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Manny Pacquiao could be reinstated as WBA 147-lb champion

Image: Manny Pacquiao could be reinstated as WBA 147-lb champion

By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao is expected to be reinstated as the WBA welterweight champion shortly by the World Boxing Association before his August 21st fight against IBF/WBC 147-lb champion Errol Spence Jr.

In an interview this week, WBA President Gilberto Mendoza said that his championship committee is reviewing the possibility of having the 42-year-old Pacquiao reinstated as the WBA 147lb champ.

Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) captured his WBA Super World welterweight title with a 12 round split decision win over champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman in July 2019.

Pacquiao likely to be given his WBA title back

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Pacquiao wasn’t able to defend his WBA title. As a result, Pacquiao was moved to Champion in Recess by the WBA, and Yordenis Ugas was elevated to the 147lb champion.

Image: Manny Pacquiao could be reinstated as WBA 147-lb champion

What’s unclear is what happens to Ugas if Pacquiao is reinstated as the WBA champion.

Is Ugas stripped of his WBA title, or does he remain champion, and the sanctioning body has two Super World champions at 147? The WBA already has a WBA regular champion in Jamal James and Gold champ Vergil Ortiz Jr.

“Initially, the plan was for Ugas to fight Pacquiao,” WBA President Gilberto Mendoza said to Thaboxingvoice. “But now, the Spence fight was announced.

“Sean Gibbons, who represents Manny, they’ve written a letter to be placed back in [as WBA champion].

“We’re working on it. There’s a high probability. It has to be run through a championship committee and voted before being taken to the president.”

What happens to Ugas?

It’ll look odd if Pacquiao is reinstated right now without fighting Ugas, as it’ll look like the WBA is trying to capitalize on the huge interest that there will be for the Spence-Pacquiao fight.

As the champion in recess, you can argue that Pacquiao should have to fight Ugas for his WBA title back. With WBC, their recess champions have to fight the champ to get their belt back.

If Pacquiao is given his WBA belt back without fighting Ugas for it, that’s going to look bizarre. It obviously won’t make Ugas happy if he’s stripped of his WBA title, as he’s been enjoying his championship status since he was elevated.

“That’s going to be a great fight,” said Oscar De La Hoya to Fighthype. “He can sleep on Spence, and Spence cant sleep on Pacquiao.

“Pacquiao can win the fight just how he wins every fight,” said Chris Algieri to Fighthype.

“He’s a guy that you can’t count out. He’s still fast. He’s still explosive. He still hits hard, he still has those bricks for hands.

“He still has that super awkward style that is difficult to find to hit with more than one punch at a time.

Image: Manny Pacquiao could be reinstated as WBA 147-lb champion

“Spence, he’s the terminator. He’s big. He’s strong. He’s young. My heart is with Pacquiao. I’m nostalgic. I think even Spence said that.

“When he beat Thurman, it was crazy. He’s still being young, undefeated champions in his 40s and doing it impressively. But my brain and betting line would go with Spence.

“He’s younger, stronger, and I think we haven’t seen the best of Spence. He has another level to his game that we haven’t seen,” said Algieri.

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