WBA orders Yordenis Ugas to fight Eimantas Stanionis within 119 days
By Huck Allen: Yordenis Ugas has been ordered by the World Boxing Association to defend his WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight title against his #1 contender Eimantas Stanionis within 119 days, part of a four-person box-off that the sanctioning body is calling for.
Mike Coppinger reports that in addition to Ugas (27-4, 12 KO’s) fighting the unproven Stanionis (13-0, 9 KOs), but they also want WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Jamal James (27-1, 12 KOs) to defend against #5 WBA Radzhab Butaev (13-0, 10 KOs).
The winner of the two ordered fights will then battle in March of 2022. Presumably, this is a move by the WBA to reduce the number of titles, as they’ve got two champions at 147-lb currently, with Ugas holding the ‘Super World’ and James having the ‘World’ strap AKA ‘regular’ belt.
WBA has picked a bad time to order Ugas-Stanionis
The WBA couldn’t have picked the worst time to order Ugas to fight the 27-year-old Lithuanian Eimantas Stanionis because he has a good chance of fighting a rematch with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao after beating him last August.
Pacquiao recently said that he wants a rematch with Ugas because he wasn’t at his best due to leg cramps from too much running during training camp.
If Ugas is tied down fighting the little-known unproven Stanionis, he won’t be able to fight Pacquiao in a lucrative rematch. It’s possible that if Pacquiao doesn’t get the rematch before the end of the year with Ugas, he may change his mind and retire.
There’s NO money in a fight between Ugas and ‘Stanionis, as neither of those guys is popular enough on their own to sell this on pay-per-view. For Ugas to make big money, he needs Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr., or Terence Crawford.
Unfortunately for Ugas, Spence is likely out for the remainder of 2021 after having eye surgery to repair a torn retina he suffered while training for his canceled fight with Pacquiao last August.
With the WBA ordering Ugas to fight Stanionis, he’s stuck with this low-paying fight. One possible option for Ugas is to petition with the WBA to fight Pacquiao if the Filipino star is interested in facing him before the end of the year.
Should Ugas swerve Stanionis?
With the sanctioning fees for a Ugas vs. Pacquiao rematch, the WBA might agree to let this fight happen ahead of their ordered Yordenis vs. Stanionis fight.
If Pacquiao would still fight Ugas without the WBA title, it would be tempting for him to vacate the belt and forget about the wasteful fight with Stanionis. I don’t think Pacquiao will fight Ugas unless he has his WBA title because the Filipino star is hung up about wanting to recapture his belt for some reason.
Stanionis’ recent fights:
- Luis Collazo – No contest 4
- Thomas Dulorme – UD 12
- Janer Gonzalez – TKO 9
- Justin DeLoach – TKO 9
“The WBA ordered a four-person box-off in the welterweight division. Yordenis Ugas, who holds the ‘Super World’ title,’ must face Eimantas Stanionis in the next 119 days. Jamal James, the regular champ, must face Radzhab Butavev by November. Winners must meet by March 2022,” said @MikeCoppinger.
- Errol Spence wants title fight next against Ugas
- WBA rules Yordenis Ugas must defend against Eimantas Stanionis next, has 30 days to negotiate
- Will the Welterweight Division Have a Unification Champion Soon?
- Yordenis Ugas upset with WBA ordering 4-fighter tournament