Yordenis Ugás Vs. Eimantas Stanionis Ordered As Part Of WBA Welterweight ‘Box-Off’
It’s only been three weeks since Yordenis Ugás successfully defended his World Boxing Association welterweight title, but the WBA is trying to push out only one champion in its welterweight division.
The WBA ordered a four-man box-off on Thursday as they continue to clean up the number of “champions” they have. Ugás must make his second title defense against Eimantas Stanionis while regular welterweight champion Jamal James will fight official challenger Radzhab Butaev.
“The championship committee call(s for a) Box-Off as necessary for WBA Welterweight division in order to have one champion,” Carlos Chavez, chairman of WBA Championship Committee wrote in a copy Boxing Scene obtained. “Based on the hierarchy of WBA rankings the eligible boxers are: Yordenis Ugas (“Super Champion”), Jamal James (“Regular Champion”), Radzhab Butaev (“official challenger”) and Eimantas Stanionis (“leading available contender”).”
The sanctioning body is calling for a single titlist by no later than the end of March 2022.
Ugás is coming off a big point upset-win over legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao. The Cuban boxer was a late replacement for Errol Spence Jr. who suffered a torn retina, which was repaired the following day.
Stanionis (13-0, 9 KOs) last fought Luis Collazo in August, but that ended in a No Decision. Before that, he scored a 12-round victory over former title contender Thomas Dulorme.
James (27-1, 12 KOs) has not fought since August 2020 where he earned a unanimous decision over Dulorme, awarding him the WBA interim world welterweight title.
Butaev (13-0, 10 KOs) previously had a title shot for the vacant WBA world welterweight title in November 2019 against Alexander Besputin, but it turned into a controversial No Contest. Besputin tested positive for banned substance Lingandrol.
“If a boxer declines to participate in a Mandatory Defense, Elimination Bout, or Box-Off, his title may be vacated, or he may be demoted, or removed from the rankings,” Chavez added. “The committee will have three business days to appoint the next eligible boxer to participate.”