Devin Haney will have to wait a while longer to prove he deserves the status of full WBC lightweight champion. The sanctioning body has named him “champion in recess” as he recuperates from shoulder surgery; Javier Fortuna, whom they ordered him to face shortly after Haney’s November victory over Alexis Santiago, has been ordered to face Luke Campbell for the vacant title. Haney will have first crack at the winner upon his return, which does not appear to have a current timetable.
This is far from the first time the WBC’s done this; super middleweight champ David Benavidez was similarly shunted aside after testing positive for cocaine. Anthony Dirrell wound up beating Avni Yildirim for the title, then losing it back to Benavidez following “El Bandera Roja’s” tune-up knockout of J’Leon Love.
Both Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KO) and Campbell (20-3, 16 KO) would be worthy foes for the San Franciscan wunderkind. “El Abejon,” though maddeningly hit-or-miss, has the talent to give anyone in the division a run for their money, while “Cool Hand” gave good accounts of himself against both Jorge Linares and Vasiliy Lomachenko alongside avenging a loss to Yvan Mendy.
We’ll keep you all informed when/if this plan comes to past.