Sunday Convo: 5 things learned from Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis & Robeisy Ramirez vs. Rafael Espinoza

Boxing fans had their cup full yesterday, as two championship fight cards were running simultaneously on separate networks. DAZN PPV hosted Devin Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) vs. Regis Prograis (29-2, 24 KOs) for the WBC junior welterweight title, while Top Rank had Robeisy Ramirez (13-2, 8 KOs) vs. Rafael Espinoza (24-0, 20 KOs) for the WBO featherweight title following the Heisman Award Ceremony. Both had some interesting stories that developed from their matchups, so here are five things learned from yesterday’s cards.


Before last night’s fight, Bruce ‘Shu Shu’ Carrington (10-0, 6 KOs) was well aware that his accomplishments this year had caught the attention of some but not most who participate in the naming of the Prospect of the Year. Carrington was oozing with confidence when he told ProBoxTV that Saturday night would be different than any other fight this year, and everyone was in for a big night from him.

Carrington delivered on that promise in a big way by knocking out the battle-tested Jason Sanchez (16-5, 9 KOs) at the end of the second round in their scheduled ten-round fight. Sanchez was supposed to be a big test for Carrington as he went the distance with former champion Oscar Valdez, Christopher Diaz & Adam Lopez. All three guys packed a big punch but couldn’t stop Sanchez. However, Carrington did last night in a big way. Not known for his power punching abilities, Carrington landed a left hook that crushed Sanchez, sending him to the canvas for the fight’s first knockdown. Carrington then jumped on him and landed one last left hook that knocked Sanchez down and out. ‘Shu Shu,’ with that performance, should be on everyone’s list as a nominee for Prospect of the Year in 2023.


Miyo Yoshida (17-4, 0 KOs) was a last-minute opponent for Ebanie Bridges (9-2, 4 KOs) and had last fought less than 30 days ago, where she lost a unanimous decision against Shurretta Metcalf (12-4-1, 2 KOs). Still, the 35-year-old, who lives in New York and is promoted by Lou Dibella, couldn’t pass up on this opportunity to fight Bridges for the IBF bantamweight title, even if it meant on a short notice.

Yoshida showed tremendous heart and the desire to win, which Bridges clearly wasn’t ready for during their fight. Yoshida beat Bridges with volume and consistency, while Bridges didn’t seem to have a plan b. The moment that tugged on everyone’s emotional strings was Yoshida’s daughter, who was ringside cheering her mom on and crying when she was announced as the winner of the fight and the new champ. People forget that boxing is sometimes the only thing some fighters have, and moments like this are ones they will cherish for a lifetime. 


Andy Cruz (2-0, 1 KO) is one of the best amateurs to come out of Cuba since Guillermo Rigondeaux. Many feel he can have a Vasily Lomachenko-type trajectory where he fights for a world title before his tenth fight. The 28-year-old lightweight had a solid pro debut, but fans immediately wondered if it was all hype. Last night, Cruz was determined to make a statement, and he did so by destroying Jovanni Straffon (26-5-1, 19 KOs) in three rounds. Cruz looks like a fighter who can compete with the division’s best soon, but some of the comments made by his promoter, Eddie Hearn, were a little over the top.

During the post-fight interview, Hearn said, “That was an absolute masterclass and a demolition. Don't tell me about these prospects at 135lbs. Give me all the top boys; this guy will beat them all. You think people like George Kambosos and Frank Martin can beat this kid now? No chance. Keyshawn Davis? No chance. This kid is super, super special. Remember the name - Andy Cruz - this is the guy that's gonna rule the lightweight division." Everyone understands that Hearn is a promoter here when he says this, but if that is indeed the case, then Cruz should be fighting a top-ten lightweight or a former champion in his next fight. Time will tell, but Cruz appears to be the goods for now.


Going into last night’s fight, Robeisy Ramirez was a -1800 favorite, according to BetOnline, which meant the oddsmakers felt Rafael Espinoza had no chance of winning. I guess no one told Espinoza that, and when he stepped into the ring, little did everyone know, he was about to be in a fight of the year candidate that most people missed. Espinoza would dominate the first half of the fight, but then Ramirez came on in the second half. Espinoza was knocked down in the fifth round but returned the favor by knocking Ramirez down in the last round. It was an absolute thriller, and what added to it was that Espinoza revealed he had a fractured foot from the second round on, but the thought of him fighting for his daughter kept him motivated to win.

Espinoza had an emotional post-fight interview, and his promoter, Zanfer Promotions, couldn’t help but become emotional as well about the situation. It was later revealed how Espinoza had to fight for the opportunity to get a working visa for the fight, so it was an emotional rollercoaster for him these past few weeks. It was another real-life Rocky moment on ESPN during a night when most fans were likely watching the DAZN PPV.


Devin Haney’s homecoming resulted in over 16,000 fans at the Chase Center in San Francisco, CA, witnessing the 25-year-old put on a master class against Regis Prograis to earn the WBC junior welterweight title. So why were there boos heard around the arena in the last round? Fans knew that Haney had the fight in the bag, but there were moments throughout the fight where he could have applied more pressure to get Prograis out of there. Haney admitted to it to an extent when he said that he felt he could have finished Prograis but that his father said to stick to the plan. That’s where things can get frustrating, as it’s what plagued Demetrius Andrade for years, which is not pressing down the pedal to finish a guy and allowing it to go all 12 rounds. 

Prograis was clearly not seeing Haney’s punches and Prograis’ corner was ready to stop the fight themselves as they felt he was taking too much punishment. Haney has been one to take fewer risks like his mentor Floyd Mayweather Jr. did for years, but does that result in boosting his profile? Will fans clamor over Haney’s next fight? It’s hard to say, but looking at the reactions on social media, it's safe to say the fans aren’t that satisfied with Haney’s performance.

You can’t satisfy everyone, but knockouts equate to views and popularity in today's climate. Ask Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, who sells thousands of tickets to his fights because he does finish his opponents or at least makes an effort to. More people were talking about Andy Cruz’s performance than Haney’s, mainly because he got his opponent out of there when he knew he had him. It’s a conversation that will continue to make its rounds through social media. If Haney has to fight Sandor Martin next, it’ll be interesting to see if he can replicate Saturday’s ticket sales and the attention it gained throughout the week.