The journey to becoming undisputed lightweight champion just became nearly impossible for Vasiliy Lomachenko after the WBC awarded him with the "Franchise" champion tag.
During the WBC Convention, Lomachenko, who also holds the WBA and WBO lightweight titles, was "elevated" from WBC champion to Franchise champion, which carries a number of perks. But perhaps the biggest consequence of that ruling is the elevation of Devin Haney from interim titleholder to full world champion. This means that Haney will make his first world
This is the second time the WBC has named a Franchise champion with the first time happening this summer when the WBC named Canelo Alvarez the "Franchise" middleweight champion.
When the WBC named the WBC has made a list of what being the Franchise champion entails, which can be seen below.
1. The Franchise Champion designation is exclusively by appointment of the WBC Board of Governors by a majority vote of the board.
2. This designation is not transferable and is exclusively to the fighter who receives such designation.
3. The Franchise Champion will be designated as WBC Emeritus Champion once he retires from boxing.
4. The Franchise Champion will proudly represent the WBC in every single fight as a reigning WBC champion, regardless of any specific conditions or titles being associated with all future fights. WBC rules and regulations will govern under the traditional conditions of boxing in the Franchise champion fights. WBC will approve through the franchise champion promoter every opponent scheduled to fight.
5. Franchise Champion agrees to participate in a minimum of two social responsibility events every year, organized and in conjunction with the WBC.
6. The WBC may recognize a WBC champion in the division or divisions where the Franchise champion currently competes.
7. The WBC may award a Diamond Championship belt in those fights in which the Franchise Champion engages. If the Franchise Champion loses, the winner will receive the Diamond belt and may be considered as mandatory contender of the division.
There had been plans of having Lomachenko unify his three world titles against the winner of the Richard Commey vs. Teofimo Lopez bout for the IBF title taking place in December at Madison Square Garden. While plans for that fight in 2020 are still intact, Lomachenko may never get the official designation as undisputed lightweight champion in the record books due to his WBC title reign technically already over.
As for Haney, he is scheduled to fight on November 9 on the undercard of the KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 fight being streamed on DAZN. Instead of that fight being the first defense of the interim WBC lightweight title that he had won back in September, Haney, now boxing's youngest world champion, will defend his new title against an opponent that has not been announced.