Devin Haney confused by WBC lightweight role after ‘undisputed’ snub

Devin Haney Jorge Linares

Melina Pizano

Confusion again hits the heart of the lightweight division after Devin Haney questioned his role with World Boxing Council.

It comes after the green and gold belt holder heard WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman confirm George Kambosos as the undisputed 135-pound king.

Sulaiman made the remarks during interview rounds over the festive period. Shortly later, the WBC boss then seemed to state Haney was still the recognized lightweight ruler.

Speaking during a WBC press address, Sulaiman had said: “Basically to attain those very few fighters of the highest level which (want) to take place in great fights that the fans want to see,” when explaining the Franchise role held by Kambosos.

“Canelo was the first one. As a franchise (titleholder), Canelo went on to fight in super middleweight and then at light heavyweight.

“He requested to fight for the WBC vacant championship, so he has not used the franchise designation, and he unified the whole division.

“The other one, lightweight, as I explained it yesterday — it was very complicated three years ago. Mikey Garcia kept the title frozen for a year when he moved up.

“We ordered several series of fights. Some didn’t happen. Some did happen. We ended with an interim championship, and then Lomachenko requested to fight for the vacant title, which is a great honor. We granted that he defeated (Luke) Campbell, then asked for a franchise to go in and unify the division.

“We accepted that he fought Lopez, and Lopez requested to be a franchise if he defeated Lomachenko — that’s the first change in the rule that we had.

“We adjusted where the designation can be exchanged in a high profile fight as it was with that fight, and it was with the Kambosos.

Lightweights Super Six Devin Haney Vasyl Lomachenko George Kambosos Jr. Ryan Garcia Gervonta Davis Teofimo Lopez

“What happened with the franchise in the lightweights? You can look at it today, it gave us eight, seven fights at the greatest level, and it will continue to provide many good fights.

“I am sorry for the confusion that fans may have. I’m sorry for the confusion media may have. I’m sorry for those who run the statistics like maniacs and say, ‘oh my god, what is this?’

“If you look at all record books, you will always see asterisks in some pages. I stay with the activity in the ring, and great opportunities to many fighters, and I stand proud. It is not something that is going to happen in every weight category.

“Devin Haney has the WBC lightweight title. He’s a proud WBC champion. He has grown into being a tremendous champion.

“As I’ve said, it’s a new concept. Kambosos defeated Lopez, who defeated Lomachenko, so I do believe he’s due recognition as undisputed champion and great fights to come.”

DEVIN HANEY

No sooner had Sulaiman labeled Kambosos undisputed had Haney come out to seek a mandatory order to face the Australian.

“If my belt is the “Jr” one, make me the mandatory for the “real” one,” asked Haney.

A few hours later, Sulaiman responded.

“I am so proud of our WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney who has an exemplary journey. WBC world youth, WBC International, WBC Silver, WBC Interim, and WBC World [champion].

“Four title defenses were defeating Gamboa, Linares, and JoJo Díaz. 2022 will be a sensational year champ,” he added.

But clarification by Sulaiman has done little to stem the reasoning as to why such a designation is needed.

Undoubtedly, the WBC has the power to order the most significant fights for their champions without labeling them with a separate title?

The best thing for all concerned would be to ditch the Franchise role altogether and order Kambosos vs. Haney immediately to clarify the division.

Here’s hoping.

The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.

Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.