By: Hans Themistode
Eddie Hearn is becoming more and more agitated with the current confusion surrounding the lightweight division.
At Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City last weekend, road warrior George Kambosos Jr. pulled off one of the upsets of the year. The Australian native stomped into the backyard of Teofimo Lopez as a considerable underdog and went on to violently strip him of his WBA, WBO, IBF, and WBC franchise titles.
Following his improbable win, Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC sanctioning body, would go on to declare Kambosos Jr. as the division’s new undisputed world champion, a distinction he bestowed upon Lopez as well.
However, with Devin Haney in possession of the full WBC title, Hearn is attempting to debunk any confusion surrounding the undisputed status of Kambosos Jr.
“Mauricio will say George Kambosos is undisputed,” said Hearn to a group of reporters. “The other governing bodies, you cannot unify with a franchise belt. Therefore, it is absolutely impossible to be undisputed with a belt that you cannot unify with. We just want to be undisputed. George Kambosos is not undisputed. The only way to settle it is to make this fight.”
Just over two years ago, the perplexing status of who is the undisputed lightweight champion began rearing its ugly head.
During an August 31st, showdown against Luke Campbell, Vasiliy Lomachenko, who was already in possession of the WBA and WBO 135 pound titles, took care of business against Luke Campbell. In doing so, Lomachenko nabbed the vacant WBC title. Before Lomachenko would go on to lose his belts to Teofimo Lopez in his next ring appearance, the Ukrainian star was elevated to WBC franchise champion, a confusing new title that was created by the WBC sanctioning body. That, in turn, saw Haney elevated from interim WBC titlist to full titleholder.
Originally, Sulaiman revealed that the franchise championship cannot be won in the ring. However, as of late, the franchise tag has exchanged hands on numerous occasions.
While Haney is proud of his current title reign, the 23-year-old never wanted to win his first championship in that way. In fact, not only does Hearn reveal the steps in which both Haney and himself took in order to lure Lomachenko into the ring, but the long-time promoter also divulged that Top Rank, the promotional company in which Lomachenko currently fights under, wanted no part in fighting the young star.
“I said to Devin Haney, who do you want to fight?” said Hearn of the conversation he had with Haney several years ago. “He said Vasiliy Lomachenko. We carved out a route to go after Vasiliy Lomachenko for the WBC title. He became his mandatory, Top Rank wanted to avoid Devin Haney and they requested him to be made franchise champion, Lomachenko didn’t.”
With Haney successfully defending his WBC crown for the fourth time in his young career against former 130 pound titlist Joseph Diaz late last night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, he’s now turned his attention towards Kambosos Jr.
While Hearn has revealed that Kambosos Jr. is their number one target, if for some reason a deal cannot come to fruition, the long-time promoter believes Haney won’t be short on options.
“We have options. A fight with Ryan Garcia, Tank Davis is a fight he would take. In time, who knows – Teo, Lomachenko is fighting in a couple of weeks. We have options.”
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