Devin Haney has reportedly petitioned the WBC to allow him to keep his lightweight title while he moves up to 140 to challenge champion Regis Prograis for his belt.
While it’s not a shock that Haney is moving up to 140 to challenge Prograis for his belt, it is a surprise that he’s trying to keep his WBC lightweight belt.
That’s putting the WBC in a tough position where they could be made to look like they’re showing the popular but vulnerable Haney favoritism if they let him circumvent his mandatory Shakur Stevenson.
The WBC would potentially burn their bridges with the future star Shakur if they let Haney bypass him. It’s reasonable to assume that Shakur will be bitter about it if the WBC allows Haney to put his career in the deep freeze.
Shakur Stevenson, the WBC lightweight mandatory for Haney’s 135-lb title, wants him stripped if he’s going to go up to light welterweight to challenge Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) for his belt, according to Boxingscene.
The WBC board of governors will put Haney’s request to a vote to determine whether he should keep his 135-lb title or be stripped for bypassing mandatory Shakur to try to become a two-division champion.
It’s believed that Haney’s rationale for holding onto his WBC lightweight title is two-fold. A. In case he loses to Prograis. B. To have a title to lure Gervonta Davis.
The way that Haney struggled in his last fight against Vasily Lomachnko, it’s understandable why he prefers to move up to light welterweight to face Prograis for his WBC belt.
If Haney stays put at lightweight, he would have to defend against Shakur next, and his chances of winning that fight would be slim & none.
Haney’s likely reason for wanting to retain his WBC lightweight title isn’t so that he can return to the weight class after facing Prograis to defend against Shakur. That’s not it all.
Haney is obviously hoping that Gervonta Davis will want to fight him for his WBC lightweight title, along with his other three belts at 135. If not Gervonta, Haney might opt to give Vasily Lomachenko a rematch if Top Rank makes a big enough offer to him.
Shakur would be ignored and made to wait for that fight to happen as well, and it’s predictable that Haney will petition the WBC to allow him to bypass his mandatory once again.
It would be pathetic if the WBC lets Haney do that, but this is the same governing body that has allowed Jermall Charlot to sit on his middleweight title for two years without defending it.