Manny Pacquiao’s Request To Be Reinstated As Full Titleholder Denied By WBA
By: Hans Themistode
Heading into his showdown against unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., Manny Pacquiao hoped to be introduced as not only an eight-division world champion but the current WBA belt holder. However, after long discussions behind the scenes between WBA committee members, Pacquiao will now saunter into his matchup against the Dallas native beltless.
Having stripped away the WBA 147 pound title from Keith Thurman in July of 2019, Pacquiao sat sequestered on the sidelines. The now 42-year-old dropped Thurman in the opening round of their clash which took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, before eventually eking out a close split decision win.
With the Philippine native deciding against stepping into the ring for the entirety of 2020, his newly won title was taken away. From there, Yordenis Ugas, then “Regular” champion, was elevated to full titleholder as Pacquiao was relegated to “Champion in Recess.” Meaning, if Pacquiao wanted to regain championship status, he would be given the opportunity to skip ahead of the line once he returned and challenge Ugas for the right to win his championship back.
With that said, team Pacquiao attempted to bypass Ugas and requested to be reinstated this past May. After careful consideration, the WBA has decided against Pacquiao’s request.
Despite the denial, nothing has changed in terms of his showdown against Spence Jr. The two will still face off on August 21st at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The WBA’s ruling has ultimately allowed the rest of their champions to stay in place as opposed to moving down a notch. Not only would Pacquiao’s reinstatement have pushed Ugas back to “Regular” champion but Jamal James, who was elevated to “Regular” belt holder, would also have been forced to take a step back and been labeled interim champion.
Before news of the WBA’s decision, Ugas appeared indifferent as he patiently awaited the the ruling. With the Cuban native still in possession of the sanctioning bodies full title, he’ll now look to defend his championship in the co-main event of Pacquiao vs. Spence Jr. As of now, no opponent has been announced.
Yordenis Ugas: “The WBA Do What They Want To Do, I’m Not Frustrated, I’m Going To Be The Co-main Event On That Show On August 21st”
By: Hans Themistode
The fight was practically his, and then it wasn’t.
For Yordenis Ugas, he believed that a showdown against unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. was next up on his fight calendar. In September of 2020, the Cuban native reeled off his third win in a row as he defeated Abel Ramos via split decision. The win for Ugas produced a special moment for him as he was officially crowned the WBA “Regular” champion.
With Manny Pacquiao still in possession of the WBA “Super” title, the 42-year-old boxing legend was made “Champion in Recess” as he remained on the sidelines for close to two years. That in turn pushed Ugas to super champion status.
Now, however, with Pacquiao announcing to the boxing world that he’ll be the one to face Spence Jr. on August 21st, in Las Vegas Nevada, Ugas was reportedly taken aback by the news. But while he wasn’t pleased with being pushed to the side, Ugas can take solace in knowing that he’ll make his return to the ring on the same card.
“I was the one who was going to fight Errol Spence,” said Ugas to a group of reporters. “Now, all of a sudden, Manny Pacquiao has decided to come out of retirement. Now they’re going to fight but supposedly I’m going to be the co-main event on that show on August 21st but I don’t know against who.”
In addition to Ugas no longer getting a showdown against Spence Jr., at least at the moment, the 34-year-old is on the verge of losing his world title. Although Ugas has done nothing wrong, President of the WBA in Gilberto Mendoza, is currently leaning towards re-establishing Pacquiao as full belt holder ahead of his fight against Spence Jr.
“We’re working on it,” said Mendoza during an interview with ThaBoxingVoice regarding Pacquiao getting reinstated as champion. “There’s a high probability. It has to be run through a championship committee and voted before taken to the President.”
Under normal circumstances, when a champion is placed as “Champion in Recess” said fighter is given the immediate opportunity to win his world title back against the current champion which would be Ugas. Regardless of those rules, however, it appears as though Ugas could be on his way to losing his world title before even defending it.
While the state of affairs would leave most apoplectic, Ugas couldn’t care less what happens. In his opinion, he would rather focus on what he can control.
“The WBA do what they want to do. I’m not frustrated, I’m continuing to train and fight but I am the co-main event on that show.”
Gilberto Mendoza, WBA President, Admits There Is A “High Probability” That Manny Pacquiao Is Reinstated As WBA Champion For Errol Spence Jr. Showdown
By: Hans Themistode
When Manny Pacquiao made the stunning announcement that he was taking on Errol Spence Jr. on August 21st, in Las Vegas, Nevada, not only did he stun most of the boxing world, he also left WBA sanctioning body President Gilberto Mendoza dumbfounded.
Although Pacquiao has been sidelined for roughly a year and a half, there were widespread rumors that he was on the verge of facing either former four-division champion Mikey Garcia or WBO welterweight belt holder, Terence Crawford.
Still, despite the hearsay, Mendoza was firmly under the assumption that Pacquiao was on the brink of facing someone else.
“Initially, the plan was (Yordenis) Ugas to fight Pacquiao,” said Mendoza during a recent interview with ThaBoxingVoice. “But now, the Spence fight was announced.”
An assumed matchup between Ugas and Pacquiao was simply to clear up the confusion towards the top of his sanctioning body. After defeating Keith Thurman in July of 2019, Pacquiao was crowned with the WBA welterweight title. Ugas, on the other hand, outpointed fringe contender Abel Ramos for the WBA ‘Regular’ title in September of 2020. With Pacquiao remaining out for an extended period of time, he was then moved from full champion to champion in recess while Ugas was elevated to full belt holder.
Now, with Pacquiao announcing that he’ll be facing Spence Jr. for his WBC and IBF world titles, the Filipino native and his representatives have reached out to Mendoza to be reinstated as super champion once again.
While Mendoza refrained from making an official decision, he did, however, offer a glimpse into his likely settlement.
“Sean Gibson who represents Manny, they have written a letter to be placed back in it,” explained Mendoza. “We’re working on it. There’s a high probability. It has to be run through a championship committee and voted before taken to the President.”
As Mendoza continues to work behind the scenes to resolve the matter, if he does in fact, choose to reinstate Pacquiao, Ugas could be the odd man out. The Cuban native continues to search for an opponent as he attempts to return to the ring.
Although Pacquiao’s effort to regain his championship status has thrown confusion into the WBA sanctioning body, Mendoza appears to be on track to clearing up the uncertainty.
Shawn Porter: “I Feel Like Errol Is Going To Have His Way With Ugas”
By: Hans Themistode
Shawn Porter has a feeling that Errol Spence Jr. will have an easy time in the ring his next time out.
Although nothing is official just yet, all signs point to the unified welterweight champion taking on WBA belt holder Yordenis Ugas. Having spent time in the ring with both, Porter simply believes that Ugas doesn’t have enough in his toolbox to get the job.
“I feel like Errol is going to have his way with Ugas,” said Porter on The Porter Way Podcast Clips. “The thing with Ugas is that he doesn’t have good feet. He plants his feet and wants to stand there and bang. I just don’t think banging with Errol Spence like that will get the job done.”
Listening to the words of Porter comes across as somewhat of a contradiction. The former two-time welterweight champion may have boxed against the Dallas native at times when they matched up in September of 2019, but more than anything, Porter spent long durations of their contest banging it out with the powerful southpaw in the center of the ring.
While Porter won’t disagree with that statement, he also wants the boxing world to hit the rewind button on their contest. Sure he fought toe to toe with Spence Jr., but he also added a few wrinkles as well.
“We banged but I pivoted, I turned, I got off the line. I was able to block and retreat and use defense. I just don’t think Ugas has those abilities and it isn’t something he can learn on the fly, I just don’t think he can. He covers very well but I think he’s too slow for Errol. I don’t think it’s the kind of fight that is going to last as long as Errol wants it to last but I do think that Errol is going to control it from beginning to end.”
Just before Porter forfeited his WBC world title to Spence Jr. in their matchup, he defended it against Ugas six months prior. Following 12 rounds of back and forth action, all three judges scoring the bout had a difficult time declaring a winner. With that said, Porter was elated to hear his name at the end of a split decision verdict.
Despite believing the chances of Ugas pulling off the win are slim to none, Porter does see a path to victory for the Cuban native. It won’t be an easy one, nor will it be a likely outcome but Porter does offer Ugas a glimmer of hope based on his attributes.
“He has the ability to punch. He’s a good puncher and he can get to the body. If he can get to Errol’s body and slow him down, then he’s got a chance. I think Yordenis Ugas is one of the best rippers to the body that we’ve seen in a long time. But, I don’t think Errol is going to sit there and allow him to.”
Mikey Garcia Knows Exactly Who He Wants Next: “I Would Go After Ugas”
By: Hans Themistode
There was simply nothing Mikey Garcia could do against Errol Spence Jr. Roughly two years ago, the California native jumped up two weight divisions in an attempt to win a world title in his fifth weight class.
His dreams, of course, proved to be an impossible one as Spence Jr. dominated him by winning every single round. In a nutshell, Garcia was flat-out embarrassed. Since then, many have called for him to drop back down in weight and pick on people his own size.
Not only does Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) intend on ignoring that advice but he has already outlined who he wants to take on in his next two fights.
“I would go after Ugas,” said Garcia on the PBC podcast. “Win that title and pursue a rematch with Errol Spence.”
Ironically enough, Spence Jr. is also eyeing a showdown with Ugas. The Cuban-born native was recently elevated from WBA welterweight “Regular” champion to full belt holder due to former titlist Manny Pacquiao sitting on the sidelines for nearly two years.
The elevation of Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) has now placed a target on his back as many of the top names in the division, including Garcia, are attempting to strip him of his world title.
While it once seemed impossible for Garcia to push his name back into the mix for a possible Spence Jr. showdown, he has appeared to finally settle into his much bigger weight class.
Eleven months after receiving his one-sided beating, Garcia bounced back by dropping and mostly dominating former champion Jessie Vargas. Garcia however, has been unable to keep his momentum going as he has been inactive since the win.
Recently, he’s been spotted back in the gym as he works to shed a few pounds and make his way back to the ring.
In spite of Garcia making it clear that Ugas is number one on his Hitlist, the former multiple division belt holder knows he has options. If, for whatever reason, a deal between Ugas and himself does not materialize, Garcia rattles off several other names that he would be more than willing to step into the ring with next.
“A fighter like Danny Garcia is interesting. Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman – these are all big names and fights that interest me a lot.”
Errol Spence Jr. Appears To Call Out Yordenis Ugas: “All You Needed Was Something I Want”
By: Hans Themistode
While Errol Spence Jr. has always respected Yordenis Ugas, at no point has he ever looked at him as a viable option. Even with the Cuban native taking home the WBA welterweight title in his last contest against Abel Ramos, Spence Jr. still lacked interest in the bout simply because it was the “Regular” version of the title draped around the shoulders of Ugas as opposed to the “Super” title held by Manny Pacquiao.
However, with the WBA officially elevating Ugas to “Super” champion and pushing Pacquiao to “Champion in recess,” Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) has now turned his attention to the 34-year-old full belt holder.
“All you needed was something I want,” said Spence Jr. on his Twitter account.
With the possibility of adding a third world title to the two already wrapped around his waist, Spence Jr. appears to be pushing his chips to the middle of the table for a unification showdown.
Long before Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) was able to call himself a world champion, he called for a title shot against Spence Jr. With the unified belt holder now seemingly calling him out, Ugas is still as enthusiastic as ever about the possibility of their showdown becoming a reality.
“I have it,” said Ugas on Twitter in response to Spence Jr.’s Tweet. “We are going to do it for three championships. Let’s give the fans a great fight. I’m ready.”
Spence Jr., of course, is fresh off a one-sided victory over former two-division world champion Danny Garcia in early December. Although most of the boxing world questioned how the Dallas native would look in his return to the ring after spending over a year on the sidelines as he recovered from his horrific car wreck, Spence Jr. quelled any thoughts that he wouldn’t be the same as he went on to completely outclass Garcia over the course of 12 rounds.
Originally, Spence Jr. pursued a more lucrative matchup with Pacquiao instead. Nevertheless, the future first ballot hall of famer appears to have his mind elsewhere such as a showdown with UFC star Conor McGregor and a reported exhibition contest against lightweight contender Ryan Garcia.
With Pacquiao officially out of the mix at the moment, both Spence Jr. and Ugas appear to be on a collision course for a unification bout later on this year.
Yordenis Ugas: “I Would Fight Terence Crawford Without Question”
By: Hans Themistode
Former three division world champion and current WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford has been criticized for his level of opposition over the years. Fighters such as Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia have been forced to squint when trying to recognize the names that Crawford has shared the ring with as of late.
At the moment, the Nebraska native is staring down the barrel of a showdown with former welterweight titlist Kell Brook. A win against his British counterpart may have held Crawford in high regard in the eyes of his peers several years ago, but with two broken orbital bones, an admitted lack of motivation and the absence of a big fight on his resume in years, a win over Brook will do little to placate his critics.
On the opposite end of Crawford’s ailment’s is perpetual contender Yordenis Ugas. The 34 year old Cuban native has faced his fair share of big name opponents including Jamal James as well as Shawn Porter. Now, his murderers row of competition will be rewarded this coming Sunday when he takes on Abel Ramos with the vacant WBA regular title on the line.
A win isn’t guaranteed, but if he does what most are expecting then he would love to kick down the door on a number of potential mega matchups in the welterweight division. Including a contest with Crawford.
“I would love to fight the winner of Spence vs Garcia, Keith Thurman and Terence Crawford,” said Ugas to Ray Flores during a virtual interview. “I would fight Terence Crawford without question. That or even a matchup against Mikey Garcia, I’m open to doing that as well.”
For Crawford, he has consistently had one response in regards to matchups with Garcia, Spence, Thurman and others. In short, negotiations can make any of those dream bouts come true. Yet, in regards to Ugas, Crawford hasn’t shown any willingness to work things out.
“I talked about it but no offer has ever been presented to me.”
While fantasy matchups with Crawford excite Ugas (25-4, 12 KOs), for now, they are just that, fantasies. The 34 year old contender would much rather focus on reality and that would include his title contest this coming weekend.
“It’s going to be a great fight. I’m really excited about it. I’m always ready to fight the full distance but if I can get the knockout then great. My main goal at the end of the day is to become a world champion.”
Errol Spence Jr: ” Ugas is a Very Good Fighter But Nobody Knows Who He is”
By: Hans Themistode
Being a great fighter just isn’t good enough. At least according to unified Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
At the moment, the Dallas native is sitting at a table with a pen in his hand waiting to sign a contract. The names that he has been most linked to are WBA belt holder Manny Pacquiao, WBO titlist Terence Crawford and former two division world champion Danny Garcia. One name that is currently trying to place himself into the mix however, is Welterweight contender Yordenis Ugas.
Pacquiao, Crawford and Garcia all share a few things in common. They aren’t only great fighters but they also bring a certain level of cachet to the table.
Simply put, neither of those aforementioned fighters can walk to their respective drug store or go out on a midday stroll without getting mobbed by fans. Especially in the case of Pacquiao.
Ugas on the other hand, can go unnoticed.
His low profile suits him. He isn’t loquacious and may even come across as introverted. Inside of the ring however, it’s a whole different story.
The phrase “I let my fists do the talking for me,” is a great way to describe Ugas. But while that has led him to winning ten of his past eleven fights, it won’t get him on the radar of Spence.
“Ugas is a good fighter,” Spence told Brian Custer, a Showtime broadcaster. “He’s a very good fighter. I think he’s a guy that, you know, that’s always extremely focused. He has, you know, that Cuban training factor, where, you know, he’s always training, he’s always focused. It looks like he’s always in shape. But, you know, as far as big names, he’s not a big name. You know, I think that’s the only knock to him. You know, a great fighter, but not a big name. I mean, he’s not Danny Garcia, not Pacquiao, you know, he’s not Terence Crawford.”
At one point, Spence was once in that same position. Screaming for a big fight at the top of the mountain tops while most who were at the top of said mountain barely heard him. In fairness though, Ugas did receive his shot at stardom in a 2019 contest against Shawn Porter. To the chagrin of those watching at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, Porter was given the split decision win.
The bitter taste of defeat was quickly washed away following two wins over Mike Dallas Jr and Omar Figueroa Jr. Now, he finds himself rated third in the WBC rankings. A belt that Spence just so happens to hold position of. Still, it’ll take more than a climb up the rankings to entice Spence into fighting him.
“That’s the only knock to him. Once he gets there, once he gets behind me, then I’ll turn around and we’ll fight. But, you know, right now, you know, it’s not a guy that, you know, I’m just gonna be calling out to fight because, I mean, hardcore boxing people know him. But outside of that, you know, nobody know who he is.”
Yordenis Ugas Calls Out Terence Crawford: “I Won in The Amateurs”
By: Hans Themistode
Not too many people can boast of picking up a win against Terence Crawford in the ring. As a pro, he’s beaten all 36 of his opponents. But in the amateurs, he’s had a few slip ups. Crawfords record in the non paid ranks stood at 58-12, and by the time 2008 rolled around, he was the highest ranked Lightweight in the United States.
Crawford picked up wins against future world champions in Danny Garcia and Mikey Garcia, but amongst his 12 defeats was to current Welterweight contender Yordenis Ugas.
After a decade plus since their last meeting, plenty has changed. But Ugas believes that the scoreboard will look the same regardless.
“I think I can win that fight,” said Ugas on Instagram Live. “We already fought in the amateurs, and I won 26-10. I think he’s a great fighter, and one of the best in the division. But so am I, and it would be a great fight together. I’ll be ready when boxing is back.”
With the boxing schedule on a hiatus due to COVID-19, the thought of having a tuneup fight before jumping into a high stakes matchup hasn’t even crossed the mind of Ugas. In fact, Crawford isn’t the only big name that he currently has an eye on.
“I would like to fight the WBA champion [Manny Pacquiao]. I think I did everything to become a world champion, and I think I won the fight. Let’s see if Spence takes the challenge.”
The world championship belt in which Ugas is referring to is his 2019 WBC title fight against then champion Shawn Porter. Ugas came up just short in that contest, losing via split decision. Since then, he stopped Mike Dallas Jr. earlier this year. He also made it look easy in handing the previously undefeated Omar Figueroa Jr., a one sided loss.
If Ugas can hold onto his number one position within the WBA, he could find himself matched up with Manny Pacquiao the moment this pandemic comes to an end.