By CARLO ANOLIN
The World Boxing Association (WBA) board of governors is reportedly set to vote on the potential reinstatement of Manny Pacquiao as its super welterweight champion ahead of his mega-bout against Errol Spence Jr. at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Aug. 21.
Mike Coppinger of ESPN was the first to report on the development via Twitter.
Pacquiao got stripped of his super WBA welterweight belt by the world boxing sanctioning body last January due to his inactivity, naming him as a “champion in recess.”
Replacing Pacquiao, who has not fought since beating Keith Thurman in July 2019, was Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas.
Should Pacquiao be reinstated, there will be four titles now on the line including Spence’s own WBC and IBF belts as well as the vacant The Ring title.
The Ring announced on Sunday, that the winner between Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 knockouts) and Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) will become the first Ring welterweight champion since Floyd Mayweather relinquished the belt in September 2015.
They are set to join the likes of boxing greats Henry Armstrong, Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Roberto Duran for holding the prestigious title.
“Like every serious fight fan, I’ve been looking forward to a Spence-Crawford showdown for years, but it’s looking less and less likely,” said Tom Gray, managing editor of The Ring. “There’s the tendency for fans and media to attribute blame, but I honestly couldn’t care less at this point. They’re both great fighters in the same weight class and could have fought a trilogy by now.
“Pacquiao is an all-time great who has consistently faced the best in a multitude of divisions for two decades. Spence is one of the finest pound-for-pound fighters in the world today and his talents are beyond reproach. It’s an excellent fight that is eagerly anticipated the world over. May the best man win.”
Should the 42-year-old Pacquiao win, he will become the first four-weight Ring Magazine champion in boxing history, having been a former titleholder of its 126 lb (featherweight), 130 lb (super featherweight/junior lightweight), and 140 lb (super lightweight/junior welterweight) counterparts.
Likewise, whoever emerges as the winner between Pacquiao and Spence is likely to be in the best spot to set up another tremendous unification showdown against WBO king Terence Crawford.
By CARLO ANOLIN