Floyd Mayweather is the last man to claim The Ring Magazine “Rocky” belt at the welterweight limit. Now, whoever comes out on top of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence clash on August 21 will follow the great five-weight king.
The Ring confirmed the news over the weekend in a move that saw the number one at 147 (Errol Spence) and the third-ranked contender (Manny Pacquiao) gain approval.
When explaining their decision to add the lineal crown, The Ring stated: “It’s taken the best part of six years, but finally we have a 147-pound fight deemed worthy of Ring Magazine championship honors.
“The winner of the August 21 showdown between unified titleholder Errol Spence Jr. and the legendary Manny Pacquiao will become the first Ring welterweight champion since Floyd Mayweather relinquished the title in September 2015.
“Other holders of this prestigious prize include all-time greats Henry Armstrong, Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Roberto Duran.
“Our own championship policy stipulates the following: “If a fight between the number one and two contenders cannot be made and number one fights number three, the winner may be awarded The Ring belt if the Editorial Board deems the number three contender worthy.”
“All three members of the editorial board voted. All three agreed that Pacquiao-Spence qualifies,” they added.
The news comes as the World Boxing Association prepares to hand Pacquiao his WBA “super” crown back after startlingly stripping the Filipino Senator during the pandemic.
WBA chiefs got highly criticized for the move. It came as Pacquiao was helping his fellow countrymen deal with the coronavirus. Therefore, WBN decided to unrecognize the WBA as a major sanctioning body in the sport.
Despite the expected reversal, an admission of wrongdoing in anyone’s book, the WBA will not be reinstated by World Boxing News for this act.
In itself, the backtracking is a disservice to Yordenis Ugas. He’s the fighter whom the WBA gave the strap in Pacquiao’s place.
Effectively giving the Cuban the title and then taking it away is just as bad a ruling as stripping the “Pacman” in the first place.
The WBA has a lot to do to repair its reputation from this situation. Add to that the current ranking chaos, especially in the heavyweight division, and there’s much work to do.
Regarding Pacquiao vs. Spence, adding more prestige is only suitable for the contest.
It’s one of the most significant events of the year. It could turn out to be one of the fights of the year into the bargain.
Pacquiao is now in the US to finish camp for the fight.