The stupid saga of the WBC lightweight title took another turn yesterday when Mauricio Sulaiman announced his intention to reinstate champion-in-recess Devin Haney, who had been “stripped” of his title while recovering from shoulder surgery with the intention that he face the winner of Javiaer Fortuna vs. Luke Campbell upon his return. Sulaiman now states the the WBC is “taking all matters into consideration” before making a final decision, and Fortuna’s promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, has a proposal of his own.
“Haney vs. Fortuna will be a spectacular fight when it happens. However, we already have a signed contract to fight Luke Campbell,” said Lewkowicz. “I am happy to hear that Devin Haney has had a successful recovery, but I suspect the WBC will not go back on their ruling simply because it is more convenient to one fighter.
“I propose that Fortuna and Campbell face off for the interim title, and the winner must agree to fight Devin Haney within 90 days. I further propose to let Devin Haney rightfully defend his title against a contender the WBC mandates if he agrees to face the Fortuna vs. Campbell winner next. In fact, it would be a fantastic opportunity for the WBC to show off the incredible talent in their lightweight division if both fights happened on the same show, making two fantastic main events in one night.”
Honestly, I’m down. By all accounts, Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KO) vs. Campbell (20-3, 16 KO) was all but made before everything went south. No sense in upending more plans in a sport already swallowed by chaos.
As far as Haney (24-0, 15 KO), the WBC has a few options. #3 Ryan Garcia and #5 Jorge Linares look to be on a collision course and Haney already thrashed #6 Zaur Abdullaev, but #4 Yvan Mendy, #7 Richard Commey, and #8 Emmanuel Tagoe all seem available.
This is assuming Haney doesn’t just take a tune-up; seeing as he’s petitioned to immediately face Fortuna upon his return, though, he doesn’t seem inclined to pursue a gimme.