For WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas(26-4, 12 KOs), a fight with eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao(62-7-2, 39 KOs) was a fight that came unexpectedly, and a fight if he wins, that could be career-defining and career-changing.
Ugas was initially expected to battle Fabian Maidana on Saturday night, but like Errol Spence Jr., Maidana had to withdraw due to an eye injury. Ultimately, Ugas got the call to face Pacquiao, who will be defending the same title that Pacquiao won when he defeated Keith Thurman in his last fight in July 2019.
On Tuesday, Ugas and Pacquiao made their grand arrivals in Las Vegas ahead of their pay-per-view showdown this Saturday from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas(FOX PPV).
When he got the call, the 35-year-old Ugas did not hesitate to take the fight against Pacquiao.
“I didn’t hesitate at all when I got offered this fight,” Ugas said on Tuesday. “I knew right away what a big opportunity it would be and what a win like this can do for my career.
“I always work hard and give it my all every day in training camp. We were already working for the Fabian Maidana fight. Of course, once I knew I was fighting Pacquiao, I was motivated even more, but I always give it my all in training camp.”
According to Ugas, he hopes Saturday is the last time we’ll see Pacquiao in the ring.
“I’m here to wreck any future plans Manny Pacquiao has in the ring,” Ugas said. “And make sure that Saturday is his last fight.
“It feels great to be in the main event Saturday night against a true legend like Pacquiao. I can’t wait to get in the ring on Saturday night.”
Ugas is a talented fighter, and Pacquiao is 42 years old and has not fought in over two years, so anything is possible. Pacquiao-Spence would have been better, but this fight could be very good.
Photo: Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions