Talk about a pretty crazy, even hard to understand, “And still….” Devin Haney, who was dropped three times and might have taken a career worst beating last night in his epic battle with Ryan Garcia, has been given the news today that he is still the WBC 140 pound champ – this despite the fact that he was beaten in New York.

Mauricio Sulaiman has put out a tweet in which he writes how Haney, 30-1(15) remains as the WBC champion at the weight.

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“Congratulations to Ryan Garcia defying all obstacles and winning a huge fight. Congratulations to Devin Haney for showing his huge heart and class. Just as in [Diego] Corrales Vs. [Jose Luis] Castillo 2, with the challenger not making weight, Haney remains WBC champion,” Sulaiman wrote.

This is not what was expected. Fans were led to believe the belt would either be retained by Haney or, should the not eligible to win it Garcia win the fight on Saturday (Garcia of course came in at a little above 143 pounds), the belt would become vacant. But here we are, with Sulaiman doing what his dad did back in 2005, when an over the weight Castillo defeated Corrales in their rematch, with Castillo scoring a fourth round KO over “Chico.”

As with Garcia against Haney, Castillo came in well over the weight, thus the WBC lightweight title held by Corrales was not there for the Mexican to win.

So, Haney, battered and beaten, moves ahead and he is still a world champion. While it will be hard trying to explain this to the average man/woman on the street casual, those of us who have followed this wild and crazy sport for years won’t be too shocked at this ruling. Yes, the belt should now be vacant, out there for Haney to win it back if he can actually do so, or for some other deserving 140 pound contender to try and win in a fight. But this isn’t what we’ve got and that’s that. Ask Sulaiman if you want.

So what next for Haney? There is already talk of a return fight between he and Garcia, although Garcia does seem to be headed to the 147 pound division. A catch-weight rematch could happen, while Haney could move up in weight himself, or maybe Haney will go after some new blood. One defeat does not a career end of course, but Haney did ship some real punishment in New York and it will be interesting to see how he bounces back, if he is able to bounce back.

Hopefully it won’t happen to Haney, but we’ve seen numerous fighters over the years who were never the same again after tasting pro defeat for the first time. Haney is only 25, and his pride will likely see to it that he comes back at top level. Or at least tries to. And knowing how he is still a world champion despite losing his “O” will surely come as some consolation.

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