WBA relegates idle Pacquiao as ‘champion in recess’
MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao was named as the World Boxing Association’s “champion in recess” for its welterweight division after being inactive for more than a year, the sanctioning body announced on its website Saturday.
WBA’s decision to relegate Pacquiao meant that Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas, who won the “regular” version against Abel Ramos in September 2020, was elevated to Super champion status.
Pacquiao became the WBA (Super) champion belt in July 2019 when he defeated Keith Thurman, a year after he defeated Lucas Matthysse for the regular belt.
“The WBA, according to its rule C.14, dictates that champions and their teams are required to know the WBA rules and regulations. Rule C.22-24 states that when a champion is unable to defend the belt for medical, legal or other reasons beyond his control, he may be named champion in recess,” wrote the WBA on its website.
Pacquiao sat out 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but he was heavily mentioned into potential fights against fellow welterweight champions Terence Crawford, the holder of the WBO strap, and Errol Spence, the owner of the WBC and IBF belts.
Rising star Ryan Garcia, the interim WBC lightweight champion, also threw his name into the mix.
Pacquiao wasn’t the only champion that the WBA sanctioned due to inactivity.
Regular heavyweight champion Mahmoud Charr and regular cruiserweight champion Beibut Shumenov were also designated as Champion in Recess due to their inactivity.
Charr last fought in November 2017 when he defeated Alexander Ustinov for the vacant heavyweight title while Shumenov hasn’t fought since July 2018 when he beat Hizni Altunakaya for the cruiserweight strap.
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