Yordenis Ugas firmly believes he is a world champion. The trouble is, most of the boxing fraternity in the know see legend Manny Pacquiao as the one and only ruler at 147.
Raising the ‘WBA Regular welterweight title’ on September 6th, Ugas declared himself Cubas’ first belt holder at the weight for over 50 years.
Within hours of his triumph, the 34-year-old faced negativity because his strap is not ‘the real’ championship.
There’s only one man who can hold an organization title at a single weight. Manny Pacquiao is certainly that fighter with the WBA.
Two belts in one division always cause more trouble than it’s worth. But this hasn’t stopped the World Boxing Association from keeping both in circulation.
Ugas has spent time on social media showing off his new status, only to be met by calls that he’s a ‘fake champion’ and does not have a ‘real’ title.
So what does Ugas have to do to get his respect?
He has to channel the movie ‘Rocky V’ where Tommy Gunn, played by former heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison, is in the shadow of Rocky Balboa.
To show he’s worthy of holding the title, he has to beat the master.
His promoter, Mr. George Washington Duke, uttered immortal words to Tommy to seal a fight between them.
Ugas has to do this to get his recognition. Try changing out the words for Ugas and Pacquiao.
“Listen, Tommy (Ugas). You can’t fight the press. I can’t fight them.
“As long as they got Balboa (Pacquiao) on the brain, he’s champ. He fought wars in the ring. Tommy (Ugas), face facts. You’re in his shadow.
“There is a way to get the respect you deserve. Challenge Balboa (Pacquiao) to fight.
“Teacher against student, old lion against young lion. That’s the only way you ever gonna get peace of mind.
“The press will hound you with that man’s legend for as long as you wear gloves.
“You gotta get him into that ring, Tommy (Ugas), or you’ll keep hearing questions like that.
“You’ll start to ask yourself, “Could I take him? Am I really good enough? – Got to challenge that man to fight, Tommy (Ugas).
“If he refuses, you gotta insult him! You gotta dog him, you gotta humiliate him.
“Do whatever you got to do to get him into that ring! But that’s what you got to do.”
So, is Ugas willing to go that extra mile to get his respect and fight Manny Pacquiao? – It seems the only logical fight.
The WBA ‘Regular’ is merely a pathway to the full title anyway, so let’s see if a future fight can come off and give Ugas that title he craves.
Then – and only then, can he claim to be Cuba’s first welterweight champion in half a century.