Ugas fights for legacy
‘This is for my country, and for my own story’
Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas is more than grateful to face Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Aug. 21. Ugas will serve as replacement for the injured Errol Spence Jr., who had eye surgery to repair a damaged retina recently.
Now Ugas is set to prove his worth when he defends the WBA super welterweight belt previously owned by Pacquiao.
"This means the world to me," said the 35-year-old
Ugas, who holds a 26-4 record on top of 12 knockouts. "I'm fighting not for the money but for my legacy, for my coun- try, for my own story that's gonna be told. "That's why this is the most important fight of my life," he added during a recent online media conference by Premier Boxing Champions. Pacquiao, 42, pretty much feels the same and is vocal about defying age for as long as his overall health
— physically, mentally and spiritually — allows him to do so.
There was mutual respect between the two welterweight fighters during the launch as the Filipino fighting senator claimed that it won't be an "easy fight."
"Ugas is a champion. He took my belt and we have to settle it inside the ring," said Pacquiao, an eightdivision world boxing champion with 62 wins — 39 by knockout — seven losses and two draws.
"I never take him lightly because Ugas is the kind of fighter you cannot underestimate. This is gonna be a good fight also. I mean, Ugas and
Spence are similar. Nothing changes, just the different style, southpaw [for Spence] and right-handed [for Ugas]."
Ugas scored a split decision win against American Abel Ramos last September 2020 while Pacquiao has not fought since beating Keith Thurman via split decision in July 2019 to capture the super WBA belt.
Pacquiao got stripped of his belt last January due to inactivity with the WBA naming him "champion in recess" and declining his appeal for reinstatement in July which hoisted Ugas from being WBA's "regular" to "super" champion.