MANNY PACQUIAO could be handed back the WBA title before fighting Errol Spence Jr after being made ‘champion in recess’.
Spence will put his WBC and IBF belts on the line against the Filipino legend on August 21 in Las Vegas.
The Ring Magazine also voted to have their title on the line, despite usually having the vacant belt only contested between their top two ranked fighters.
According to ESPN, a fourth strap could too be on the line with the WBA’s board of governors set to vote on the potential reinstatement of Pacquiao as their champ.
The governing body in January announced PacMan was stripped due to inactivity, with Yordenis Ugas, 34, upgraded from the WBA’s secondary ‘Regular’ champion.
The WBA announced per their ruling, when a champ is unable to defend the belt for medical, legal or other reasons beyond his control, he may be named champion in recess.
Pacquiao has not returned since he won the title against Keith Thurman, 32, in July 2019.
But due to the coronavirus pandemic, he was not able to make a comeback – falling into the ‘other reasons beyond his control’ section.
With a unified welterweight title on the horizon against Spence, 30, Pacquiao, 42, may see the WBA vote to reinstate him.
The southpaw started his training camp in the Philippines before moving to Los Angeles to link up with long-time trainer Freddie Roach.
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Pacquiao last week boarded a flight from the Philippines to LA but the plane was diverted to Japan due to a medical emergency.
Pacquiao and his team were then forced to stay at Haneda airport for three hours before having to fly back to Manila.
And according to Rapples, the 62-7 fighter then boarded another plan to America on Sunday.
He is set to begin training with Roach and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune this week.