FILE – Manny Pacquiao reacts after defeating Keith Thurman by split decision in a welterweight title fight Saturday, July 20, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
MANILA, Philippines–Stripped of his World Boxing Association title, Senator Manny Pacquiao got a helping hand from the Games and Amusements Board to recapture the belt he won against Keith Thurman.
GAB Chairman Abraham “Baham’’ Mitra made the appeal to WBA president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza with a two-page letter asking for the restoration of Pacquiao’s welterweight championship belt.
“GAB is mandated by law to champion the rights of every Filipino professional boxer at all times. That is why we are appealing to the WBA to reconsider its decision,’’ said Mitra.
The WBA decided to remove Pacquiao’s title and was instead named “champion in recess’’ due to the inactivity of the Filipino boxing icon in the ring.
Cuban boxer Yordenus Ugas replaced the eight-division world boxing champ as the current WBA Welterweight Super Champion.
Pacquiao defeated Thurman via split decision on July 20, 2019 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada to become the oldest welterweight to win a major title in boxing history at 40 years old.
Mandated by law to regulate and supervise professional boxing in the country, the GAB stepped in and requested the WBA to throw light on the issue of revoking the title of Pacquiao.
“We are studying the WBA Rules and we want to assist our good senator who may have to fight next,’’ said Mitra.
“Also, we want to know from our partners in the WBA what particular documentation that we must have to comply with as WBA requirements to regain the WBA belt, in case our Pinoy boxing champ opts to,’’ added Mitra.
Citing Rule C.22 and C.23 of the WBA Rules on reverting a champion in recess back to his former status, the GAB would like to help Pacquiao return from being a champion in recess to the status of a full champion.
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