The World Boxing Association released information to the media this week praising the fact they have four titles on the line in January alone.
Two of those ‘world titles’ come in the same weight class. Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman both defend welterweight straps.
But who is the actual WBA champion? There has been some debate.
Many say Pacquiao as the Filipino has reigned since last July. Thurman has nursed an injury which has kept him out almost two years.
A switch in ‘super’ and ‘regular’ status had been mentioned due to Thurman’s prolonged absence. But as the WBA clarified on Wednesday, Thurman remain above Pacquiao as the main man at 147 pounds.
“With four title belts at stake, 2019 will start with the World Boxing Association highlighting the presentation of Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao and Keith Thurman defending their respective titles, both on US soil,” said the WBA’s Samuel Rosenberg.
“This January 19th at the MGM Grand’s Arena Garden the legendary “Pacman” (60-7-2, 39 KOs) returns to action to defend his title for the first time. The regular WBA Welterweight Championship he conquered just last year with a knockout over Argentinian Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia, is on the line.
“Pacquiao is now 40 years old. He will face Adrien Broner (33-3-1,24 knockouts). Broner is also a champion in multiple weight divisions.
The American is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. A chance to achieve the greatness he has always sought.
“The Problem” is still only 29 years old, He must fight a perfect fight to join the not-too-long list of Manny’s conquerors. Broner hopes to recover the welterweight WBA belt that he has already held back in 2013.
“On the 26th of January, there will be two more title defenses. One highlighting the return of American Keith Thurman. ‘One Time’ defends the WBA Super World Welterweight Championship against the Californian native Josesito Lopez at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
“On that same day in Houston, Texas, the Puerto Rican native Jesus Rojas (26-2-2, 19 KOs) will also defend his WBA world featherweight title. He battles the Chinese native Can Xu (15-2, 2 KOs).
“The fight is a relaunch of Rojas’ career, Rojas had fallen in his most recent bout against Joseph Diaz. Therefore, it was a battle in which the WBA title was not at stake.”
The WBA had previously promised to remove some of their extra belts. This has since proved not to be the case.