Devin Haney Reinstated As WBC Lightweight Champion; WBC Sanctions Fight For Interim Title

Devin Haney is back as the WBC lightweight champion.

The organization announced that Haney, who was previously designated as WBC "Champion In Recess," is back as full champion, ending a saga surrounding the title that began last year. 

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As part of the ruling, Haney will be allowed to make a voluntary title defense before having to make a mandatory title defense. The WBC also announced that it would sanction a fight between Javier Fortuna and Luke Campbell for an interim title where the winner would face the winner of Haney's voluntary title defense next.

Originally, Haney won a fight against Zaur Abdullaev in September to capture the interim WBC title. Once Vasiliy Lomachenko, who also holds the WBA and WBO titles, was elevated from WBC champion to Franchise Champion, Haney was then elevated as the sole titleholder.

Since then, the WBC looked to name a new mandatory challenger to the title. At first, the WBC sanctioned a title eliminator between Fortuna and Jesus Cuellar in November, which Fortuna won. A month later, Haney was named "Champion In Recess" due to being injured and unable to face Fortuna.

That's when the WBC decided to sanction a fight between Fortuna and Campbell for the now-vacant title that was supposed to take place on April 14. The fight never happened due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and on April 8, Haney's team provided documentation showing that he is fully healthy and ready to fight whenever, requesting to be reinstated as champion as no new titleholder was named in his absence.

Haney, the unbeaten lightweight promoted by Matchroom Boxing, last fought in November on the undercard of the KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 fight in Los Angeles, retaining the WBC title with a 12-round decision win against Alfredo Santiago.

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