Regis Prograis believes his time is now.
The 34-year-old has amassed an impressive record of 29-1 with 24 knockouts and is the current WBC super lightweight champion. But it has taken him over a decade of being a professional to finally get to this moment.
WATCH: Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis, live on DAZN
Prograis will defend his title against former undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney on December 9 in a DAZN PPV at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California.
“This fight is me stepping into my superstardom,” Prograis recently told The Sporting News. “I’m finally getting what I deserve.”
It’s been a long road for Prograis to get to this point. He has come close before when he entered the World Boxing Super Series super lightweight series, captured the WBA title by stopping Kiryl Relikh and faced Josh Taylor in the finals in 2019. Unfortunately, he fell short with a majority decision loss in an excellent action fight. But the loss sent him tumbling down the mountain, albeit briefly.
Prograis would knock out his next four opponents, and with his 11th-round stoppage of Jose Zepeda he became a two-time world champion with the WBC super lightweight title in his possession. But an underwhelming split decision win in his first defense against Danielito Zorrilla in June may have been a blessing in disguise because Haney challenged him in his 140 debut and Prograis believes that outing is the reason why he landed the fight.
“Definitely,” Prograis said when asked if a subpar performance boosted Haney’s confidence to pick him for a fight. “But he is in for a rude awakening on December 9.”
Prograis has admittedly been in the gym ever since the Zorrilla fight and he’s been salivating at the opportunity to prove that outing was an aberration and not the norm. Unlike other major sports, boxers have to wait months to wash the taste of an underwhelming performance out of their mouths. Prograis is more than ready to prove that he’s one of the best fighters in the world while also making sure Haney realizes that he made the wrong choice.
MORE: Everything you need to know about Haney-Prograis
“I’m surprised he took the fight, honestly,” Prograis said about his opponent. “I’m not going to lie. I respect him for that because I’m going to beat his ass… I’m glad he took this fight because it’s going to put me where I deserved to already be a long time ago.”
Ever since the fight was announced, Prograis and Haney have been at each other’s throats and have traded barbs at an alarmingly high rate. Prograis believes the tensions were heightened the moment the two were seated at the first press conference and “Rougarou” felt disrespected when presented as the B-side despite being the reigning and defending champion.
“I’m the champion, so you aren’t going to treat me like the challenger,” he said about where the war of words began. Although he believes Haney is a good boxer, he doesn’t believe he can fight when the going gets tough and he plans to prove it when they are finally in the ring.
“I don’t see nothing great in him,” Prograis said while noting Haney’s lack of knockout power. “I feel like I’m going to shut him down. This isn’t power vs. skill, this is skill vs. skill. I have power and skill. I don’t believe he has the heart and hunger that I have. I fought for a $1 before. His dad gave him everything. I wish I could have quit school to become a fighter but I didn’t have someone to pay for that. He had the easy route. I had to get jobs to stay afloat.”
A win against Haney has the potential to be life-changing for Prograis. Aside from turning back the challenge of the accomplished 25-year-old, Prograis believes that a win would set him up for major fights moving forward.
“After I beat Devin I’m for sure a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter,” Prograis said. “And then everyone will have to fight me because it’ll be worth it.”