Vasyl Lomachenko denies he asked to be made WBC ‘franchise’ champion

Metro Sports 2 weeks ago
Vasyl Lomachenko is pictured at ringside before a boxing fight
Lomachenko was made WBC ‘franchise’ champion in October (Picture: Getty)

Vasyl Lomachenko has denied he made a request to the WBC to become a ‘franchise’ champion.

The Ukrainian talent was given the title in October by the WBC, which means he is not be subject to strict mandatory challengers obligations.

It also means Lomachenko will be recognised as a WBC champion throughout his career in every fight and once he is retired he will be inducted as an ‘emeritus’ champion.

Vasyl Lomachenko poses with his lightweight titles after beating Anthony Crolla in a boxing match
Lomachenko is not tied to mandatory obligations as ‘franchise’ champion (Picture: Getty)

The creation of the WBC’s ‘franchise’ champions has prompted a backlash from boxing fans and fighters and Lomachenko has now insisted he never asked for the title.

He said: ‘I read an interview with [WBC president] Mauricio Sulaiman, he said we filed a request to be awarded the ‘franchise’ title.

‘I would like to make it clear I did not file anything and no-one asked for it. When I read that, I was very surprised.’

Lomachenko’s confirmation as ‘franchise’ champion meant Devin Haney became the new WBC lightweight champion, a title he successfully defended against Alfredo Santiago earlier this month.

Middleweight superstar Canelo Alvarez was the first to be made a ‘franchise’ champion, but heavyweight WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder insists he would not accept the title.

Canelo Alvarez holds up four fingers after becoming a four-weight world champion in boxing
Alvarez was the WBC’s first ‘franchise’ champion (Picture: Getty)

‘Many people ask me about the ‘franchise’ belt. I don’t know much about it,’ Wilder said.

‘What I’m hearing, it allows you to stay a champion, you don’t have to fight mandatories and stuff like that. If that’s the case, I’m not interested.

‘I want the mandatories. Guys work their way up, work hard to get to number two, and then become a mandatory.

‘Why would you crown someone that doesn’t have to have mandatories?’


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