The decision to relieve Manny Pacquiao of his WBA super title and hand it to Yordenis Ugas seems to have come with a curse.
Ugas, who eventually defeated Pacquiao to settle the argument, is currently embroiled in a fierce battle of wills with the World Boxing Association.
President Gilberto Mendoza has ordered Ugas to fight twice in a WBA mandatory tournament. The problems lie in Ugas already signing a unification contract with Errol Spence.
Revealing their reasoning for turning down an Ugas request to delay a mandatory tournament that starts this weekend, the WBA came across quite blunt.
They have listened to all the detractors who said they want only one champion per division.
This competition, whether liked or not, will do just that.
“In the 147 lbs. category, it was decided last September 15 by a resolution that there would be a Box-Off between Jamal James vs. Radzhab Butaev and Yordenis Ugas vs. Eimantas Stanionis.
“The winners of both fights would fight later. So that in there would be only one champion in the division,” stated the WBA.
“On September 16, TGB Promotions, on behalf of Ugas, submitted the request for a special permit for a unification fight against the WBC and IBF champion, the American Errol Spence, with February 22, 2022, as the date.
“In this regard, the Championships Committee sent notice of Ugas request to the team of Stanionis, the mandatory challenger.
“They were against the request. WBA sent their comments to Ugas.
“The opposition of the Stanionis team was supported by the previous resolution that ordered the Box Off.
“Even so, the WBA organized a hearing with both parties on October 18. This event gets arranged so that they can present their arguments. The zoom meeting was recorded for legal purposes.
“The decision taken by the WBA is based on its own rules. The fighters and their teams are obliged to know, especially in this kind of case.
“Right now, the priority is to have only one world champion. To “help improve the image of boxing through appreciation, enjoyment and positive public perception of the quality and integrity of boxing,” as reflected in article 2.01 of section C of its by-laws.”
On why they arranged the tournament now and what happens if Ugas fails to comply, the WBA added: “Box Offs can get called by the chairman of the WBA Championships Committee. Furthermore, they must be adhered to under the parameters explained in the rules.
“Rule C.33 states that if a boxer refuses to participate in a mandatory defense, elimination bout, or Box Off, his title may become vacant or be demoted or removed from the ratings.”
The curse of the super-title indeed. Manny Pacquiao is better off out of it.