By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez walks past his trophy collection every day. While inside may hold four major world titles, one of those aforementioned titles has brought about confusion.
When Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) dethroned former unified lightweight titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko in mid-October of 2020, the Brooklyn native was officially tagged as an undisputed world champion. Be that as it may, with Lomachenko in possession of the WBC “Franchise” title, as opposed to the full title held by Devin Haney, fans have called for the pair to end the confusion and face each other in the ring.
While Lopez believes he is clearly the undisputed king of the lightweight division, he’s heard the calls from the fans and is willing to give them what they want.
“You know I’m undisputed already,” said Lopez during an Instagram live video. “But if y’all wanna see that we gonna give it to y’all.”
Haney, 22, has called the undisputed title reign of Lopez a fraudulent one. With that said, many have pointed to how the Las Vegas resident actually acquired his championship status. After making quick work of previously undefeated Zaur Abdullaev via fourth-round stoppage in early 2019, Haney picked up the WBC interim title for his efforts.
All along, Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) planned on using his newly won trinket as a tool to lure then full champion Vasiliy Lomachenko into a mandated contest against him. Those plans though, were immediately thrown out of the window as WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman designated Lomachenko as the newly appointed “Franchise,” champion. A designation he would then lose the moment he lost to Lopez.
Haney on the other hand, was elevated to full champion status via email. It wasn’t exactly how the 22-year-old pictured winning his first world title, but he has since defended his crown twice and wears it proudly.
While Haney firmly believes that he is in fact the WBC champion, he has offered to face Lopez to end any confusion.
At first, a bout between the pair seemed unrealistic. With Haney needing to deal with not one, but two mandatory challengers in Ryan Garcia and Javier Fortuna, along with Lopez having his own obligations in George Kambosos Jr., their highly anticipated showdown was thought to be nothing more than a pipe dream.
Ultimately, the road to their undisputed matchup might be covered with mandatories left and right, but for Lopez, he is currently attempting to bypass his imperative title defense against Kamsosos Jr., and forge straight ahead to a matchup with Haney.
“We talking about Devin Haney next. As long as we get everything sorted out with my mandatory, move that to the side then we can get Devin Haney next.”