Yordenis Ugas is grateful for his title period, if not the way he is committed to maintaining that status.
A hearing on money children has been added to the schedule to decide promotional rights for Ugas’ ordered WBA “Super” welterweight title defense against Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis. The sanctions body took that step after exhausting all options after a period of more than two months since the match was first mandated in September.
The session takes place on December 9 in Miami, open to all WBA-registered promoters, who are required to bid no less than $ 200,000 for the match. The winning bid will be split 75/25 in favor of Ugas as the reigning title list.
The match was first booked on September 15 as part of a four-man box-off with the intention of reducing the welterweight division to just one title list. Ugas-Stanionis were packed with a long-awaited WBA “World” title fight, which saw Radzhab Butaev (14-0, 11KOs; 1NC) dethrone Jamal James (27-2, 12KOs) via stop in the ninth round on October 30 at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.
Butaev will face the winner of the Ugas-Stanionis, provided the match moves forward.
Ugas (27-4, 12KOs) – a 2008 Olympic player for Cuba before moving to Miami and now Las Vegas – was hoping for a higher profile match in the heels of a twelve-round victory over legendary former eight-division title runner Manny Pacquiao ( 62) -8-2, 39KOs) on August 22 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The match came at short notice, with Ugas replacing the injured WBC / IBF welterweight title champion Errol Spence (27-0, 21KOs) with just eleven days notice.
The convincing victory of Ugas put any debate on the title he had halted. Cuban exports were upgraded from WBA “World” to “Super” ttilsit earlier this year at the expense of Pacquiao, whose inactivity and lack of notification to the WBA about plans to defend the belt resulted in a downgrade to WBA “Champion in Recess.”
The case was settled in the ring, where Ugas claimed the best victory of a career and then enjoyed a round of victory with the sanctioning body. A conference call was held in honor of Ugas, combined with the announcement of the WBA’s plans to reduce the number of recognized title lists and abolish its temporary titles.
It was the last time that Ugas – and quite frankly – Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) – received any good news from the sanctions body.
Several decisions in the wake have landed to the detriment of PBC, which requested more more notable matches than what has been ordered by the WBA. A request was rejected that Ugas should face Spence in a three-belt association match next February instead of an uninspiring mandatory title defense against Stanionis (13-0, 9KOs; 1ND), a rising candidate who could stand to develop further .
The rejected request was accompanied by a 30-day negotiation period ordered by the WBA in October. Ugas was represented by TGB Promotions, while Stanionis – who has spent his entire pro career on PBC shows – is promoted by Richard Schaefer, who transferred the 2016 Olympian from his now defunct Ringstar Promotions to upstart company Probellum. Stanionis is also represented by the experienced boxing manager Shelly Finkel, who along with Schaefer remained opposed to Ugas’ request to pursue the title fight instead.
The negotiations did not go very far between the parties. The WBA delivered the bad news during the Thanksgiving holiday that the case is now available to all WBA-registered promoters.
Stanionis have not struggled since a No-Decision with former title contender Luis Collazo last August, two weeks before Ugas’ victory over Pacquiao. Earlier this year, Stanionis averted the determined former title challenger Thomas Dulorme to win a decision in twelve rounds in April.
Ugas won the vacant WBA “World” welterweight title in a twelve-round victory over Abel Ramos last September. The victory over Pacquiao marks his lone title defense to date.
According to the WBA’s articles of association, the failure of Ugas to continue with the ordered title fight will result in the WBA “Super” title being declared vacant. Conversely, if Stanionis does not advance in the fight, he will lose a mandatory title shot along with removal from a title-worthy ranking.
Ugas-Stanionis is one of at least two WBA fines scheduled for Dec. 9. Also on the schedule is a session to determine promotional rights to the re-nominated secondary heavyweight title fight between WBA “World” titleist Trevor Bryan and “Champion in” Recess “and former title contender Mahmoud Charr.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox