Manny Pacquiao has been removed from world champion status, opening up a likely unification fight for Errol Spence.
The Filipino legend defeated Keith Thurman to claim the legitimate WBA welterweight world title in July 2019, but has not fought since.
The 42-year-old was previously in talks over a possible boxing match with MMA superstar Conor McGregor.
However, after his defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, Pacquiao has now moved on and is in talks with Ryan Garcia.
If the Garcia fight comes to fruition, it may be an exhibition bout or at a lower weight than welterweight.
As a result, the WBA have decided to make Pacquiao ‘champion in recess’ at welterweight.
Because of the ridiculous situation the WBA have with their titles, this has freed up their main belt at 147lbs.
The WBA ‘super’ title, which Pacquiao held, has now been awarded to Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas.
Ugas previously held the WBA ‘regular’ welterweight belt, which many fans refuse to recognise as a legitimate world championship.
The other boxing sanctioning bodies do not allow unifications with the WBA ‘regular’ belt, but now Ugas has been upgraded to WBA ‘super’ champion.
This means that Spence will likely fight him in a unification next.
The American already owns two of the four welterweight world titles – the WBC and IBF – and now has an opportunity to pick up a third.
Spence and Ugas are guided by the same advisor, Al Haymon, which should make this fight easy to make.
The pair exchanged tweets on Friday night, hinting that they will meet next.
The fourth and final piece of the puzzle – the WBO – is owned by Terence Crawford.
This potential match-up between the two welterweight champions is a tantalising prospect for followers of the sport, but doesn’t appear close to becoming a reality any time soon.
Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum told the 3 Knockdown Rule earlier this week: “I talked to Al Haymon, he’s amenable to the fight.
“The only one who seems like he’s holding back on it, and maybe because he doesn’t feel he can win the fight, is Errol Spence.
“That’s the truth. Errol Spence is the obstacle in making that fight.
“Not Al Haymon, not PBC, it’s Errol Spence. Spence throws out numbers and percentages.
“We’re very confident in the fight, we believe that Crawford will beat him. Unfortunately Spence believes the same thing.
“The main issue is Spence doesn’t wanna fight him, don’t you understand?
“Don’t blame Al Haymon, don’t blame PBC, blame Spence – he doesn’t wanna get beat by Crawford.”