WBC reinstates Devin Haney as lightweight champion

By Boxing News - 04/22/2020 - Comments

By Jeff Aronow: The WBC has reinstated Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) as the WBC lightweight champion. The sanctioning body convened and made the decision to reinstate the 21-year-old Haney as the full WBC lightweight champion.

Haney can now make a voluntary defense of his WBC belt. Additionally, the WBC has ordered Javier Fortuna and Luke Campbell to fight for the interim WBC lightweight title. The winner of that fight will be ordered to face Haney.

Haney vs. the Campbell-Fortuna winner sets up what could an excellent match. Fortuna and Campbell are talented, and they would give Haney a real run for his money with their experience.

Haney a 2-time WBC lightweight champion

What’s interesting about Haney is he won the WBC lightweight title outside of the ring. He was elevated to WBC lightweight champion at the same time that the World Boxing Council elevated Vasiliy Lomachenko to WBC Franchise champion in 2019.

Before that, Haney was the WBC mandatory, and he had hope that he would get a chance to fight Lomachenko. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Now that Haney has been reinstated as the WBC champion, this is the second time that he’s won the WBC belt outside of the ring. On top of that, the WBC is allowing Haney to make a voluntary defense of his belt rather than ordering him to fight Fortuna or Campbell.

Haney was previously injured last November in defending his WBC 135-pound title against Alfredo Santiago. With Haney injured, the WBC promptly changed his status to ‘Champion in Recess’ and ordered Luke Campbell and Javier Fortuna to meet to fight for the vacant WBC lightweight title. However, the two fighters never fought due to the global pandemic.

In the meantime, Haney’s shoulder injury healed, and he then petitioned to the WBC to be reinstated as the WBC lightweight champion, which they have now done.

Image: WBC reinstates Devin Haney as lightweight champion

It’s not a great idea to make racial comments – Malignaggi

“He said he would ‘never let a white boy beat him?'” said Malignaggi to IFL TV on Devin Haney. “He probably wasn’t talking about Lomachenko. I assume he was talking about Luke Campbell because that’s the more viable opponent that he would be fighting.

“I don’t think he’s talking about Lomachenko. But when you’re in your early 20s, you don’t express that very well. It’s not great to make racial comments in 2020. As far as Haney never losing to a white guy, I don’t know how to take that.

“I think now the African American fighters are the most dominant in the 1970s and 1980s. Before that, it was the Italians and the Jews and the Irish or whatever,” said Malignaggi.

No one believes that Haney’s racial comment was directed at Lomachenko. Malignaggi believes that Haney meant that remark about Luke Campbell, but he’s not sure he could beat the British fighter. The 32-year-old Campbell has more experience and power in his shots than Haney. If Haney believes he can beat Lomachenko, he may be kidding himself.

Malignaggi: Haney wasn’t talking about Lomachenko

“I don’t know if Devin got the memo, but it’s now the Eastern Europeans that are dominating in boxing,” said Malignaggi. “If you’re going to bring race in boxing, there’s no one more dominating right now than the Eastern Europeans. The last time I checked, they’re all white.

“It’s best that you leave it alone. I don’t think he [Haney] was talking about Lomachenko. The fact that a black fighter can say that and not pay the price. If a white fighter said that about any black fighter at all, he’d probably lose his TV contract. Probably a TV contract wouldn’t touch him, you know?” said Malignaggi.