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Gervonta Davis: Not Haney's WBC Title Until He Fights For It!

LAS VEGAS – Gervonta Davis doesn’t consider Devin Haney a real lightweight champion.

Not yet, anyway.

The former junior lightweight champ criticized how Haney became the WBC’s 135-pound title-holder during a lengthy interview with reporters recently at MGM Grand.

“I mean, it’s not his title till he – I’m not taking nothing away from him,” said Davis, who’s the WBC’s No. 1 contender for Haney’s title. “But it’s not his title until he actually fight for it. I don’t care. It could one of y’all he could fight for it. But once he fight for it, then it’s handled. But you can’t just give nobody a title.”

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Davis referred to the WBC elevating Haney from its interim lightweight champion to world champion status during its convention two weeks ago in Cancun, Mexico.

The WBC changed Haney’s standing because the Mexico City-based sanctioning organization declared Vasiliy Lomachenko its franchise champion within the 135-pound division. Ukraine’s Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) won the then-vacant WBC lightweight title by out-boxing England’s Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) to win a 12-round unanimous decision August 31 at O2 Arena in London.

Haney had hoped to battle Campbell for the WBC lightweight title Mikey Garcia gave up when he jumped up two weight classes to challenge IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr. on March 16 in Arlington, Texas. Rather than sanctioning a Haney-Campbell clash, the WBC ordered a Lomachenko-Campbell bout, even though Lomachenko, who owns the WBA and WBO lightweight crowns, wasn’t ranked by the WBC.

Less than two weeks later, the 20-year-old Haney (23-0, 15 KOs) stopped Russia’s Zaur Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KOs) following the fourth round to win the WBC’s interim lightweight title September 13 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Haney then wanted the WBC to mandate a bout between him and Lomachenko. Instead, the WBC granted Lomachenko the same designation it afforded Canelo Alvarez in the middleweight division four months ago.

Las Vegas’ Haney will make his first defense of the WBC lightweight title Saturday night in Los Angeles. He’ll face the Dominican Republic’s Alfredo Santiago (12-0, 4 KOs) on the Logan Paul-KSI undercard at Staples Center (DAZN; Sky Sports Box Office).

Meanwhile, Baltimore’s Davis (22-0, 21 KOs) is preparing to face Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-2, 18 KOs) on December 28. They’ll square off in a 12-round lightweight fight Showtime will televise from State Farm Arena in Atlanta. 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Punch on Tap on 11-10-2019

Tank is only being slowed down by his promoter. I feel 2020 is going to be a huge year. This whole notion that Tank is ducking Loma is a nonsense. Neither Loma nor Tank are ducking anyone. Stop it. These…

Comment by markther on 11-10-2019

I don’t normally agree with Tank but I have to right here. I mean Haney won the “interim” WBC belt against Abdullaev who only had 11 fights going in. Although Andullaev did beat Hank Lundy who already had 6 losses,…

Comment by T.M.T on 11-10-2019

[QUOTE=factsarenice;20179067]Fact checking tells a different story. Lomachanko actually beat the champ for the WBC belt and now he's fighting for unification. After the or lose...Loma is moving back to his natural weight class because 135 is just too big.…

Comment by REYESdelBOXEO on 11-10-2019

[QUOTE=TheIronMike;20180778]exactly, Late replacement dumbass. He was prepared to fight peter pretrov[/QUOTE] 😂 U mad bro? Haney has A Lot of work to do to live up to all the hype he’s been getting with out earning any of it yet.…

Comment by Shape up on 11-10-2019

[QUOTE=factsarenice;20178997]Translation, I'm not fighting Haney. Gervonta has a black belt in avoidance.[/QUOTE] Yeah, avoida davis

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