Manny Pacquiao currently holds the WBA welterweight title he claimed when defeating Keith Thurman in Las Vegas over the summer of 2019.
The Filipino Senator dominated the American early on before the fight evened out in places until the final bell. With a decision victory, Pacquiao claimed yet another world title in what has been a sparkling career.
But that title will not be on the line if Conor McGregor is to be Pacquiao’s next opponent – as recently confirmed by both parties.
The fact Pacquiao vs. McGregor will be an exhibition and more than likely at a higher weight than 147 pounds, means the WBA title will be sitting on the shelf for that event.
At present, Pacquiao has no mandatory challenger. What he does have is a ‘regular’ champion, ‘interim’ champion, and ‘gold’ champion chasing a shot.
The World Boxing Association has not stipulated that Pacquiao has to face any of those contenders. They seem content to take the sanctioning fees for all those so-called titles.
Therefore, Pacquiao is under no obligation upon his return to face anyone in defense of the title.
McGregor would have some job on his hands to persuade the WBA to give him an opportunity anyway, as his boxing record is currently at a poor 0-1.
This follows his damaging defeat to Floyd Mayweather in 2017, a completely one-sided affair until the boxing legend put him out of his misery in the tenth.
A boxer who does challenge for a title has to be ranked. He also has to have won his last professional bout.
This means McGregor would have to be sanctioned for a firing WBA title bout first of all. He has to win that and then be given the green light for a voluntary attempt at Pacquiao’s belt.
It’s not going to happen.
As things stand, Pacquaio has a decision to make as to whether he wants to even keep the strap as he goes through with a money-spinning collision with the UFC star.
1 JAMAL JAMES – INTERIM CHAMP – USA
2 MIKEY GARCIA – USA
3 GABRIEL MAESTRE -VEN
4 RADZHAB BUTAEV – RUS
5 RASHIDI ELLIS – USA
6 DAVID AVANESYAN – RUS
7 JESSIE VARGAS – USA
8 ABEL RAMOS – USA
9 ALBERTO PALMETTA – INT – ARG
10 CUSTIO CLAYTON – NABA – CAN
11 KEITH THURMAN – USA
12 CODY CROWLEY – CAN
13 KAREN CHUKHADZHIAN – UKR
14 SANDY MESSAOUD – I/C – FRA
15 KHARITON AGRBA – RUS