By: Sean Crose
Team Manny Pacquiao has come out blasting at the WBA.
“On January 29, 2021,” a press statement reads, “without any advance notice or warning, the WBA announced that it had designated Manny a ‘Champion in Recess’ while promoting Regular Champion Yordenis Ugas to welterweight Super Champion — the title Manny won inside the ring — without even fighting for that title. “
But that’s only the beginning.
“Ugas hasn’t fought since winning the WBA Regular welterweight title on September 6, 2020,” the press release continues. “It begs the question, what did Manny receive for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he paid in sanctioning fees to the WBA to sanction his last three title fight victories?”
Pacquiao, the statement reports, won the WBA strap from Keith Thurman in 2019. Since that time, Team Pacquiao argues, the Covid Pandemic has kept the Filipino legend from being as active as he could have been. Therefore, Team Pacquiao reasons, there’s no fair reason for Pacquiao to not be regarded as the active titlist.
“I can tell you what Manny didn’t receive – DUE PROCESS AND RESPECT,” Sean Gibbons, president of MP Promotions, claimed in the statement. “It took two years to get the world title belt he earned inside the ring by beating the undefeated Super Champion Keith Thurman. Hell, Manny only received that belt on Saturday. The WBA never inquired about Manny’s title defense plans. The WBA never warned us Manny’s Super Champion status could be in jeopardy. The WBA never informed us that Manny had been designated its Champion in Recess.”
Gibbons also points out what he believes is the WBA’s lack of professional courtesy. “We had to read the WBA’s press release on that on the internet,” he said. “And speaking of Keith Thurman, the WBA had no concern about his lack of activity when he went over 22 months between title defenses (Danny Garcia on March 4, 2017, and Josesito Lopez on January 26, 2019). Recess is over.”
Yet Gibbons still wasn’t done, opting instead fire directly at the WBA as a whole while referencing Pacquiao’s upcoming superfight with Errol Spence. “The two best fighters in the welterweight division are facing each other,” he claimed. “It should be celebrated and properly recognized. The Ring is even blessing the winner as its welterweight champion. This is not a sanctioning group. It is a used car lot. Take my advice. Before paying the WBA a sanctioning fee, kick the tires and read the warranty. Perhaps their new slogan should be Caveat Emptor.”
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