WBA Stands By Yordenis Ugas, Rejects Request From Manny Pacquiao
The boxing world went into a frenzy with the announcement that unified welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth” Spence (27-0, 21ko) would take on WBA Champion in Recess Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39ko). However, the boxing community quickly wondered if the WBA would reinstate the Filipino Senator. It seems the WBA has answered that question with a surprising response.
Pacquiao won the title by turning back the hands of time, defeating then-WBA champion Keith Thurman on July 20, 2019. Yordenis “54 Milagros” Ugas (26-4, 12ko) had captured the vacant ‘Regular’ title by defeating Abel Ramos back in September 2020. In January 2021, the WBA placed Pac Man in the champion-in-recess status for failing to defend the belt in their allotted time frame. This move by the WBA elevated Ugas to the ‘Super’ champion position.
In boxing, fans have gotten used to the four governing sanctioning bodies mostly siding with the more recognizable names. Thus, several pundits believed WBA ‘Super’ champion Ugas was counting his days as the champion. Many felt that the organization was being pressured in mafia-style fashion to reinstate the champion-in-recess. WBA President Gilberto Mendoza was on social media responding to members close to team Ugas concerning his comments on the priority level of Pacquiao’s reinstatement.
BY THE BOOK
The WBA rules and regulations state they cannot just abruptly make a move of this nature due.
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.
EPSN Knockout questioned the WBA President during an interview. Mendoza doubled down on how the rules do not allow them to reinstate the Filipino Senator.
“No, it will not happen. According to the regulations it cannot happen. We are looking to have a kind of honorary figure that is being studied at the moment. But we cannot get him out of the recess he had because Ugas is already present there and you cannot take away the rights that we gave to Ugas at any given moment.”
On a personal level, this was the absolute right decision. Everyone wants to see Spence and Pacquiao fight for legacy, with the winner being one fight away from undisputed. However, Ugas should not be cast aside like dirty laundry for any selfish reasoning. Moreover, after being denied the right to be called a world champion in a fight, several fans believed he should have gotten the decision against WBC champion Shawn Porter back in 2019. Boxing owed it to him this time, and it is good to see the sport chose the side of righteousness over money.
By: Garrisson Bland