LAS VEGAS – Devin Haney has never been a fan of the “WBC” Franchise title.

The reigning WBC World lightweight titlist could not have been any clearer in his stance on the subject following his recent twelve-round, unanimous decision win over Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz, when discussion turned to his pursuit of the undisputed championship. That path leads to George Kambosos (20-0, 10KOs), who recently acquired the WBA “Super”/IBF/WBO belts and designation lineal lightweight king following his November 27 split decision win over Teofimo Lopez (16-1, 12KOs), just one week prior to Haney’s fourth successful title defense.

Kambosos was ringside Saturday evening at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to scout the DAZN-headlined title fight—the same platform which has housed his last two fights—and explore the possibility of next facing Haney (27-0, 15KOs). When it does, Haney will seek the traditional modern era undisputed championship route without any of the gimmicks attached.

“All due respect but when I do fight for the undisputed, I don’t even want the WBC “Franchise” title,” Haney told and other reporters during the post-fight press conference following his latest win. “I don’t want anything franchise attached to it. I will be fighting for the WBC belt.”

Haney was originally in pursuit of the physical WBC title in 2019, a path that led to his agreeing to enter a four-man box-off to determine the next mandatory challenger. The tournament went sideways in a hurry, when the WBC allowed its vacant belt at stake in an August 2019 clash between then-WBA/WBO lightweight titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko (15-2, 11KOs) and England’s Luke Campbell. Lomachenko won by unanimous decision to become a three-belt unified titlist, only for promoter Top Rank to cash in the WBC trinket in exchange for the “Franchise” designation upon request at the annual WBC convention later that October.

By that time, Haney had already beaten Zaur Abdullaev via fourth-round stoppage to win the WBC interim lightweight title, though receiving an upgrade by default in lieu of a mandatory title shot versus Lomachenko. The WBC “Franchise” title was supposed to be a designation that could not be won or lost in the ring, though the sanctioning body made an exception when Lopez—once again via Top Rank—requested to earn such status during the 2020 convention had he beaten Lomachenko, which he did by unanimous decision last October.

Similarly, Kambosos also submitted a request to carry the distinction ahead of his challenge of Lopez. Rather than take a stance to clean up its own mess, the WBC willingly granted the wish along with supporting the narrative that a physical WBC Franchise title exists in the sanctioning body’s best efforts to have recognized Lopez and now Kambosos as the undisputed champion.

Haney’s insistence all along has been that his very title status creates the dispute, thus creating the need for a showdown with Kambosos to crown one king. The 23-year-promised that when the day comes for that fight, the culture of transferring the franchise title will come to an end.

“They can keep the franchise belt,” noted Haney. “If Kambosos wants to keep the franchise belt, go ahead.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox