Opinion: Despite stark claims, Devin Haney is not seen as the WBC champ
Devin Haney is gearing for his clash with Yuriorkis Gamboa by suggesting Teofimo Lopez is not the real World Boxing Council champion.
The 21-year-old, who has never won a world title in the ring, holds the WBC lightweight strap by appointment from President Mauricio Sulaiman.
To add further confusion, when asked by Sirius XM who the real ruler was at 135 pounds, Sulaiman said: “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.”
Now, if you take a consensus with fans, there was only one WBC title-holder, and that was Vasyl Lomachenko. He won the strap in 2019 and was the rightful champion.
Haney was handed the belt when Lomachenko was given ‘Franchise status’ – an accolade not recognized by fans. They still saw Lomachenko as the real champion.
Therefore, the American has made ludicrous claims suggesting Teofimo – who beat Lomachenko last month, is holding a make-believe strap.
Amongst fans, this certainly is not the case. Many see Haney as the false ruler and want the WBC to remove his title.
Despite this fact, Haney also spoke to Sirius XM to state the following:
“I wish it was me in there against Lomachenko. I don’t take anything away from him, but that fight and matchup were made for me.
“-When it comes to Teofimo Lopez, he’s a good boxer. He and Top Rank are trying to brainwash the fans when it comes to me, though. He’s not undisputed. If your next opponent isn’t Devin Haney, you can’t claim to be undisputed.
“The WBC themselves say that Teo isn’t undisputed. Top Rank is simply trying to brainwash the fans,” he added.
Part of what Haney said is true. Lopez should face him next as the WBC’s mandatory challenger. But not as a fellow champion. That’s just a wrong move to muddy the waters.
DEVIN HANEY on TEOFIMO
But airing his views on the Lopez win, Haney said: “I didn’t think Teo would beat Loma. I thought Loma would be too smart for him.
“You never know how a fight will play out until you get in that ring.
“The top lightweights and Teo don’t want me. That’s why he’s trying to say he’s accomplished everything at this weight class.
“I’m only 21 – I have so much time in this game left. Teofimo is not a megastar, and I won’t chase him.
“Teofimo needs to stop playing with a fake title and make a fight with me happen.”