Manny Pacquiao Declared “Champion in Recess” By WBA

Manny Pacquiao With Yordenis Ugas

  • The WBA has declared Manny Pacquiao as “Champion in Recess” due to inactivity.
  • Yordenis Ugas has been named as the new WBA “super” welterweight champion.
  • Pacquiao has not fought since defeating Keith Thurman in July 2019.

Manny Pacquiao is no longer WBA (super) welterweight champion despite not losing the belt inside the ring. He is an ex-champion because of inactivity.

The WBA declared Pacquiao as “Champion in Recess” on Friday, stripping him of his title as super champion for failing to defend his belt since winning it in July 2019.

Citing its Rule C.22-24 which states that “when a champion is unable to defend the belt for medical, legal, or any other legal reasons beyond his control, he may be named as champion in recess.

Oldest Welterweight Champion

It can be recalled that Pacquiao defeated Thurman via split decision in July 2019 to become the WBA (super) welterweight champion. The victory also made Pacquiao the first four-time welterweight champion and the oldest fighter to win a world title in boxing’s 147-pound division at 40 years old. But since handing Thurman his first ever professional loss, Pacquiao has not defended the belt.

The Filipino 8-division world champion was planning to fight either Danny Garcia or Mikey Garcia within the first four months of 2020. But then the COVID-19 pandemic halted sports for three monts and continues to limit the staging of sporting events. Danny Garcia ended up fighting Errol Spence last month while Pacquiao has stayed busy with his full-time job of being a lawmaker in his country.

Last year, Pacquiao announced that he would be fighting Conor McGregor in 2021. But after McGregor lost to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, the clamor for that exhibition fight has faded. Despite the top boxing betting sites still having the Pacquiao vs McGregor odds in their sportsbooks, it’s no longer expected to happen anytime soon with McGregor likely to return to the octagon and redeem his reputation.

As far as boxing is concerned, there have been rumors linking Pacquiao to a fight against rising prospect Ryan Garcia. But with Garcia fighting at 135-pounds, that fight is reportedly being eyed as an “exhibition boxing bout”. However, that will play out, if in fact that happens next, it’s not going to count in the WBA’s books anyway.

Ugas Promoted to Full Champion Status

With Pacquiao in recess, the WBA has installed Yordenis Ugas as its new “super” welterweight champion. The 34-year old former Olympic bronze medalist from Cuba defeated the obscure Abel Ramos to become the WBA “regular” welterweight champion.

The WBA has two champions per division, the “super” which is considered the “real” champion and a secondary champion who is called “regular” champion. Ugas has been promoted to real champion by virtue of the WBA’s resolution. And although he did not win the belt inside the ring, it is well-deserved and was the right thing to do for the WBA.

Ugas has won three straight bouts since losing in his first and only attempt at a real world title. The Cuban challenged Shawn Porter for the WBC 147-pound belt in March 2019 and lost via a narrow split decision. He’s beaten Omar Figueroa, Mike Dallas Jr. and Ramos in his last three bouts.

In his Twitter account, Ugas called out Pacquiao for a unification bout to determine who the real WBA welterweight king is. However, given Pacman’s stature, it’s likely he is worried about losing the belt and isn’t keen about fighting Ugas to win it back. Now past his prime, Pacquiao is more interested in big money fights, like what the Ryan Garcia showdown could be, regardless of whether it’s a real fight or not. Those are the kind of fights that sell nowadays, so you can’t blame Pac for going that route too.

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