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Ugas New Opponent For Pacquiao

Credit: PBC Boxing

New York- WBA Welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas got his career defining fight against eight-division Manny Pacquio but not the way it was planned. Tuesday, the PBC announced that unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. was forced to withdraw from fighting Pacquiao due to a torn retina in his left eye during a pre-fight exam administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Pacquiao-Spence was an anticipated fight of the year and scheduled for August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as the main event of a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View telecast.
So the Cuban born Ugas, now residing in Miami, will defend his WBA welterweight title that was previously held by Pacquiao. Ugas was scheduled to be the co-main event and make his first title defense against Fabian Maidana.

Ugas (26-4, 12 KO’s) became WBA welterweight champion last September with a win over Abel Ramos and was on a eight-fight winning streak before losing to Shawn Porter via split decision in March of 2019. He is the first Cuban to hold a welterweight title

But the anticipated showdown with Pacquiao and Spence will have to wait. Though not official, there has been speculation that Pacquiao, a Senator from the Philippines, was calling it a career after the fight with Spence.

“It’s an honor to fight the great multiple division world champion, Manny Pacquiao, as I am more than ready to take on this challenge,’’ Ugas said in a statement released by the PBC. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Pacquiao, but I am coming to win this fight. I’ve been in camp working hard with my coach Ismael Salas and I know together we will come up with a masterful game plan to combat anything Manny will bring to the ring.”

Spence released a statement and said, “I’m very disappointed that I won’t be able to fight Manny Pacquiao on August 21. I was excited about the fight and the event. Unfortunately, the doctors found a tear in my left eye and said I needed to get surgery on it ASAP and that there was no way I could fight with my eye in that condition. I’d like to apologize to everyone. You know I’ll be back as soon back soon. We’ve come back from worse.’’

Ugas added, “ I wish Errol Spence Jr. a speedy recovery and I want to ensure the fans that I will be at my best for this fight. Everyone knows my story about how I came to America to follow my dreams of becoming a world champion, and now it’s time to stamp my legacy with a victory, as one of the best Cuban fighters to ever put on a pair of gloves. I love my country and I want to dedicate this fight to all the men and women who are fighting for freedom.’’

Pacquiao wished Spence a speedy recovery. Depending on the outcome of the Ugas fight, and if Spence heels properly, there is always a chance the fight could be rescheduled.

More so, the unified welterweight titles and who reigns as best will be put on hold and any talk of a Spence-Terence Crawford fight, one that is in demand, will once again be put on the back burner.

Then again, this is boxing and I always expect the unexpected. In the meantime the PBC is offering a refund to those holding tickets for Pacquiao-Spence and not looking at Ugas as the option.

Comment: Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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