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WBC Prez Defends Decision To Make Lomachenko a 'Franchise' Champ

World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman claims Luke Campbell has not been robbed of the opportunity to fight for the full WBC lightweight title.

Campbell was scheduled to fight Javier Fortuna for the vacant WBC belt.

The belt become vacant after Devin Haney was named champion-in-recess in December, after suffering a shoulder injury that left him unable to defend the title.

vasiliy-lomachenko (3)_5

But then Haney recovered from the injury, and made a petition to regain to his title status.

The WBC approved his request and reinstated his position as full champion.

And then the sanctioning body downgraded Campbell vs. Fortuna to bout for the vacant interim-title, with the winner getting a mandatory crack at Haney, who in the meantime will make a voluntary defense.

There is a lot of controversy with Sulaiman's actions.

Haney was initially the mandatory challenger to world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, who was elevated to the status of "franchise champion" - which allowed him to sidestep any obligation to fight Haney.

Sulaiman believes he made the right choices at 135-pounds, despite those choices creating a situation where the weight class will have three champions.

"Well, I see an opportunity for great matches to happen. To get more excitement going on. Fortuna and Campbell will fight for the 'interim' title. They had signed to fight for the title. Now Haney, with this time he has healed, so there you have an opportunity for many great fights," Sulaiman told

"Teofimo Lopez is a sensational attraction. Lomachenko, Fortuna, Campbell and Haney, so they have two years of great activity that could be happening.

"I choose the way of giving fans, millions of fans, great fights, which is what the sport is all about. If that will have a few not happy, a few confused, so be it, But I prefer to take the great activity in the ring to give millions of fans great fights."

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by ShoulderRoll on 05-22-2020

The Franchise Champion was bullsh[I]i[/I]t when Canelo got it and it was bullsh[I]i[/I]t when Lomachenko got it. At least Canelo still made an offer to fight Jermall Charlo, though. Top Rank completely bypassed Devin Haney which is what they wanted…

Comment by Monty Fisto on 05-22-2020

It's just getting worse and worse. Everyone wants one champ per weight class, but we are getting further away from that. The different organisations should be forced to rank everyone according to at least vaguely similar criteria, including other belt…

Comment by T.M.T on 05-22-2020

That franchise garbage pretty much disrespected the # contender and a fighters mandatory title shot.

Comment by Boxviewer on 05-22-2020

It's all about money money money. Sulaiman is a shameless businessman.

Comment by Citizen Koba on 05-22-2020

No sh[I]i[/I]t. Just when we thought the inequity intrinsic to the business of boxing couldn't get any worse the WBC goes the extra mile to make it worse. The job of the sanctioning orgs was suppossed to be to legitimise…

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