Yordenis Ugas was denied the chance to contend for two more welterweight belts but will at least retain his own title status ahead of his next fight.

BoxingScene.com has learned that a ruling handed down by the World Boxing Association (WBA) will allow the Miami’s Ugas to remain in place as the sanctioning body’s “Super” titlist. The decision was returned on Friday, in response to a formal appeal filed by former eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao who sought to have his title status reinstated after being downgraded to “Champion in Recess” earlier this year due to inactivity.

ESPN Deportes’ Salvador ‘Chava’ Rodriguez was first to report the development.

Philippines’ Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KOs) still moves forward with his August 21 Fox Sports Pay-Per-View headliner versus IBF/WBC welterweight titlist Errol Spence (27-0, 21KOs) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. However, the bout will remain a unified title fight rather than a three-belt unification bout sought by the full-time Senator and ring icon.

Pacquiao filed a request for reinstatement with the WBA this past May, shortly after his bout with Spence was formally announced. News of the welterweight superfight came as a pleasant surprise to many in the industry, as Pacquiao has not fought since a twelve-round win over then-unbeaten Keith Thurman in their July 2019 title consolidation clash at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

It was also a devastating blow to Ugas, the 34-year-old Cuban who for the better part of the year was the leading candidate to next face Spence in what would have been a WBC/WBA/IBF unification bout following his upgrade from WBA “World” to “Super” champ this past January. The move came four months after Ugas claimed a well-earned though strangely scored split-decision win over Abel Ramos last September 6 in Los Angeles.

It also came at the expense of Pacquiao, who hadn’t fought in 18 months to that point and failed to notify the WBA of confirmed plans for his next title defense. The legendary Filipino southpaw still keep the fight with Spence, though now in a bid to become a five-time welterweight titlist rather than attempting the first defense of his fourth reign.

The chain of events also saw Jamal James advance from WBA “interim” to WBA “World” titlist. The Minneapolis native inherited a mandatory title defense, although his next fight remains unclear. Russia’s Radzhab Butaev (13-0, 10KOs) is still owed a title shot, while Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis (13-0, 9KOs) is the current number-one contender following a twelve-round, unanimous decision win over Thomas Dulorme this past April 10.

Rumors have also swirled of a potential WBA interim title fight between Venezuela’s Gabriel Maestre (3-0, 3KOs) and Las Vegas-based Canadian contender Cody Crowley (19-0, 9KOs). Similar whispers have suggested that Ugas’ next fight could land on the Pacquiao-Spence undercard versus former titlist Andre Berto, who hasn’t fought since 2018. Berto himself has publicly denied such rumors, while Ugas has not commented at all on his next fight.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox