Teofimo Lopez isn’t the only WBC lightweight champion who isn’t interested in fighting Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Now that Devin Haney has leverage over Lomachenko, he doesn’t want to fight the former three-division champion, either. Lomachenko is the WBC’s number-one ranked contender in the lightweight division, but the WBC hasn’t ordered Lopez, its franchise 135-pound champion, or Haney, its world lightweight champ, to fight the Ukrainian southpaw.
That’s fine by Haney (25-0, 15 KOs), who recalls Lomachenko ignoring him when Haney was his WBC mandatory challenger.
“I remember at a time when Loma wouldn’t even say my name,” Haney stated during a recent appearance on “The Ak & Barak Show,” which streams daily on DAZN and SiriusXM. “Like, I was his mandatory, he wouldn’t say my name. He wouldn’t act like I even existed. So, it’s like, do I even wanna give you a shot? Do you deserve a shot right now?
“Or do I wanna fight one of these young guys, who actually are speaking my name and, you know, throwing me in the hat? At one point, Loma wouldn’t even throw me in the hat of guys. He would act like I didn’t even exist. So, it’s like, do I really wanna give you a shot?”
The “young guys” to whom Haney referred are Lopez, Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis.
Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) became the mandatory challenger for Haney’s title when he knocked out England’s Luke Campbell in the seventh round January 2 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The 22-year-old Garcia, of Victorville, California, also became the WBC interim lightweight champ by beating Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs).
Although Garcia became Haney’s mandatory challenger when he defeated Campbell, Garcia wants to battle Baltimore’s Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) in his next fight.
The 32-year-old Lomachenko wants a rematch with Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs), who upset the skillful southpaw by unanimous decision in their 12-round, 135-pound title unification fight October 17 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) and his handlers didn’t have a rematch clause in his contract to oppose Lopez, who doesn’t want to give the former champion the satisfaction of getting another shot at him.
Lopez retained his IBF lightweight title when he defeated Lomachenko. The Brooklyn native also won the WBC franchise, WBA “super” and WBO 135-pound crowns from Lomachenko.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.