Devin Haney declared ‘WBC World Champion in Recess’, Puello vs Martin ordered

Haney's request for 'Champion in Recess' status granted, Alberto Puello ordered to defend full WBC 140-pound belt against Sandor Martin

Two-division world champion Devin Haney has been declared a “WBC World Champion in Recess”. The Bay Area’s former undisputed lightweight king and the WBC junior welterweight titleholder reportedly requested such status from the governing body.

Newly-crowned interim WBC 140-pound champion Alberto Puello was elevated to a full champion. He has been ordered to face WBC’s No. 1-ranked contender Sandor Martin.

San Francisco’s Devin Haney (31-0, 15 KOs, 1 NC) was in action in April in Brooklyn, where he faced Ryan Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs, 1 NC). On the night, the Victorville, California native, who missed weight and was ineligible to claim Haney’s WBC belt, scored three knockdowns and was declared the winner by decision.

Following the failed tests for PEDs, Garcia’s victory was overturned to a no contest. The 25-year-old also received a one-year suspension, $10K fine and forfeited his $1.2 million purse.

According to Boxing Scene, Haney, who kept his belt and whose first career defeat was also overturned to a NC, told WBC he was “physically, mentally and emotionally” unfit to make an immediate title defense. His request for “Champion in Recess” status was unanimously granted by the WBC Board of Governors, as per the governing body’s release.

Puello to face Martin, Russell awaits rematch

Alberto Puello (23-0, 10 KOs) landed the division’s interim WBC title by split decision against Gary Antuanne Russell (17-1, 17 KOs) on the Davis vs Martin PPV undercard mid June in Las Vegas. The 29-year-old Dominican southpaw was elevated to a full champion, and ordered to face mandatory Sandor Martin (42-3, 15 KOs).

Martin won two of his previous bouts via stoppage against Mohamed El Marcouchi and Arblin Kaba last December and July, respectively. In his previous ring appearance in the U.S. in December 2012, the 30-year-old Spanish southpaw dropped a split decision against Teofimo Lopez.

Meanwhile, Russell’s request to WBC for an immediate rematch against Puello was granted as “an indirect rematch”. The 28-year-old southpaw of Capitol Heights, Maryland received a green light to face the winner of the Puello vs Martin showdown.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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