Manny Pacquiao faces being stripped of world welterweight title in 2021

Stephanie Trapp

World Boxing News understands that Manny Pacquiao faces being stripped of his WBA welterweight title if he goes through with a fight against Conor McGregor.

Rumors Pacquaioa would fight McGregor began in 2019. Both parties have since ratified them during the pandemic crisis.

Now, it looks as though a money-spinning battle will go down for charity in the second quarter of 2021.

As the current WBA welterweight champion, Pacquiao will almost certainly be relieved of the strap if he doesn’t defend it in the next few months.

Due to Covid-19, it’s already been over a year since the Filipino Senator took the belt from Keith Thurman in Las Vegas.

The World Boxing Association would have given Pacquiao a grace period due to the coronavirus stopping so many fights. But they will want movement in the next six months or so.

It’s highly doubtful that Pacquiao will be able to wait another year to defend the championship.

Ugas / Stephanie Trapp

At present, Yordinis Ugas is the ‘regular’ champion. The Cuban will want his shot at the full version to be recognized entirely as the real belt holder.

Therefore, Pacquiao will undoubtedly have to face Ugas in 2021. If he doesn’t, the WBA will be forced to act and elevate Ugas to full titleholder.


As WBN previously pointed out, Pacquiao won’t be able to defend his strap against McGregor as the UFC star is 0-1 in a boxing ring. He’s also unranked.

McGregor would have to fight somebody else first. Possibly pick up a fringe WBA title in order to be rated. The WBA would then have to agree a request for Pacquiao to put it on the line in an exhibition charity bout. An entirely unlikely scenario.

In a nutshell, Pacquiao will no longer be a champion at 147 pounds if he does go through with the McGregor event. The timeframe doesn’t fit.

The WBA could then sanction Ugas vs. interim champion, Jamal James, for the full title.

Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.

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