WBA Welterweight World Champion Yordenis Ugás showed off his skills at a media workout in Las Vegas on Wednesday, as he nears his 147-pound title unification clash against WBC and IBF champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. taking place Saturday, April 16 live on SHOWTIME PPV in a Premier Boxing Champions event from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Just the 12th unification fight in the rich history of the welterweight division, Spence vs. Ugás will join other classic unification matchups at the weight class such as “Sugar” Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns I and Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. Ugás earned this opportunity in his most recent fight, successfully defending his title against future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao in August 2021.
Here is what Ugás had to say Wednesday:
“I’m very thankful for everyone who has supported me. I’m extremely ready for this fight and to give the fans a great show on April 16. This has been a fantastic training camp and I can’t wait.
“I’m happy to be fighting in Spence’s backyard, because they have great fans down there in Texas. It just adds extra motivation.
“We’ve had a great training camp here in Las Vegas with Ismael Salas. We always make sure that the hard work pays off. We’re going to be bringing our best into the ring.
“I was out of the ring for a long time, but when I came back and gave Jamal James the first loss of his career, I knew that I would be coming for big things. Everything changed for me that night and it’s all led up to this.
“The Pacquiao fight was a great night for me. After that fight my life changed in even more ways. But I’ve always kept myself humble. I showed everyone who the WBA champion was. I have my eye on continuing to make history.
“Being an underdog means nothing to me. I was the underdog against Pacquiao and now again against Spence. I’ve always been the underdog and it doesn’t faze me.=
“It’s an honor to be in the ring with Errol Spence Jr. We’re fighting for three belts, but even more important is fighting for honor and respect.
“Fans can expect me to fight like a warrior. I’m going to take all of my hard work into the ring on April 16.”
Photos: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
On Saturday night, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao lost by unanimous decision to WBA 147-pound champion Yordenis Ugas at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The 42-year-old Pacquiao was supposed to fight unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., but he had to withdraw due to an eye injury.
Throughout the fight on Saturday night, Pacquiao had a hard time getting out of the way of Ugas’ jab and right hand.
While some were stunned by the result, the great Roy Jones Jr. was not.
“It’s what I expected,” Jones said about Ugas’ win. “Pacquiao is not as young as he used to be. If you don’t have legs, you are not going to beat Ugas. Ugas is a very good fighter, a very smart fighter, a very experienced amateur fighter, and a very experienced pro fighter.
“So, I knew going in, in my opinion, Ugas was going to be a harder fighter than Spence because Spence was going to come right at him… A guy that could box him and use his jab like Ugas did would create more of a problem, and that’s what happened.”
Jones does not think Pacquiao is done, but he believes his team should be smarter with the matchmaking going forward.
Watch below as Jones talks Pacquiao, Spence’s injured eye, and his induction into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.
Jones was on hand in Atlantic City for Sunday’s fifth annual ACBHOF induction ceremony at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Here is a list of the other individuals inducted into ACBHOF on Sunday:
Riddick Bowe, Pernell Whitaker, Al Cole, Ernest Bing, Tony Thornton, Sr., Calvin Grove, Percy Richardson, Tommy Parks, Earl Morton, Steve Weisfeld, Ron Katz, Murad Muhammad, Marc Abrams, Al Bernstein, and Ms. Laoma Byrd. Felix Trinidad, Kelly Pavlik, Simon Brown, Ivan Robinson, Aaron Snowell, Joey Eye, Frank Cappuccino, Ed Keenan, and Nino Delbuno.
For more information about the ACBHOF, go to www.acbhof.com.
Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
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
Unified Welterweight Champion Errol Spence, Jr. was forced to withdraw from his blockbuster FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View showdown with eight-division and former welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas due to a retinal tear in his left eye.
WBA Welterweight Champion Yordenis Ugas will step up to replace Spence and will defend his title against Pacquiao, who won that title when he defeated Keith Thurman in his last fight July 2019. Ugas was preparing to make his first title defense against Fabian Maidana in the co-feature of the Spence-Pacquiao card. Being elevated to the main event against boxing legend Pacquiao means Ugas will get a career-defining fight sooner rather than later.
Spence discovered that he had a torn retina during a pre-fight medical examination by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in Las Vegas on Monday. He flew back home to Dallas, Texas on Tuesday and will have surgery to repair the tear on Wednesday. Spence is expected to make a full recovery and return to the ring.
“I’m very disappointed that I won’t be able to fight Manny Pacquiao on August 21,’’ Spence said. “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.’’
“First and foremost, I ask everyone to join me in praying for a full and complete recovery for Errol Spence Jr.,’’ Pacquiao said. “Thank God his physical examination discovered his eye condition before he suffered any further damage. I have agreed to fight Yordenis Ugas on August 21 for the WBA welterweight super championship. The proper way and the only way to win a world title is inside the ring.”
“It’s an unfortunate turn of events that Errol has a retinal tear and subsequent surgery has prevented him from participating in this big pay-per-view event. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to his return to the ring,’’ said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “We’re excited that Manny has agreed to move forward and Ugas has stepped up to defend his title against the man who once held the title. Ugas was in the co-feature and had been preparing to fight on this date, so he’s ready. It’s a major challenge, because now he has to make his first title defense against a boxing legend in a career-defining fight.’’
The 35-year-old Ugás (26-4, 12 KOs) has established himself as an elite welterweight since returning from a layoff in 2016 and was elevated to world champion in January after winning a WBA Championship belt by defeating Abel Ramos last September. Ugás, who is from Santiago, Cuba and now lives in Miami, Florida, was on an eight-fight winning streak before losing a narrow split-decision to Shawn Porter in a world title fight in March 2019. The Olympic bronze medalist trains in Las Vegas and owns victories over then undefeated fighters Jamal James, Omar Figueroa Jr. and Bryant Perrella, plus veteran contenders Thomas Dulorme and Ray Robinson.
“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. “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. 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.’’
Three exciting matchups have been added to the stacked FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View undercard headlined by eight-division world champion and Philippine Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao facing unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. on Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
WBA Welterweight World Champion Yordenis Ugás will square off against Argentina’s Fabián “TNT” Maidana in the co-main event, while former world champions and all-action brawlers Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and “Vicious” Víctor Ortiz will meet in a 10-round welterweight duel. Kicking off the pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, unbeaten featherweight contender Mark Magsayo battles former world champion Julio Ceja in a 10-round attraction.
“This is a fantastic pay-per-view undercard that is worthy of the highly-anticipated main event between Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr.,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Yordenis Ugás has established himself as an elite fighter in the star-studded welterweight division, and he will have to make sure he comes at his best for the always tough Argentine, Fabián Maidana. Robert Guerrero vs. Víctor Ortiz is a real treat for boxing fans as two of the sport’s most exciting veterans will battle looking to prove themselves ready for one more run at the world title. And in the opening bout, the extremely promising featherweight contender Mark Magsayo of the Philippines will be up against his stiffest test to date in the former champion Julio Ceja.
The 35-year-old Ugás (26-4, 12 KOs) has established himself as an elite welterweight since returning from a layoff in 2016, and was elevated to world champion in January after winning a WBA belt by defeating Abel Ramos last September. Ugás, who is from Santiago, Cuba and now lives in Miami, Florida, was on an eight-fight winning streak before losing a narrow split-decision to Shawn Porter in a world title fight in March 2019. The Olympic bronze medalist trains in Las Vegas and owns victories over then undefeated fighters Jamal James, Omar Figueroa Jr. and Bryant Perrella, plus veteran contenders Thomas Dulorme and Ray Robinson.
“Everyone knows I’m a warrior and will fight anyone on any given day, so when they presented me with this fight against Fabián Maidana, I accepted with no hesitation,” said Ugás. “I’ll be defending my WBA title and the world will see why I am must-see T.V. This will be one of the best FOX Sports PBC pay-per-view events in recent history with some of the biggest names in boxing, all fighters who are known for leaving it all in the ring. I know one thing for sure, I’ll be letting my hands fly with bad intentions on August 21. I also want to dedicate this fight to all the brave men, women and children who are fighting for their freedom in Cuba. Patria y Vida!”
Born in Santa Fe, Argentina, Maidana (18-1, 13 KOs) will look to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, former two division champion Marcos Maidana, and become the latest Argentine world champion on August 21. The 29-year-old was unbeaten in his first 16 pro fights, capping off that run with a knockout of Andrey Klimov in July 2018. Since dropping a January 2019 decision to Jaider Parra, Maidana has bounced back with a knockout of Ramses Agaton in September 2019 and a 10-round decision victory over Carlos Cordoba in April of this year.
“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for all my life,” said Maidana. “I’m thrilled to be part of such a huge fight card. I’m a man of few words, so all I can tell you is that Ugas is a great fighter but you guys will see the ‘TNT’ I have in each hand exploding on Ugas’ face on August 21.”
Guerrero (36-6-1, 20 KOs) is a three-time world champion who has won world titles at featherweight and super featherweight, and has fought a stacked lineup of elite fighters, including Floyd Mayweather, during a superb career. The Gilroy, California native returned from a 2017 defeat to Omar Figueroa Jr. to win his last three contests. After stopping Adam Mates in December 2018 and Hevinson Herrera in March 2019, Guerrero most recently won a unanimous decision over Gerald Thomas in September 2019.
“It’s great to be back in the ring, especially on a big card like Pacquiao vs. Spence,” said Guerrero. “It was an honor to kick off the first PBC fight on network television and here I am once again, ready to put on a spectacular show for the fans. Víctor Ortiz and I were always on a collision course to fight, and now it’s finally happening. One thing I know for sure, we are going to throw blows and the fans are going to see an all-out war. My time out of the ring has only fueled my desire to give the fans a great fight. Everyone should order this pay-per-view and get their popcorn ready, because it’s going to be fireworks from top to bottom.”
Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs), a former 147-pound champion, will return to the ring for the first time since a February 2018 draw against two-division champion Devon Alexander. The 34-year-old native of Garden City, Kansas, who now lives in Ventura, California, has faced some of the top names in the 147-pound division during his career. Ortiz won the welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto in April 2011, before losing the title to Floyd Mayweather.
“I am thrilled to be back in the ring on this Pacquiao vs. Spence Jr. pay-per-view undercard August 21,” said Ortiz. “Robert Guerrero is a legend who I’ve always admired. I look forward to competing against him and giving fans the toe-to-toe battle they’re expecting. I’ve had a great camp and I’m so excited to be part of this enormous event. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, I’m ready to make history again!”
The Filipino sensation Magsayo (22-0, 15 KOs) fights out of Pasig City, Metro Manila and most recently knocked out Pablo Cruz in four rounds in April 2021, following his U.S. televised debut in October 2020 that saw him defeat Rigoberto Hermosillo on FS1. The 26-year-old fights in the U.S. for the fifth time overall on August 21 and against his toughest competition to date in the former champion Ceja. Magsayo owns 12-round decision victories over Shoto Hayashi and Jose Robles Olvera, and a sixth-round stoppage of former title challenger Chris Avalos.
“This is going to be a very good matchup against a world class fighter in Ceja,” said Magsayo. “I have been waiting for a chance like this and I am thankful to my whole team for this opportunity. It’s a dream come true to be on the undercard of my number one idol, Senator Manny Pacquiao. On August 21, I’m going to show people what I can do. This is going to be a classic Philippines vs. Mexico war.”
A former super bantamweight champion, Ceja (32-4-1, 28 KOs) will move up to featherweight as he seeks an opportunity to capture a championship in a second division. Ceja’s 2019 saw him engage in two action-packed battles, dropping a June contest to former champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and most recently fighting unbeaten super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa to a draw in November. The 28-year-old captured his 122-pound title with a stoppage of Hugo Ruiz in 2015, and has also challenged for a bantamweight title throughout his career.
“I’m back and I’m more than ready to return to the ring,” said Ceja. “A Mexican vs. a Filipino is always guaranteed to be an exciting bout. I have even more motivation than ever being on a card headlined by Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence Jr.. This fight is going to get me back into contending for a championship where I belong.”
Throughout his illustrious career, Manny Pacquiao never took the easy way out. From 2008-2011, Pacquiao had some tough fights, including battles against Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and Juan Manuel Marquez(2x).
During that timeframe, Pacquiao went 9-0.
In 2019, Pacquiao, at the age of 40, defeated then-undefeated WBA 147-pound champion Keith Thurman by split decision.
Now, at age 42, Pacquiao(62-7-2, 39 KOs) will try to defy the odds one more time when he battles unified WBC and IBF welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr.(27-0, 21 KOs) on August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas(FOX PPV).
“There were a lot of opportunities for me to pick an easier fight than this,” he said at a press conference on Sunday. “But I picked Errol Spence Jr. because I want a real fight and a great fight for the fans. I’m a fighter, and boxing is my passion.
“Errol Spence Jr. is aggressive, young, and undefeated. He’s dedicated to his career. This is definitely not an easy opponent. This is the kind of opponent you can never underestimate.”
Pacquiao’s biggest fight in his career was a loss to Floyd Mayweather back in 2015, and recently, Mayweather said he would reach out to Spence to give him advice. However, according to Pacquiao, Spence won’t need that advice.
“I don’t think Errol needs advice from Floyd Mayweather,” Pacquiao said. “I believe that Errol is a better fighter than Mayweather. Errol can teach Floyd how to fight toe-to-toe.”
Pacquiao has been in with many great fighters over the years, and Spence will be one of the best he’s ever faced. The eight-division champion thinks the fight against Spence will be one of the biggest challenges of his career.
“I won’t predict another first-round knockdown like I had against Thurman,” Pacquiao said. “I’m focusing my mind, body, and spirit on winning the fight. That’s the only goal.
“This is one of the biggest challenges in my career. I can’t say it’s the biggest because I’ve been fighting the best fighters in the world for years. But he’s right up there with anyone I’ve faced.”
If Pacquiao can pull this one off, man, he could easily go down as the greatest of all time, especially when you consider his age and the type of fighter that he will battle on August 21.
Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao takes on undefeated unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. in a blockbuster championship showdown that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The pay-per-view will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will pit the division’s reigning king against a legend of the sport who has proven in recent years that he is still worthy of his long held standing. Spence will look to earn a legacy-defining victory, while Pacquiao seeks one more monumental win to add to his first ballot Hall of Fame resume.
Both fighters kick off the promotional campaign side by side this Sunday, July 11, when they’ll appear for a live televised press conference on FOX beginning at 5 p.m. ET. The hour-long program will feature commentary from former opponents Keith “One Time” Thurman and “Showtime” Shawn Porter, who will offer their analysis before Pacquiao and Spence return to their training camps.
This will be the fourth FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View headlined by Spence (27-0, 21 KOs), who
unified welterweight titles in September 2019 by besting Shawn Porter in one of the best fights of the year. Spence was launched into stardom when the 31-year-old first captured a welterweight crown by traveling to the U.K. to stop Kell Brook in front of his hometown fans in 2017. He followed up his title-winning victory with triumphs over Lamont Peterson and Carlos Ocampo in 2018.
Fighting out of his native Desoto, Texas, Spence returned to the ring last December for the first time since miraculously surviving a car accident in October 2019 where he was thrown from the vehicle before it crashed. Spence thrilled his hometown crowd at AT&T Stadium by defeating two-division champion Danny Garcia by unanimous decision. Spence represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics before turning pro later that year and scoring knockouts in 10 of his first 12 fights, showing the promise that he would eventually fulfill on the biggest stages of the sport.
“I’ve been waiting on this kind of major boxing event my entire career,” said Spence. “Manny Pacquiao is a boxing legend and future Hall of Famer. To be able to match skills with him and come out with a victory would be the highlight of my career thus far. I’m coming to win and he’s coming to win and that’s what makes for an all-action fight. I can’t wait to step into the ring at T-Mobile Arena on August 21 in what I expect to be an exciting night.’’
A three-time Fighter of the Year and the one-time Boxing Writers Association of America’s Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. After serving two terms as Congressman, Pacquiao was elected to a Philippine Senate seat in May 2016, capturing over 16 million votes nationally. Pacquiao’s boxing resume features victories over at least seven current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
In January 2019, Pacquiao put on a vintage performance against four-division champion Adrien Broner, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision in the 70th match of an illustrious career, which also marked his first time fighting back in the U.S. in two years. In his most recent performance Pacquiao added another Fight of the Year contender to his resume, as he dropped then unbeaten Keith Thurman in the first round on his way to a decision victory in a memorable action fight in July 2019.
“I am excited to be battling Errol Spence Jr.,” said Pacquiao. “Like me, Errol has an aggressive, all-action style of fighting. Boxing fans watching at T-Mobile Arena or on pay-per-view are going to be happy with this world championship fight. It is going to be wild!”