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Sports

Pacquiao stripped of title

Abac Cordero - The Philippine Star
Pacquiao stripped of title
Manny Pacquiao
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Due to his inactivity inside the ring, Sen. Manny Pacquiao has been stripped of the WBA “super” welterweight title which he won by beating American Keith Thurman in Las Vegas on July 20, 2019.

Pacquiao’s camp received word of the WBA decision, and said the eight-division world champion finds no reason to sulk.

“The senator is the People’s Champ and needs NO belts,” MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons told The STAR.

“And it saves us money,” he said from Las Vegas, referring to the sanctioning fees Pacquiao will have to pay the WBA if he decided to defend title.

Gibbons said the WBA, like other major organizations, takes three percent off the fighters’ earnings for a bout with a maximum cap of $250,000.

For Pacquiao, one of the highest-paid boxers in history, it runs up to millions of pesos.

“Saved the senator money,” Gibbons said.

Being stripped of the title due to inactivity is not the end of the world for the 42-year-old Pacquiao, who had announced his plans to stage as many as two fights this year.

Besides, the senator said that during this pandemic, looking after the welfare of the people, and not boxing, is his top priority.

Yesterday, he shared a picture of himself, wearing a big smile, on Twitter and Instagram.

Gibbons said Pacquiao might return to the ring in March, April or May depending on a lot of things – including the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines and around the world.

There’s no shortage of opponents for Pacquiao, and recently young and undefeated American Ryan Garcia threw his hat into the ring.

But nothing is definite, and Pacquiao is also looking at UFC king Conor McGregor or welterweight champions Errol Spence (WBC and IBF) and Terence Crawford (WBO).

“I’ve been trying like I’m dying to get the senator a fight in March, April or May,” said Gibbons.

Other than inactivity, boxers are stripped of titles and declared as champions in recess due to “medical, legal or other reasons.”

Cuban Yordenis Ugas was bumped up as WBA “super” welterweight champion.

“Filipino Manny Pacquiao has been named Champion in Recess by the World Boxing Association (WBA) in a resolution issued by the Championships Committee,” the WBA said in a statement printed by the World Boxing News.

Pacquiao doesn’t mind at all.

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