Devin Haney (31-1, 15 KOs) is still the WBC light welterweight champion after his 12-round majority decision loss to Ryan Garcia (25-1, 20 KOs) last Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says Haney is still the champion at 140 with their organization. Haney hasn’t said whether he’ll keep the belt or give it up.

If Haney does keep the strap, he’ll need to defend it against Sandor Martin next, and that’s not going to be a PPV-level fight for DAZN. Vacating the WBC belt will allow Devin to go after IBF champion Subriel Matias, WBA champ Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz, or WBO title-holder Teofimo Lopez.

WBC President’s Comments Fuel Fire

I don’t think this is how Haney would have liked to hold onto his WBC belt. He was hoping to beat Ryan and show the world that he was “levels above” him. The WBC letting Haney keep his belt after his loss has got to make him feel bad. The belt is no longer as valuable.

If the WBC stripped Haney of his title, the two likely contenders that would battle for the vacant 140-lb title would be #1 Sandor Martin and #2 Gary Antuanne Russell.

Some fans view this move by the WBC to keep Haney as the champion because he’s more popular than Sandor Martin and Gary Antuanne Russell.

Ryan was ineligible to win Haney’s WBC title after missing weight during Friday’s weigh-in, coming in at 143.2 lbs. However, Ryan reportedly didn’t care about the WBC belt, as he felt it was not important and didn’t want to have to pay sanctioning fees for it since he had no intention of defending it.

Garcia wouldn’t have kept the WBC title, even if he had made weight because he would have lost out on bigger paydays against Gervonta Davis, Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, and Teofimo Lopez because he would have been stuck having to fight the overdue mandatory Sandor Martin.

Haney needs the WBC belt to use as a prop to gain attention from fans and network broadcasters like DAZN and ESPN, validating him as a top guy worth paying to see and a headliner.

Ryan defeated Haney by a 12-round majority decision by the scores 115-109, 114-110, and 112-112.

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