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Devin Haney: The 135lb unification runs through me

Devin Haney says Vasiliy Lomachenko avoided him for a ‘Franchise’ title that can’t be won in the ring.

Devin Haney Media Workout Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

WBC lightweight world champion Devin Haney is currently waiting to make an official announcement of his next fight, but says this COVID-19 shutdown has provided him the opportunity to get some much needed rest so expects to be back better than ever.

The 21-year-old champion says that despite the WBC making some rulings that he wasn’t exactly fond of, he appreciates holding the green belt although he wishes he could’ve won it off Vasiliy Lomachenko (who graduated to a recently invented ‘franchise champion’ status that can neither be won nor lost).

“Ironically, the big fight never happened because Lomachenko and Top Rank petitioned the WBC not to fight me and award him the franchise title. I then petitioned the WBC to elevate me from interim champion, to full world champion, because Lomachenko chose not to fight me and I had previously beat the highest ranked fighter available.

“Let’s make this clear, you can’t win the franchise title and you can’t challenge a franchise champion. I’m 21-years old and I’m the WBC world lightweight champion and I believe in fighting mandatory challengers. The 135 lbs unification runs through me. Enough said!”

Haney went on to say that he doesn’t mind facing mandatory challengers because it sort of ensures he gets in the ring with a top challenger. Mandatories aside, though, Haney says he’s looking towards all the big names you’d hope for in a pretty packed lightweight division.

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