Devin Haney is aware that he has been relatively susceptible to the straight left hands of southpaws throughout his career.
The former undisputed lightweight champion from Oakland, Calif., is nevertheless confident that southpaw Regis Prograis will not have the same success as his previous opponents with that particular punch when they meet in the ring on Dec. 9 at Chase Center in Haney’s hometown of San Francisco for Prograis’ WBC 140-pound title.
Two of Haney’s last few opponents were southpaws, including Vasiliy Lomachenko and Joseph Diaz. He beat both opponents by unanimous decision. Haney’s fight against Lomachenko was his second title defense of his four lightweight titles, having earned undisputed status with a dominant points win over George Kambosos Jr. in June of last year.
Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) made it clear he has a surprise or two waiting for Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) if the New Orleans native decides to load up on left hands.
“It’s true, I fought guys that were southpaws that hit me with left hands,” Haney told FightHype.com. “It’s just part of the learning process.
“The left hand that Regis wants to land, of course, that’s what he wants to land. That’s what he’s gonna try to land. That’s for me to take away from him. I want him to throw it. He believes in the left hand, he will die by the left hand.
“I want him to throw the left hand because that’s what’s been strong, that’s what they’ve seen me get hit with the most, more than any punch. So, it’s for me to show him that he can’t hit me with the left hand because that’s what he’s strong at and that’s for me to take away from him.”
The 24-year-old Haney believes his duel with Lomachenko has only made him a better fighter.
“I feel like I just beat the best southpaw in the game,” Haney said. “The best, craftiest guy in the game. It’s only up from here.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.