After dealing with a tangled web of technicalities, Devin Haney has been reinstated as WBC lightweight champion of the world.
"As of now, I am the WBC champ," Haney confirmed with DAZN News on Wednesday. "It was announced today by the WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman. He announced that I am the WBC champ. We don't know what will happen with (Javier) Fortuna and (Luke) Campbell, but as of now, I am the current champion."
Haney emphasized "as of now" because the WBC title picture still needs clarification. That's because, after Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) scored a unanimous decision over Alfredo Santiago in November, he began negotiating terms with Fortuna, the No. 1 challenger, for a title fight. However, those talks were dashed when Haney underwent shoulder surgery in December.
With Haney needing time to recover, the WBC stripped him of the championship. Campbell and Fortuna were set to fight for the vacant title on April 17, however, that bout was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The WBC designating Haney as its "champion in recess" meant that he would be granted an immediate shot at the vacant title once he's deemed healthy enough to get back into the ring, as reported by ESPN. Well, the WBC seemingly saw enough from Haney, who claims his shoulder feels stronger than before, to skip that step and reinstate him as champion.
Once the coronavirus outbreak subsides, it remains to be seen if the WBC reverts back to having Haney fight Fortuna in a mandatory title bout or goes ahead with Campbell vs. Fortuna, instead.
"As of now, I don't know," Haney said. "With the whole COVID-19, I don't know how it will play out."
What Haney does know is he's raring to return to the ring, hoping to get the Fortuna fight and a mega clash with Ryan Garcia in before the year ends — if the coronavirus pandemic permits.