Manila Bulletin

Pacquiao says fight could have been scrapped if not for Ugas


Aside from boxing fans, Manny Pacquiao himself has been looking forward to his much-awaited comeback fight since 2019.

The match, however, nearly went into naught after Errol Spence Jr. suffered an eye injury two weeks prior to their mega-bout at the TMobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Aug. 21 there.

Thanks to Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas, who holds the super WBA welterweig­ht belt previously owned by Pacquiao, the show went on.

The 42-year-old Pacquiao believes that without Ugas in the picture, the match could have been scrapped.

"Considerin­g cancelling the fight? I mean, if there's no Ugas in the undercard, if there's no same weight in the undercard, I think probably the fight will be cancelled," said Pacquiao in a recent online press conference.

"But it happed that way. It's a good thing that Ugas is in the same weight, in the welterweig­ht division and he's in the undercard," added the Filipino fighting senator, who has 62 wins with 39 knockouts, seven defeats, and two draws in his rich boxing career.

"It happened that there's an injury on our opponent (Spence). While we don't fight each other [for now], we settle down [and answer] 'Who is the WBA champion?'"

Ugas was elevated from being WBA's "regular" to "super" champion after the world sanctionin­g body denied Pacquiao's appeal for reinstatem­ent.

The Filipino boxing legend got stripped of his belt last January due to inactivity and was named "champion in recess" in the process.

"A lot of us, we had our phones out, taking videos, taking pictures," Yankees star Aaron Judge said. "Getting a chance to be at the Field of Dreams and play a game here, and to represent the Yankees here, never in my life did I think I would experience this."

Judge belted a three-run home run into the cornfield in the third inning.

He and teammate Giancarlo Stanton both hit two-run homers in the top of the ninth as the Yankees scored four runs to take a one-run lead.

But with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Seby Zavala walked and Anderson stepped up to hit Chicago's fourth home run of the game.

"The game's never over," Anderson said. "I knew what I was looking for and I didn't miss.”

Before the teams got down to the serious business of a late-season game, the players allowed themselves to soak up the atmosphere.

They gathered in the outfield for team photos. They emerged, with Costner, from the cornfield as music from the movie played shortly before the game started.

"My camera reel is pretty much full right now," Chicago relief pitcher Liam Hendriks said. "I walked through the bullpen. There’s no fence right behind the bullpen, so I ran through the cornfields there."

MLB commission­er Rob Manfred said a Field of Dreams game will be played again next August, although he didn't say which teams would take part.

 ??  ?? PHILIPPINE actress KC Concepcion (left) drops by the training of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles Saturday. (Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions)
PHILIPPINE actress KC Concepcion (left) drops by the training of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles Saturday. (Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions)

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