ESPN’s Mike Coppinger confirmed Haney’s move up junior welterweight, but also stated that his intention was to not vacate his title.
This was on the basis that after facing Prograis, the ‘Dream’ would decide on his ideal weight class.
‼️ Devin Haney has reportedly now officially informed the WBC that he will move up and challenge Regis Prograis next, not defend vs Shakur Stevenson. However, he's requested to retain his WBC lightweight world title – Shakur's team want him stripped. [According to @BoxingScene]
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) July 28, 2023
Therefore, a defeat to Prograis would not do any damage to Haney’s position as he could always go back to 135. However, this has frustrated those in the lightweight division, particularly Shakur.
The former is the WBC mandatory and has also written to the WBO to make him fight for Haney’s two belts. Such a move has given Haney an ultimatum to either fight Stevenson or vacate.
But if Haney were allowed to keep his belt, it may not be until 2025 before Shakur gets a shot. That has not gone down well with Stevenson, who was very vocal about the move.
I respect the WBC and Mauricio but cmon now y’all can’t allow him not to fight me move up in weight and hold the belts.. That don’t even make sense! https://t.co/vg1dNE0d5M
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) July 28, 2023
Haney On Prograis
Despite this being the case, Haney appears unfazed as he gets ready for Prograis.
“I’m a free agent, and everything is aligned for me to become a two-division champion against arguably the #1 guy [Regis Prograis] at 140 for me to showcase my skills at a much stronger weight.
“Weight won’t be my focus in camp. I’ll be able to be comfortable and go into the fight 100%. God willing, that I’ll be able to hold onto my 135 belts while I’m at 140 and come back and defend my undisputed belts,” Haney