After weeks of deliberation, Devin Haney has opted to move up in weight and fight Regis Prograis for the WBC Super-Lightweight title, rather than stay at 135lbs and defend his undisputed crown against Shakur Stevenson – as a result, Stevenson’s next opponent has been determined.
Th 26-year-old southpaw is already a two-division world champion and made an impressive start to life as a lightweight back in April, knocking out Shuichiro Yoshino in the sixth-round of their showdown in Newark. Ever since, Stevenson has campaigned for a clash with Haney, but that energy has not been matched by the champion, who has recently been tight at the weight.
Instead, Haney looks set to challenge Prograis in a bid to become a two-division champion himself, leaving many wondering what will happen to the four lightweight titles and where the decision leaves Shakur Stevenson.
However, the WBC has now released a statement to provide clarity on the situation and all-but-confirm who Stevenson will face next.
“The WBC Board of Governors voted in favour of:
(1) Granting Champion Haney’s petition to fight Champion Prograis for the WBC Super Lightweight World Championship.
(2) Placing Champion Haney as Champion-in-Recess in the Lightweight Division.
(3) Ordering a bout between Lightweight Mandatory Challenger Shakur Stevenson and the highest available contender in that division.
(4) After fighting Champion Prograis, allowing Champion Haney to choose between remaining at 135 or 140 pounds on a timetable that the WBC would order.
(5) If Champion Haney decides to return to the Lightweight Division within that timetable, the WBC would order the fight between Champion Haney and the then World Champion on a 50-50 basis under the provisions that the WBC Rules & Regulations may provide for those situations.”
Decision (3) means that Stevenson looks likely to face the #1 contender, Vasyl Lomachenko, for the world title, after the Ukrainian’s controversial defeat against Haney. Haney will have the opportunity to fight the winner, should he decide to return to the lightweight division after his 140lb title challenge.