WBA makes Pacquiao ‘Champion in Recess, ‘ elevates Ugas

By Boxing News - 01/30/2021 - Comments

By Jeff Aronow:  The WBA revealed on Friday that they’ve made Manny Pacquiao their ‘Champion in Recess’ at welterweight and elevated ‘regular’ 147-lb champ Yordenis Ugas to their new ‘Super’ welterweight world champion. This is a move obviously done in reaction to the 42-year-old Pacquiao’s long stretch of inactivity

No one knows when Pacquiao will be fighting in a ‘real fight’ that counts on the record books, so the WBA arguably made the right move in stripping the Filipino star.

Manny hasn’t fought in close to two years, and he doesn’t have a title defense planned for 2021 yet. Pacquiao’s potential exhibition match against lightweight Ryan Garcia, which has yet to be announced, doesn’t count as a title defense.

Pacquiao can fight for his old belt

With Pacquiao’s ‘Champion in Recess’ tag, he can challenge for the WBA welterweight belt when he returns to the ring if that’s something he wants to do. The World Boxing Association would do well if Manny does decide to fight Ugas for his old belt.

Sanctioning bodies need their titles to stay in circulation. It doesn’t help them if a champion doesn’t defend the belt on an annual basis, and unfortunately, Pacquiao has never made a defense of his WBA belt that he won off Keith Thurman in July 2019.

Image: WBA makes Pacquiao 'Champion in Recess, ' elevates Ugas

Teofimo Lopez Sr reacts to Pacquiao’s plans to fight Ryan Garcia in exhibition

“If it’s an exhibition, it’s just disgusting,” said Teofimo Lopez Sr to ESNEWS about Pacquiao vs. Ryan Garcia being planned as an exhibition. “I told my son to get that fight because we’d get a lot of recognition for beating Manny.

“My son would become really popular and get a lot of followers, but that’s the only reason why we’d want to fight Manny Pacquiao. He’s too old already.

“I think he still has it, and he could still beat some guys out there. I don’t think he could beat my son, though. Not at 135. He’s 42 already? Definitely not, man. I think that’s a good fight for my son, but I think he’d beat Manny Pacquiao and beat him convincingly.

Pacquiao will KO Ryan Garcia says Teofimo Sr

“I think Manny will stop him, especially with what happened with Luke Campbell,” said Teofimo Sr when asked how Ryan Garcia will do against Pacquiao.

“He’s a fighter that is not known for being a devastating knockout puncher. To drop Ryan like that so easily. I told you before the fight that Luke Campbell didn’t have no heart.

Image: WBA makes Pacquiao 'Champion in Recess, ' elevates Ugas

“He has the mentality of a loser. Luke Campbell was in the Olympics, but he lost that desire to be a great fighter. Every time he had a chance to be great, he will fail.

“Who did Ryan Garcia beat? He beat a guy that doesn’t believe in himself. He beat a guy that was turning around in the sixth round like he didn’t want nothing to do in that ring.

“He’s a guy that had three or four losses. So you can’t base yourself ni how great you are in beating Luke Campbell. to me, that was the easiest fight that he [Ryan Garcia] could have gotten from a guy that’s well known to make him look good because he fought Lomachenko.

“He did pretty good, he put in some good rounds with Loma. The Luke Campbell that Ryan fought wasn’t the same Luke Campbell that fought Lomachenko.

“I think these guys, everybody in the 135-lb weight division, should at least fight Nakatani, Lomachenko or Commey. We beat those guys,” said Teofimo Sr.

Ryan Garcia looks like he’s heading towards a quick career implosion. He seems to be looking to cash-in with one or two fights, and then he’ll be finished for all intents and purposes.