Manny Pacquiao

What does ‘champion in recess’ mean for Pacquiao?

Delfin Dioquino
What does ‘champion in recess’ mean for Pacquiao?

LONG LAYOFF. Manny Pacquiao loses his WBA super welterweight belt due to inactivity.

Photo by Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions

The WBA designates Manny Pacquiao as 'champion in recess' after failing to defend his welterweight belt since winning it in July 2019

The World Boxing Association (WBA) recently stripped Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao of his super welterweight belt due to his inactivity.

Pacquiao won the title with a split decision win over American Keith Thurman in July 2019, but he has not fought since, forcing the WBA to designate him as “champion in recess.”

What does being champion in recess mean for Pacquiao?

In theory, a champion in recess – if he or she wishes to – will be the first in line to fight the new titleholder.

For example, the WBA also declared regular heavyweight titlist Mahmoud Charr as champion in recess after 38 months without defending his belt.

Charr, though, can still reclaim his title by fighting Trevor Bryan, who recently stopped challenger Bermane Stiverne for the vacant heavyweight belt, within a period of 180 days.

In the case of Pacquiao, he can battle Cuban Yordenis Ugas, who got promoted by the WBA from regular to super welterweight champion.

However, Ugas seems bound for a unification bout against American Errol Spence, who holds the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Council welterweight belts.

Also, the 42-year-old Pacquiao is likely to pursue a blockbuster bout.

Before his relegation, Pacquiao was included in fight talks against Spence, World Boxing Organization welterweight king Terence Crawford, rising star Ryan Garcia, and UFC ace Conor McGregor. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.