn of favouring Haney

Regis Prograis believes their promoter Eddie Hearn wants Devin Haney to beat him on Saturday.

Prograis, at the Chase Center in San Francisco, makes the latest defence of his WBC super lightweight title, aware that the occasion represents the first fight since Haney’s return to Matchroom and DAZN.

The 34 year old had previously signed with Matchroom with the intention of consistently fighting out of his home city of New Orleans, but after doing so against Danielito Zorrilla in June, he is fighting in the city in which Haney was born.

Prograis perhaps recognises that the signing of the 25-year-old Haney, then the undisputed lightweight champion, would have been regarded by Matchroom as the greater coup – and ahead of their fight on Saturday he has told his promoter how he feels.

“I told him that,” he said. “I said, ‘Eddie, I’m gonna knock your boy out – ‘cause that’s your boy. I know it; that’s your boy; you text and stuff like that; that’s cool, that’s your boy but you gonn’ be highly disappointed’. 

“But that’s why I love boxing. Everything can go against you, but at the end of the day when you get in the ring it’s just two people, and the referee. It’s you versus your opponent. Everything can go against you; the media can go against you, but when you get in there you can’t hide. It’s you and that person and nothing else matters. The betting odds doesn’t matter; the favourite doesn’t matter; the promoter. It just matters about you and him.

“He said ‘That’s not my boy’. I said ‘Eddie, you full of shit, that’s your boy’. He said ‘He left me’ and stuff like that. I said ‘Eddie, that’s your boy, I know it’s your boy’ – ‘cause after my fight he’s got a picture of Eddie on his phone, after my fight, so they text and all that stuff. That’s his boy and I understand that, and for me that’s cool. But I told him, ‘I’m gonn’ whoop your boy; I’m gonn’ beat his ass’. 

“Yes [it frustrated me at the time] but it’s expected. Eddie’s a person – you can tell who he likes. He’s all over Anthony Joshua; he loves Anthony Joshua; he likes Devin a lot. He’s not gonna hide who he likes. He likes who he likes, and that’s fine with me. It’s cool, man. He’s a person just like everybody else – he has a side he leans towards. It’s not hard feelings. I’ma beat Devin and, we cool.”

On the undercard in San Francisco Australia’s Liam Paro fights Montana Love, having been scheduled to challenge Prograis until injury meant that he was replaced by Zorrilla.

“After this, me and Matchroom has one more fight but I’m cool with working with Matchroom again,” Prograis continued. “As long as everything goes smooth like I think it should, and don’t keep playing the favourites – right now Eddie is playing that with the Devin thing – but after this I feel like it will shift. Take care of Devin and we’ll see what happens after that.”