By CARLO ANOLIN
The supposed rematch between Yordenis Ugas and Manny Pacquiao is now in limbo after the WBA ordered the Cuban welterweight champion for a mandatory title defense against Eimantas Staniosis of Lithuania.
BoxingScene reported that a resolution for the title defense was reached Thursday, Sept. 16.
“The championship committee call(s for a) Box-Off as necessary for the WBA Welterweight division in order to have one champion,” said Carlos Chavez, chairman of WBA Championship Committee, in the copy of a resolution obtained by BoxingScene.
The resolution added that per the WBA rankings, eligible boxers are Ugas, regular WBA champion Jamal James, Radzhab Butaev (official challenger), and Staniosis (leading available contender)
“Yordenis Ugas must defend the title against the next leading available contender Eimantas Stanionis within 120 days from the date of this resolution. The Super Champion must box the regular champion by the end of March 2022.”
Meanwhile, James is set to lock horns with Radzhab Butaev of Russia in November.
In the hopes of reducing its titleholders, the winners will be clashing in March next year for the lone honor of being the WBA welterweight champion.
It would be recalled that both Pacquiao and Ugas said they were open for a rematch while earlier reports said the Filipino boxing legend might return in the ring early next year, prior to the campaign for the elections in May.
Until now though, the 42-year-old Pacquiao has yet to decide whether he will run for President or not while being in the waiting game for his next possible bout.