Eight-division world champion and Senator Manny Pacquiao lost his World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight super title after the organization stripped him of the title due to inactivity.
However, the WBA said Pacquiao remains a “champion in recess.”
“Rule C.22-24 states that when a champion is unable to defend the belt for medical, legal or other reasons beyond his control, he may be named champion in recess,” the WBA said in a statement on Saturday.
Pacquiao attained the WBA super belt after beating Keith Thurman in Las Vegas, Nevada in July 2019.
However, he never got to fight for the rest of the year.
Worse, the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic put all of his 2020 boxing plans on hold, eventually putting all the focus on his job as a lawmaker.
Speculations are rife on who Pacquiao will fight next, the “likeliest” of which being Ryan Garcia, who publicly declared that he is going to battle him soon.
Meanwhile, a fight with UFC superstar Conor McGregor, supposed to be a megadraw if it pushes through, might be placed in the backburner as McGregor lost via knockout to Justin Portier in a mixed martial arts bout last weekend.