Pacquiao to get WBA Champion for Life belt after an upset loss to Yordenis Ugas
The WBA recognizes Manny Pacquiao’s legendary career with a Champion for Life honor even after an upset loss to Yordenis Ugas
Even before he stepped on the ring against Yordenis Ugas on Saturday, August 21 (Sunday, August 22, Philippine time), Pacquiao got the recognition he deserved from the World Boxing Association, the sanctioning body of their super welterweight title duel at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
A few hours before their 12-round pay-per-view tussle, Pacquiao got a surprise visit from WBA president Gilberto Mendoza, who said the eight-division world champion will be honored as “Champion for Life” regardless of the outcome of his fight with Ugas.
Hobbled by muscle cramps from the second round onwards, Pacquiao yielded to Ugas, a late substitute for Errol Spence Jr., via unanimous decision.
During the meeting facilitated by Manny Pacquiao Promotions president Sean Gibbons, Mendoza was apologetic and told Pacquiao he “got fooled,” presumably on taking away the 147-pound title from Pacquiao due to inactivity, discounting the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Mendoza, he would be flying over to Manila in September to officially award the novel title to Pacquiao.
Ugas, the then regular champion, was given the crown while Pacquiao got relegated to “champion in recess.”
They weren’t supposed to meet but Spence, Pacquiao’s original opponent, was found to have a retinal tear in the prefight medical checkup and got pulled out.
Pacquiao, who suffered corneal abrasion and got a small cut that required five stitches to close in his fight against Ugas, returned to his home in Los Angeles on Sunday to rest his weary body. He reportedly woke up at 2 am and was seen being spoon-fed by his wife Jinkee with his eyes nearly shut.
On Tuesday, with his vision back to normal and the lumps on his face gone, Pacquiao met with some visitors, according to his spokesperson, former congressman Monico Puentevella.
Pacquiao and his team are slated to fly back home on August 27.
He lost a crown but will gain one that will last forever.