Lomachenko ‘Franchise tagged’ by WBC
Vasiliy Lomachenko earned himself a new belt on Wednesday, and it didn’t have to step into the ring to receive it.
Jake Donovan of Boxingscene.com broke the news late Wednesday night that Lomachenko is the latest member to be franchised by the World Boxing Council (WBC). I asked Jake what does this mean in understandable English, cause trying to get a description from WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman himself has led to more confusion for everyone.
Either him or Egis. Dumbed down version, he can do what he wants including take an interim fight prior to facing Commey-Lopez winner w/o having to worry about being blocked by Haney mandatory
— Jake Donován (@JakeNDaBox) October 24, 2019
The “social engagements” crack is about the duties as a franchise champion. Those duties include to “participate in a minimum of two social responsibility events every year, organized and in conjunction with the WBC.” Lomachenko or his manager Egis Klimas, are picking up dinner tabs from someplace fancy, and the WBC is hungry.
The realistic version which Jake explained in his tweet back to me is just that it protects Lomachanko, and he can take any fight he wants to before any unification bouts or mandatories. The backend of this franchise tag may be the case as the recent move of Gervonta Davis up to 135 can be delayed as well.
In the report, Carl Moretti, vice president of operations for Top Rank confirmed to BoxingScene.com in a text exchange that the plan for Lomachenko to face the upcoming winner of the Richard Commey-Teofimo Lopez match in December.
The franchise status also meant that Lomachenko gave up the actual WBC title, which was given to Devin Haney. Haney, who has been calling him “No-machenko” since his win over Zaur Abdullaev was lifted from interim status to full champion. Haney tweeted that he is the youngest champion in the world from the announcement today.
Haney was mandatory challenger for the WBC title and, now at only 20 years old, becomes the youngest to have it.
??@Realdevinhaney has been elevated to WBC World Lightweight champion! pic.twitter.com/p4aMhm3sDQ
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) October 24, 2019
This designation is a farce, and it seems to be the latest of gimmicks and just nonsense by the WBC. Sadly, this won’t be the last person to be franchise tagged.
Lomachenko, of course, joins Canelo Alvarez, who was the first with this “franchise” title in June, and all eyes turn to long-reigning heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder as the fighter next up for this distinction. Only a matter of when, instead of if, for Wilder if the WBC has their way with this.