On Wednesday, the World Boxing Association denied WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight champion Yorgenis Ugas’ excuse for why he shouldn’t have to participate in their four-man tournament next, with him saying that he intends on facing IBF/WBC champion Errol Spence Jr. in a unification.
Rather than let Ugas sit and wait for six to eight months for the injured Spence to return from his eye injury, the WBA ordered the Cuban fighter to defend against #1 WBA Eimantas Stanionis next. Ugas and Stanionis have 30 days to get their fight negotiated before a purse bid.
The other fight in the WBA’s four-man tournament will be taking place on October 30th, with WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Jamal James defending against Radzhab Butaev.
From there, the winners of the Ugas vs. Stanionis and James vs. Butaev fight will meet next March to decide the ultimate WBA champion at 147.
The WBA would have made more sense to order the ‘Super World’ champion Ugas to face ‘regular’ champion James rather than having Butaev and Stanionis be part of the deal.
It would have saved time if the WBA had ordered Ugas to face James and ordered Butaev and Stanionis to battle in a title eliminator. Neither of those guys has done enough to rate world title shots, and it’s not going to create much interest from fans.
Ugas feels that he already did enough to show that he should be named the single WBA champion at 147, given his recent victory over Manny Pacquiao last August. Also, Ugas already beat Jamal James by a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision in 2016.
It seems wacky for Ugas to fight in a tourney that could lead to him fighting a rematch against James. What’s the point? The WBA should either make Ugas the only 147 champion strip James or have the two fight in what would likely be another mismatch like the one that occurred in 2016.
When I spoke to you @GilberticoWBA on the phone, you said you wanted the best fights for me, fight Pacquiao or a unify fight with Spence. How he gives me his word and then this happens?? Something like that is only done by men without honor.
— Yordenis Ugas (@YordenisUgas) October 20, 2021
The WBA has spoken, and there’s not much Ugas can do about it other than go along with their program unless he wants to vacate his title. I don’t think he’s going to do that.
It’s unclear why the WBA chose to include Butaev and Stanionis in a tournament, given there are arguably far more talented prospects in Virgil Ortiz Jr. and Jaron Ennis that deserve to be involved in a tourney than these two.
Stanionis (13-0, 9 KOs) has minimal experience during his short four-year pro career.
He’s coming off a four round no-decision against Luis Collazo last August. Before that, he defeated Thomas Dulorme by a close 12 round unanimous decision last April.