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Ryan Garcia and Jojo Diaz would lose interim title if they refuse Devin Haney fight

Alexander Netherton
Ryan Garcia and Jojo Diaz would lose interim title if they refuse Devin Haney fightMatchroom Boxing
The WBC president told the DAZN Boxing Show they will try to help their current champion

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told the DAZN Boxing Show that the body would do what they can to help Devin Haney make a high-profile fight.

Haney has struggled to find a WBC mandatory fighter to defend against in recent times. First, Ryan Garcia appeared more interested in taking on Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis before ultimately dropping his designation due to mental health problems.

Then JoJo Diaz seemed keener to meet Garcia than the outright champion once he stepped up with a win over Javier Fortuna.

Sulaiman admitted there had been difficulties but suggested they would try to help Haney out.

“Well, Devin Haney has been in communication - I've been talking with his father, not recently but throughout these years -and we have always structured from everything that has been happening,” Sulaiman began.

“As you know, when he won the title, then he got injured. He came back during the pandemic. Instead of waiting, he was ready because the pandemic there was no action. So we allowed him to do a voluntary with [Yuriorkis] Gamboa. He just fought Jorge Linares and had a great victory in a high-profile fight. 

“And what he has expressed that he would like to do is to fight Garcia. Garcia was the interim champion when he expressed his mental issues, his mental health issues, the WBC offered absolute support, and we praise him too for coming out. He has inspired so many people around the world.

“And now Diaz is going to fight Garcia, and the winner is a mandatory of the division, to only have one champion. Haney can do any fight that he wishes. If he contracts Garcia, if he contracts JoJo before, it's open for him. We have been open and flexible with Devin Haney, and it’s just a matter of him getting into the ring, and we have a very good relationship with Haney.”

The president then clarified that should Garcia or Diaz reject the chance to be the mandatory opponent to Haney, they would be stripped of the belt.

“If the guy does not want to fight Haney, then the interim title will be vacant. 

“But now there's only one line: if Jojo Diaz and Garcia fight, the winner is a mandatory for the champion. If either one of the winners does not accept to unify, then we will just have a world champion in Haney. 

“Haney has also called out for Teofimo. So it's something we have been waiting on, and I'm being very flexible and allowing Haney to try to secure the best fight he wants to do.”

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