Covid left the boxing world in a tough position for the majority of 2020. Most of the big-name fighters had zero interest or limited financial opportunities worth competing. There were some events that were put together and the situation turned out to be decent all things considered, but some of the big names still did not compete at all.
Manny Pacquiao fought Keith Thurman in July of 2019. Since then he has remained inactive in the sport and dealing with life back home as a priority (which it should be). A return to the ring seemed to be more of an option for 2021 but what Pacquiao had in mind and may do is not enough to fulfill his duties as a champion.
A fight with MMA superstar Conor McGregor was on the table until McGregor got knocked out by Dustin Poirier. Then began the talks of a fight with Ryan Garcia as an exhibition. This too did not please those in the boxing world so with that possibly happening or nothing happening at all Pacquiao has been labeled champion in recess by the WBA.
Yordenis Ugas has been elevated in place of Pacquiao to super champion. To quote Ric Flair: “To be the man you have to beat the man” fits well for this situation but Ugas is just happy and grateful for now being recognized as the man.
“Thank God, my agent, my team, family, and fans today is a great day for me,” Tweeted Ugas. “Thanks to the WBA for raising me to Super Champion and doing what is best for sport. Manny Pacquiao is a legend and he will always be champion. His intention was McGregor [and] now Ryan, but you cannot, behind your history, hijack a championship. This gives fans a chance to see a great unification fight at 147lbs. I don’t want this position for easy fights. My team has my consent for my next fight to fight Pacquiao if he wants to show who he is the true WBA champion or another of the champions for a great unification fight. I am a warrior committed to his career and to his fans, who have fought and earned every penny and every opportunity. Thank you all and I can’t wait to announce what’s next. I am grateful and very excited!”