Is Yordenis Ugas going to be boxing’s next robbery victim?
At the present moment, Yordenis “54 Milagros” Ugas (26-4, 12 KO’s) is the WBA Super World Welterweight champion. Yet, is this a position that he can feel confident in retaining? Certainly Ugas would bet on himself against all in-ring adversaries. The question really is, will 54 Milagros become the latest victim of boxing politics?
News has already swept across the boxing landscape that IBF and WBC World Welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (27-0, 21 KO’s) has a significant August 21 dance date. On that fateful day, Spence will face the living legend Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39), who is currently a WBA ‘Champion in Recess.’ Pacquiao first strong-armed the belt from Keith Thurman on July 20, 2019. Then, early in 2021, the sanctioning body reclassified him to his current designation.
The formal title was taken from Pacquiao as a result of him failing to defend the belt in their allotted time frame. It could be argued, however, that the main reason for this inactivity was a direct result of COVID-19 protocol complications. At this point, however, it seems very logical that the WBA will be rethinking that last decision.
THE BIGGER THE BETTER
There is no doubt that Spence versus Pacquiao is a tremendous fight, as is. Yet, there is also no denying that making it a unification bout makes it notably bigger. With this being the case, obviously the Pac Man would have to conjure up a belt in a hurry. This might not be too big a puzzle to solve. With his status as ‘Champion in Recess’, all Manny Pacquiao would need is the vote of a WBA committee to reinstate him as champion.
Injecting their strap into the huge upcoming pay-per-view, along with a hefty sanctioning fee, certainly benefits the WBA. The boxing politician would love instantly being reinstated as champion. Also, there is no question that Spence would jump at the chance to capture a third welterweight world title. Really, the only person left drenched by the soggy cloud of misfortune would be Yordenis Ugas.
Honestly speaking, Ugas should start bagging that belt up because there is little doubt the WBA is coming for it! When comparing his name to Spence or Pacquiao, its laughable to even ask the question who is the most popular. Ugas is firmly on the bottom of that totem pole. In the American market, Ugas has virtually zero inherent name value or recognition.
The hype surrounding a showdown between The Truth and Pac Man would easily overshadow any stories about Ugas being robbed of his belt. He does not even have a thrilling marquee fight to sway public opinion. Therefore, his grip on that strap is about as secure as a seat belt made of strawberry flavored Fruit Roll-ups.
“Return of Champion in Recess~ When a Champion in Recess returns after having overcome to the satisfaction of the Championships Chairman whatever obstacle that caused his inactivity, the Association may order a title bout between the Champion in Recess and the Interim Champion, if one exists, or against another boxer designated by the Committee.”
When all the motivations to take it from him are stacked and analyzed, things certainly are not looking good for Ugas! Perhaps fair play and honor will win the day. As for the smart money though, the best bet is that the WBA confiscates their title to jam it front and center in a glossy, high-profile pay-per-view event. Sure, decency could win the day, but how often are boxing politics decent?
By: Garrisson Bland