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Yordenis Ugas: I won my belt in a championship fight

Manny Pacquiao boxing photo and news image

By Chris Williams: Yordenis Ugas clued the media in on Wednesday in letting them know that the narrative that Manny Pacquiao has been spinning about him being given his WBA welterweight title is WRONG because he won his title in a championship fight.

Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) has been bitterly complaining about how his WBA ‘Super World’ 147-lb title was wrongly stripped from him earlier this year and given to Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs). But the Cuban talent made it clear that he won his WBA belt with a victory over Abel Ramos last September.

The only reason Pacquiao was stripped of his WBA welterweight title is that he hadn’t defended it in the 20 months since winning it in July 2019 against Keith Thurman. That WBA title was just sitting around, collecting dust with Pacquiao, and knows when or if he was ever going to defend it.

Should the WBA have stripped Pacquiao sooner?

The World Boxing Association showed a lot of patience with Pacquiao, waiting over a year and a half for him to make a defense of his newly won WBA belt. When it became clear that Pacquiao had nothing scheduled, the WBA stripped him.

The way Pacquiao was sitting on his WBA title was like a memento or keepsake that he was holding onto for sentimental reasons rather than something he had actually to defend on an annual basis.

Manny Pacquiao boxing photo and news image

If Chris Williams were in charge of the WBA, he would have stripped Pacquiao a LONG time ago. We can’t have champions sitting on their titles like mother hens waiting to hatch an overdue egg.

Now, here we are TWO years and one month since Pacquiao won his WBA belt in July 2020, and he’s FINALLY getting back in the ring to fight. What sanctioning body would be willing to let a champion sit on a title for two years without defending it?

If anything, the WBA should have pulled the trigger on stripping Pacquiao a lot sooner than they did because champions that sit on their titles without defending it within 12 months are slowing down the sport, making it tough on the contenders.

If boxing was regulated as well as other sports like the NFL and NBA, for example, you wouldn’t see champions letting years go by before they make title defenses the way you’re seeing now.

Yordenis not worried about Pacquiao’s movement

“The winner Saturday should be crowned the real WBA champion,” said Yordenis Ugas to Fighthype. “Absolutely, I won my belt in a championship fight [against Abel Ramos], but Saturday is a completely different fight. He’s [Pacquiao] a strong fighter but I’m used to it taking heavy punches.

“I got to give him respect until the bell rings, and then all that goes out the window,” Yordenis said when asked if he gives Pacquiao respect.

“He’s got great speed, he can move really well, but we have our game plan. Let’s see how it goes Saturday,” Ugas said when told that he could have problems landing his body shots with Pacquiao’s constant movement.




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