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Devin Haney SLAMS Lomachenko: He can’t become undisputed without fighting me

Vasyl Lomachenko

By Chris Williams: WBC ‘regular’ lightweight champion Devin Haney (23-0, 15 KOs) says he doesn’t see how Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) can become undisputed 135-lb champion without fighting him. The reason for that is Lomachenko holds the WBC Franchise title, which is a belt that CAN’T be lost. In other words, it’s a non-transferable title. If Lomachenko loses to somebody, he’s still the WBC Franchise champion. Haney feels that doesn’t make him the true WBC champion.

Unfortunately for Haney, World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman said last week that Lomachenko CAN become undisputed lightweight champion if he beats the winner of the December 14 fight between IBF 135-lb champion Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez. What that means is Sulaiman recognizes Lomachenko as the main WBC champion, and Haney as the secondary WBC lightweight champ. That’s not how Haney feels though. He thinks Lomachenko will STILL need to fight him after he beats the Commey vs. Teofimo winner for him to become the undisputed lightweight champion.

Haney: Lomachenko can’t become undisputed without fighting me

“He said it’s high risk, low reward. If he were to fight me, he’d get more money than if he fought somebody else,” said Haney. “The fans want to see me and him fight more than they want to see Commey or Teofimo. It makes all the sense in the world. If I was so easy, he’d fight me like anybody else. I don’t think he can become undisputed without fighting me,” said Haney about Lomachenko. “

Well, obviously Lomachenko and/or his promoters at Top Rank aren’t interested in making a fight with the young 20-year-old Haney. In the past, Lomachenko’s rationale for not fighting Haney is that he didn’t have a world title. But now that Haney is the WBC lightweight champ, Lomachenko still doesn’t feel the need to fight him.

The major reason for that is that he doesn’t need to due to the WBC making him the Franchise champion at 135. Lomachenko sees himself as the WBC lightweight champion despite Haney having won the vacant belt in beating Zaur Abdullaev by a 4th round knockout last month on September 13. With the creation of the Franchise tag, the WBC has weakened the prestige of holding their belts. If contenders feels that the goal of becoming a world champion with the WBC will result in them being secondary champions below a Franchise champ, then it makes it pointless to go after their titles. A contender would be better off fighting for the IBF or WBO belt. The WBA has more than one champion as well, so that wouldn’t be a great belt for a contender to try and win.

Lomachenko will move down to 130 without fighting me says Haney

“What it sounds like is he’s going to fight for all the belts even though he doesn’t have the WBC title any longer. He has the Franchise belt,” said Haney about Lomachenko. “I feel like he’s going to fight for all the belts, and then move down. I don’t see him fighting me, honestly. If I don’t fight Lomachenko ever in my career, it doesn’t make or break me. I’m young and I’m 20-years-old. And I’m the youngest champion in boxing.

It’s already academic at this point that Lomachenko plans on moving down to super featherweight as soon as he beats the Commey-Lopez winner. Lomachenko has already made his plans crystal clear in saying that he’s going to be vacating ALL his lightweight titles if/when he defeats the Commey vs. Teofimo winner in early 2020. Haney isn’t in the picture for Lomachenko, who will be moving back down to super featherweight to fight the belt holders in that weight class.

Haney will need to become a star without taking the aging Lomachenko’s scalp. It’ll obviously make things a little more difficult for Haney to become a star overnight, but he can still attain that status at some point. Haney has got the age on his side in being young, and already a world champion. Haney is the youngest world champion in boxing right now. He’s not going to waste time trying to collect all the lightweight titles once Lomachenko vacates the belts.

Devin to move up to 140 in 2020

Haney wants to get a big fight in 2020 against Luke Campbell, and then move up to 140 to win the belts in that weight class. It’ll be easier for the 5’8″ Haney to make weight for the light welterweight division, and he can go after IBF/WBA champ Josh Taylor and WBC/WBO champion Jose Ramirez to unify the division.

The 140-lb division is a much better division for Haney to be fighting at, because there are more name guys that the casual boxing fans are familiar with than at lightweight. At light welterweight, Haney has the following interesting fights available to him:

  • Josh Taylor
  • Jose Ramirez
  • Regis Prograis
  • Ivan Baranchyk
  • Subriel Matias
  • Viktor Postol
  • Kiryl Relikh
  • Mario Barrios
  • Rances Barthelemy
  • Jose Zepeda
  • Pablo Cesar Cano

It’s likely that Haney won’t bother staying at 140 to fight most of those guys, as the bigger money fights are at 147. However, Haney will need punching power for him to campaign at 147.  It’s possible for Haney to still dominate at 147 the Floyd Mayweather Jr. did without being a big puncher, but he’ll need to retain his hand speed, and be more defensive.

Haney’s opponent for November 9 to be announced

“On November 9th, I’ll be defending my world title,” said Haney. “Peter Petrov is no longer my opponent. We should have an announcement in a day or two. But he’s a guy ranked in the top 15,”

Haney won’t be fighting Peter Petrov on November 9th on the KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 card on DAZN. From the sounds of it, Haney will be facing a fringe contender in the lightweight division. It’ll be someone like this:

  • Sandor Martin
  • Lewis Ritson
  • Mohamed Mimoune

This will be a last minute opponent, so you can’t expect Haney to be facing one of the top 10 contenders. He’s someone that will likely be avoided anyway by the top contenders, because he’s looking unbeatable right now. Haney hasn’t become a big enough star to attract the top contenders to want to fight him. In other words, Haney is more trouble than he’s worth right now. It’s the same situation Floyd Mayweather Jr. had earlier in his career before he became a star in boxing. The paydays his opponents would get fighting him didn’t jump until he became a big star in 2007 after he beat Oscar De La Hoya.

Luke Campbell on the target list for Haney in 2020

“In 2020, I want that big fight maybe with Luke Campbell, and then move up to 140. 135 isn’t easy to make, and I’ve been here for a long time,” said Haney. “Why didn’t he just fight me? He could have got me out of the way. If he could have beaten me so easy, why didn’t he do it?”

#2 WBC Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) is a guy that Haney wants to fight in 2020, as it would play out well to face him in the UK. Campbell gave Lomachenko a lot of problems in losing a 12 round unanimous decision to him on August 31. With Lomachenko moving back down to 130, Campbell is one of the best remaining fighters. Haney can raise his popularity quickly if he does a better job beating Campbell than Lomachenko did. Loma has problems with Campbell’s size, and punching power. Even though Lomachenko beat Campbell by a wide set of scores, the fight was anything but easy for him.

Haney says Lomachenko asked to become Franchise champion

“This is my first world title. It didn’t happen the way I thought it would,” said Haney. “Lomachenko and his team asked to become Franchise. They’re happy about it, and he wanted it to happen. If it didn’t happen like that, I would be his mandatory, and he would have to come see me. I don’t know. It’s boxing,” said a smiling Haney when asked if Lomachnenko ducked him. I’m the mandatory for your guys #1 pound-for-pound on their list. He seems bitter for some reason. Obviously, he said it’s because I wanted too much money when they wanted to sign me,” said Haney about one of the Top Rank promoters.

There is no reason for Lomachenko to have wanted the Franchise tag with the WBC other than to use to veer around Haney. It’s unfortunate but that’s the way it is. Haney should see it as a compliment to him that Lomachenko didn’t want to mix it with him.

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