WBC will define Lomachenko vs. Haney situation next month at convention
By Chris Williams: The World Boxing Council will be meeting next month at their convention to decide the situation between WBC lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko and interim WBC champion Devin Haney. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman points out that Devin isn’t the WBC mandatory to Lomachenko. He’s the interim WBC lightweight champ, and not in a position to face Lomachenko as the mandatory challenger.
Even if Haney was the mandatory, the WBC won’t order the Lomachenko-Haney fight, as they don’t want to get in the of the undisputed lightweight championship between Lomachenko and the Richard Commey vs. Teofimo Lopez winner.
Lomachenko won’t be fighting for the remainder of 2019 says Sulaiman
Mauricio stated this month that Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) will not be fighting again this year. He’ll be waiting to face the winner of the Richard Commey vs. Teofimo Lopez in 2020 for the undisputed 135-lb championship. In the meantime, Haney will need to continue fighting other guys until the smoke clears from the eventual winner of the lightweight undisputed championship.
The WBC won’t stand in Lomachenko’s win to prevent him from trying to accomplish that task, according to Sulaiman. WBA/WBC/WBO champion Lomachenko, 31, wants to win the IBF lightweight title, which is the last remaining belt not in his possession.
“At its upcoming Convention next month, the World Boxing Council will define the situation of Lomachenko and Haney,” the WBC said on their website on Thursday.
Sulaiman says Haney was happy to fight for interim WBC title
“Once he [Lomachenko] won the title, he’s not going to fight for the rest of the year,” said Sulaiman in an interview with Boxing Social on September 13th about Lomachenko taking the remainder of 2019 off after capturing vacant WBC lightweight title. “He’s going to take a rest, and he’s looking for a major event next year. You have to put that in the balance. What are you going to do? You have rules, but your rules cannot go against the sport. It’s absolutely clear that Lomachenko is a major force in the sport, and Devin Haney and Abdullaev requested to have their fight for the interim title fight instead of a final elimination.
“They are very happy to fight for the interim title knowing that Lomachenko won’t be fighting for a long period of time…So we are not going to abuse the mandatory rule in Lomachenko. You cannot force a major champion for something that’s not just because that champion wants to fight big fights, and big events for the growth of the sport. We’re not going to strip Lomachenko for not fighting the winner of tomorrow [Haney vs. Abdullaev fight], because it’s not fair. Let’s build the mandatory when the mandatory is really ready to fight the champion,” said Sulaiman.
With Haney not even being the WBC mandatory, it means that Lomachenko could in theory return to the ring before the end of the year to fight without being forced to defend against Devin. There’s no word from Top Rank about Lomachenko wanting to fight again this year, but he’s free to do that.