The World Boxing Association (WBA) could throw a monkey wrench on any intermediate plan of WBA welterweight super champion Manny Pacquiao even as he still vacillates between Danny and Mikey Garcia ( no relations) as his first opponent for 2020.
This becomes a distinct possibility after it crowned Russian Alexander Besputin as new WBA welterweight regular champion following his unanimous decision win over fellow Russian Rabzhad Butaev in Monaco Saturday night.
With the victory, Besputin did not only win the belt Pacquiao himself once held but also made the Russian the mandatory challenger for the super title held by the Filipino.
In this scenario, the WBA could mandate Pacquiao to fight Besputin next regardless of whatever plan the Filipino has in the offing and without even having the Russian make an initial title defense of the regular title.
It is worth noting that while Danny and Mikey are both rated by the WBA, they are just numbers 4 and 5, respectively in the latest ranking behind Cuban Yurdenis Ugas who could even claim to have precedence to any title crack.
The two Garcias have previously been more identified with the rival World Boxing Council (WBC) with the two once holding titles under that organization, hence the WBA might not look kindly to their bid to fight Pacquiao for its welterweight super title. Not after the two were soundly defeated in their last title fights outside of the WBA.
Besputin and Butaev, being the top two rated contenders were made to fight for the WBA regular title which was removed from Pacquiao after he defeated Keith Thurman last July for the WBA super title. Besputin defeated Butaev by unanimous decision to claim the title.
Curiously, American Vergil Ortiz fought and defeated fellow American Antonio Orozco supposedly for the same regular belt last October. It will now appear that it did not have the official sanction of the WBA.
The WBA traces its roots to the original National Boxing Association which was the lone world boxing authority and sanctioning body in the early years. But it lost some of its sheen and clout with the emergence of the WBC in early 1960s. And the IBF as well as the WBO in the 80s and the 90s.
The WBA is now at times infamously known for its multiple world titles which however suits well with many fighters, managers and promoters as pro boxing becomes more and more a business proposition.
However, the WBA could be as officious and strict like its forerunner NBA in exacting compliance to its policies, orders, rules and regulations.
Not even the great Muhammad Ali was spared from the WBA throwing its weight around in his heydays
Manny Pacquiao could defy the WBA but only at the risk of losing his world title as Ali did in his time.
Perhaps it would be advisable for Pacquiao to make known his definite plan for early 2020 as early as possible to preclude any WBA move to pair him against Besputin or whoever it may grant its favor.