In a recent interview, World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman was pressed about the confusing situation in the lightweight division - where currently there are three WBC champions.
Teofimo Lopez, who holds the WBA, WBO, IBF titles, is also recognized as the WBC's Franchise champion.
In the same division, Devin Haney is the WBC's regular champion - while Ryan Garcia recently captured the WBC's interim-championship with a seventh round knockout of Luke Campbell.
During that interview, with Ak and Barak, Sulaiman called Lopez the "undisputed champion" and further stated that whoever manages to beat Lopez will in turn be viewed as the undisputed champion.
However, Haney disagrees with that position.
He views himself as the legitimate WBC beltholder and says Lopez is not the undisputed champion until they face each other.
Sulaiman refuses to get involved in their dispute.
"I don't care about that, I won't going into a debate between what one said and the other responded," Sulaiman said to Boxing Social. “I have no problem [in calling Lopez the undisputed champion]. We have been very clear with each side, with each boxer. And if they want to ignore that the WBC recognizes a franchise champion, then that's their problem.
"Be it a fan, the media, a boxer, coach or promoter, whoever wants to ignore [the Franchise title] can stay in the classical era and in the stone age. We are the organization that revolutionized the sport to bring it to a new era, to the current times.
The WBC has violated their own rule, more than once, to create the current drama with three champions at 135-pounds.
Vasiliy Lomachenko captured the WBC's vacant lightweight title in 2019. Pursuant to the WBC's own rules, a boxer winning a vacant title is obligated to make back to back mandatory defenses.
Lomachenko never made a single defense and was made the WBC's Franchise champion - despite Sulaiman stating in interviews that a boxer can only receive consideration for the "Franchise" status by making at least one defense of his regular title.
The WBC was aggressively attacked over this Franchise title - and they claimed, in numerous interviews, that it wasn't really a world title. They claimed the Franchise title was actually a label that was not transferable in defeat. The WBC went back on that rule as well, when Lopez became the Franchise champion by beating Lomachneko last year.
Because of the reasons listed, Haney has been furious with the current confusion with multiple WBC champions.
"Devin Haney is a tremendous fighter, I am very proud, I am very close to him," Sulaiman said. “The WBC has supported him since before he turned pro. I knew him when he was an amateur, we greeted each other when he was an amateur and we wanted to support him. Through the WBC he has won millions of dollars... if for you that is a problem, and if for you that is doing damage to boxing, when the fighter earns millions of dollars every time he steps into the ring, that's fine. If they are going to blame me for that, I accept it.
"What matters for boxers is to earn money when they get into the ring, to be able to provide for their families and be able to do different things and obtain sponsors and be on social networks."