Monday, September 25, 2023  |



WBC issues ultimatum to Devin Haney to state his intention to defend his lightweight belt

December 4, 2021, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Devin Haney (center) celebrates his win over Joseph Diaz Jr. during their December 4, 2021 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing
Fighters Network

Ring magazine and undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney will have to make up his mind by this Friday, according to World Boxing Council (WBC) president Mauricio Sulaiman.

In an interview with Broadway Joel on Monday, Sulaiman confirmed Haney has to decide between staying at 135 pounds to defend his WBC world title or move up in weight to 140 pounds and face WBC world junior welterweight titleholder Regis Prograis.

“Friday, July 21 is the deadline for Haney to (indicate whether) he is fighting Prograis or he is going to stay in the lightweight division,” said Sulaiman.

Haney (30-0, 15 knockouts) made the second defense of the undisputed lightweight championship on May 20, defeating Vasiliy Lomachenko in a very close fight. According to the WBC, Lomachenko was a voluntary defense for Haney.

The current mandatory challenger for the WBC world lightweight title is Shakur Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs), who earned that title in his last bout on April 8, stopping Japan’s Schuchiro Yoshino. Stevenson is currently ranked No. 5 by The Ring at 135 pounds.

Sulaiman clarified that Monday.

“No, Shakur Stevenson is the (WBC) mandatory (challenger) in the lightweight division,” said Sulaiman.

Later Monday, Prograis sent out a message on Twitter, tagging both Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and Haney.

“Yoo @EddieHearn I’m fighting @Realdevinhaney in November or what? It’s on you ..”

Haney later replied, “October.”

That received a response later from Prograis, who stated, “Nah, you must’ve heard I’ll be out the country for a month.”

Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) made the first defense of the WBC world junior welterweight title in his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana on June 17, defeating Danielio Zorrilla by split-decision. He is currently ranked No. 2 by The Ring at 140 pounds.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]