Teofimo Lopez will be elevated to WBC Franchise champion if he defeats Vasily Lomachenko in their fight in October, according to WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.
The WBC’s Franchise title can’t be lost inside the ring. That’s the twist to this belt. It’s similar to the WBA with their ‘Super’ and ‘World’ titles, but it can’t be lost.
The WBC’s move will turn their Franchise title into the equivalent of a ‘Super’ title and their usual title into the ‘regular’ strap. That’s how it is with the World Boxing Association. They have the WBA World title [AKA ‘regular] and the WBA Super World title. That’s the upper belt, the one that is more respected by boxing fans.
Lomachenko vs. Lopez doesn’t need the Franchise title for the fight to have meaning with the boxing fan. Indeed, one world title is enough for these excellent tow champions, and it’s redundant when you get the WBC potentially elevating Lopez to Franchise champion if he wins.
It’s bad enough that the WBC has a regular champion at 135 in Devin Haney and a Franchise belt holder in Lomachenko. The WBC is putting themselves in the position where they’ll have TWO Franchise champions if they elevate the 23-year-old Lopez (15-0, 12 KO) if he defeats IBF/WBC Franchise/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko (14-1 10 KOs) in their highly anticipated unification match in October.
Maybe the WBC won’t care what boxing fans will think of them if they make Lopez a Franchise champion, but they should think about it. This move will give the appearance to fans that the WBC is just looking for sanctioning fees from the different champions that hold titles with their organization.
Given that Lopez will be a massive underdog in this fight with Lomachenko, it’s safe to say that he won’t win. In turn, that’ll save the WBC some embarrassment by not elevating Lopez to Franchise champion.
Top Rank, the promoters for Lopez and Lomachenko, haven’t set a date or a location for their fight, but it’s going to be in either mid to late October. The winner of the battle will hold all four titles if you want to count the WBC Franchise belt, and some boxing fans don’t.
Lopez seems like an old fashioned traditionalist, and he may choose to reject the Franchise belt if he wins. Unlike Lomachenko, Lopez will want to take on WBC champion Devin Haney so that he can prove to the boxing and that he’s the better fighter than him.
Lomachenko doesn’t seem to mind that he was elevated to Franchise champion outside of the ring rather than inside it.