By: Hans Themistode
Devin Haney fought long and hard to be called a champion once again. But this time, he didn’t have to step foot inside of the ring.
Instead of sitting on the sidelines like the rest of the world while the Coronavirus continues to be dealt with by medical officials, Haney took this time off as an opportunity to regain what he never lost in the first place. The WBC Lightweight title.
Haney first won the title with an easy stoppage win over Zaur Abdullaev. It was an interim title at first, but with the WBC handing out more belts than necessary, unified champ Vasiliy Lomachenko went from full title holder to Franchise champion. A distinction many still don’t fully understand.
Haney didn’t want to be simply handed a belt. No, he wanted to fight for it. Nevertheless, he was awarded the belt and made one successful title defense against Alfredo Santiago. From there, Haney was set to take on the biggest test of his career in multiple division champion Javier Fortuna.
While Haney has never turned down an opponent, he was forced to this time with a shoulder injury which led to surgery. Haney was then stripped of his title and made “Champion in Recess.” What that officially means is that once Haney was fully recovered, he could fight for his title immediately.
In the meanwhile, Fortuna was ordered to take on multiple title challenger Luke Campbell for the vacant belt. That contest, along with every other bout on the boxing schedule was forced to cancel due to the Coronavirus.
Never has there been good news that came from the virus, but Haney became the first. He petitioned to have his belt returned to him since boxing is on hold and is now 100 percent healthy.
“I feel like they should reinstate me—I was stripped because they felt I wouldn’t be active to fight my mandatory,” Haney pointed out prior to filing an official petition with the WBC. “But the two (top contenders) never fought.”
“So, what sense does that make? If I’m ready to fight the mandatories… let’s make this happen.”
His petition was heard and granted as he is now the WBC champion once again.
The moment boxing returns to its regular schedule, Fortuna will get his shot at a title. But for Luke Campbell, that effectively leaves him out of the loop.