By Huck Allen: Yordenis Ugas has been ordered by the World Boxing Association to defend his WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight title against his # 1 rival Eimantas Stanionis within 119 days, part of a four-person box-off that the sanctioning body calls to.
Mike Copping reports that in addition to Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) fighting the undefeated Stanionis (13-0, 9 KOs), they also want WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Jamal James (27- 1, 12 KOs) to defend against # 5 WBA Radzhab Butaev (13-0, 10 KOs).
The winner of the two matches ordered will then fight in March 2022. Presumably this is a step from the WBA to reduce the number of titles as they have two champions at 147-lb currently holding Ugas’ Super ‘World’ and James has ‘World’ strap AKA ‘regular’ belt.
The WBA has chosen a bad time to order Ugas-Stanionis
WBA could not have chosen the worst time to order Ugas to fight 27-year-old Lithuanian Eimantas Stanionis because he has a good chance of fighting a rematch with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao after beating him in August last year.
Pacquiao recently said he wants a rematch with Ugas because he was not the best, due to leg cramps from too much running during training camp.
If Ugas is tied to the fight against the little-known, unproven Stanionis, he will not be able to fight Pacquiao in a lucrative rematch. It is possible that if Pacquiao does not get the rematch before the end of the year with Ugas, he can change his mind and retire.
There is NO money in a match between Ugas and ‘Stanionis, as none of these guys alone are popular enough to sell this on pay-per-view. In order for Ugas to make big money, he needs Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr. or Terence Crawford.
Unfortunately for Ugas, Spence is likely out for the rest of 2021 after eye surgery to repair a torn retina he suffered during training for his canceled match with Pacquiao in August last year.
When the WBA orders Ugas to fight Stanionis, he gets stuck in this low-paid match. One possible option for Ugas is to ask the WBA to fight Pacquiao if the Filipino star is interested in meeting him before the end of the year.
Should Ugas swing Stanionis?
With penalty fees for a Ugas vs. Pacquiao rematch, the WBA can agree to let this match take place prior to their ordered Yordenis vs. Stanionis rematch.
If Pacquiao would still be fighting Ugas without the WBA title, it would be tempting for him to leave the belt and forget the wasting match with Stanionis. I do not think Pacquiao will fight Ugas unless he has his WBA title because the Filipino star is hung up on wanting to regain his belt for some reason.
Stanionis’ recent matches:
Luis Collazo – No competition 4
Thomas Dulorme – UD 12
Janer Gonzalez – WHO 9
Justin DeLoach – WHO 9
The WBA ordered a four-man box-off in the welterweight division. Yordenis Ugas, who holds the ‘Super World’ title, ‘will face Eimantas Stanionis in the next 119 days. Jamal James, the regular champion, is due to meet Radzhab Butavev by November. The winners must meet by March 2022, ”said @MikeCoppinger.