WBA strips Manny Pacquiao of belt, declares him as 'champion in recess'


Manny Pacquiao was stripped of his World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Champion belt early Saturday as he was named a "champion in recess" by the sanctioning body due to inactivity.

Cuban boxer Yordenus Ugas was promoted as the new Welterweight Super Champion. The surprising decision was made by the organization's Championships Committee.

"Pacquiao won the Super Champion belt in July 2019 when he defeated American Keith Thurman, however, he has not defended the belt since then," the WBA said through its website.

A WBA rule states that when a champion is unable to defend his belt for medical, legal or other reasons beyond his control, he may be named champion in recess.

Then 40 years old, Pacquiao beat Thurman via split decision to capture the super welterweight championship and become the oldest boxer in the division to win a major title.

Not a few boxers intended to arrange a fight with the lone eight-division world champion and Filipino senator including Terrence Crawford, Conor McGregor, Errol Spence Jr. and most recently Ryan Garcia. However, nothing has materialized yet due to the COVID pandemic.