Confusion still reigns regarding who holds the WBC lightweight belt, Teofimo Lopez or Devin Haney. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has now addressed the situation.
Teofimo Lopez defeated Vasyl Lomachenko to become the WBC Franchise lightweight ruler. Simultaneously, Devin Haney is already a two-time champion without winning the belt inside the ropes.
Sulaiman spoke to ‘The AK and Barak Show’ to formally outline his view.
Asked if Lopez or Haney was the real title holder or whether it was both of them, Sulaiman told Sirius XM the following: “It’s both of them.
“Teofimo Lopez is the Franchise champion, and he has all these benefits.
“The world champion for the WBC division is Devin Haney, and he has the commitments to fight the winners of Garcia vs. Campbell and Linares vs. Fortuna.
“I would love to see Lopez fight Haney. That would be an amazing fight, but we are not promoters, and we are not matchmakers.
“The initial concept of the Franchise belt was that you could not lose it in the ring. But when the fight gets made, Lopez and Top Rank engage in discussions with the WBC. It only makes sense that having this fight of this magnitude that Lopez would take all those benefits.
“It would be ridiculous to have Lomachenko as Franchise and Lopez (also as) Franchise, so it was up for grabs this fight.”
On Haney, he added: “I am very proud of Devin Haney. I like him so much but social media is so complicated.
“I’ve been reading about what people have been saying about me after a podcast I did. I tell my kids not to read it because they would be going crazy if they read it.
“I saw it and it was 50 comments – all of them bad. But if I take it bad I would in my room crying. Luckily, I know how to read social media.
“I hope he has a great fight on December 7th, and I appreciate him and his dad.
“If they feel let down for whatever reason, I hope they understand the process and that this is just building his career for the great fights,” concluded Sulaiman.
Lopez and Haney seem unlikely to fight in the first half of 2021. At the same time, the WBC won’t be under any pressure to order a mandatory encounter.