Mandatory order may scupper Yordenis Ugas vs Manny Pacquiao rematch

Yordenis Ugas Manny Pacquiao

Ryan Hafey

World Boxing News understands that a Yordenis Ugas vs. Manny Pacquiao rematch is not as straightforward as first expected.

Upon defeating the Filipino legends, Cuba’s Ugas offered to give Pacquiao a second fight should the former champion decide to fight on. But with the World Boxing Association on a mission to reduce title belts, Ugas may be in the firing line.

The current WBA “regular” title-holder, Jamal James, is due his shot following a resolution outlined by the WBA last week.

Now, James was set for a battle with Gabriel Maestre as the interim ruler first off. However, the WBA stripped Maestre when a furor erupted over scoring for a fight with Mykal Fox.

Instead of ordering the results to be overturned or at the very least giving the belt to the rightful winner, the WBA decided to lay down an immediate rematch.

After what transpired, Fox declined as his manager Marshall Kauffman told World Boxing News earlier this month.

“They ordered the rematch, but Fox’s father, Troy Fox, who is his trainer, said we don’t feel that is the right fight for us because what do we have to gain? We already beat him,” said Kauffman at the Pacquiao fight.

“We want to move on to bigger and better things. And there are guys at the top of the list like Eimantas Stanionis and other guys in that division at 147 that we’d rather fight.

“Mykal feels the same way.”

Jamal James
Sean Michael Ham

MANNY PACQUIAO II

Fox’s decision gives the WBA a headache now that the interim title is no longer on the table, but they still could decide to provide Maestre with a shot at James’ belt. If they do, that frees up Ugas for Pacquiao II.

Should James have the opportunity to fight Ugas at the earliest convenience, though, this is where the Manny Pacquiao return could come unstuck.

According to their resolution, the WBA wants all titles to reduce as quickly as possible. Therefore, Ugas vs. James makes the most sense to be next.

It may all prove academic anyway if Manny Pacquiao retires.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.