Photos: Spence-Ugas weigh-in

We have a fight!

Unified WBC and IBF champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and WBA champion Yordenis Ugás faced off at the weigh-in Friday afternoon. Spence came in at 146.2, while Ugas was 146.7 pounds.

On Saturday night, the welterweight title unification clash will air live on SHOWTIME PPV at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Below are photos from Spence-Ugas weigh-in:

Photos: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Spence on battle with Ugas: ‘I’m going for the knockout’

Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. said he was focused on scoring a knockout against Yordenis Ugas during a public media workout on Wednesday as Spence vs. Ugas fight week events officially kicked off with an outdoor session for fighters competing this Saturday, April 16 live on SHOWTIME PPV from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The event is headlined by WBC and IBF World Champion Spence Jr. taking on WBA World Champion Ugas squaring off in a welterweight title unification clash.

“Besides the Kell Brook fight, this is definitely the meanest I’ve been going into a fight,” Spence said on Wednesday. “I’m just ready to go.”

Ugas, who worked out before Spence, said that his reach, height and his “will and my heart” are going to be the keys to pulling off an upset.

Also entering the ring for the media workout were fighters competing on the SHOWTIME PPV undercard featuring exciting lightweight contender Isaac Cruz battling former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in the co-main event, rising unbeaten José Valenzuela taking on former champion Francisco Vargas in a lightweight bout and all-action welterweights Cody Crowley and Josesito López dueling in the telecast opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Fighters entering the ring for SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® action prior to the pay-per-view also previewed their respective showdowns during an undercard press conference on Wednesday. Fights live on SHOWTIME and streaming on the SHOWTIME SPORTS® YouTube Channel begin at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and feature WBA Welterweight Champion Radzhab Butaev facing unbeaten top contender Eimantas Stanionis in the main event, and unbeaten rising star Brandun Lee taking on Zachary Ochoa in a super lightweight bout.

 Here is what Spence and Ugas had to say Wednesday from Texas Live! in Arlington:

ERROL SPENCE JR.

Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

“It means everything to get a response like this in Dallas. It’s getting me pumped up. I’m ready to go. I’m ready to fight. I’m ready to put on a great performance in front of my hometown crowd.

“It’s eat or get ate. That’s all it is on Saturday night. Eat or get ate.

“Of course I’m going to win. But I’m going for the knockout.

“There’s nothing to elaborate on when I said I’m going for the knockout. It’s what I said. So if I get it, I get it. If I don’t, I don’t. I know one hundred percent I’m getting the victory, but I definitely want to knock him out.

“It’s a blessing and a dream come true to get the support of your hometown. People are coming out here to support me with their hard-earned money during a difficult time. It’s a school night and people came out to support me and I really appreciate it.

“I’m one hundred percent ready. I’ve been training hard. I know the task at hand. Training camp has been going great. I know what I’m capable of. You can expect and you’re going to see fireworks. It’s going to be a great show and a great performance.

“This is going to be a great event. I’m excited to be fighting at home in front of family and longtime friends. I think people are going to come out and support and it’s going to be a great night of boxing.

“I’m going to fight Ugas like I’ve been fighting everybody else. He’s a very good fighter. He trains hard. He comes from a Cuban background and he’s very dedicated. But I feel like I’m one hundred percent dedicated and in prior fights, I haven’t been as focused as I am right now.”

YORDENIS UGAS

Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

“I’m excited and ready to fight in front of a great fan base on Saturday night here in Dallas. Spence is a respectful fighter and we have nothing against each other outside of the ring, I’m just ready for action.

“I’m a competitor, I’m a warrior and I came to fight 12 rounds strong. That’s the most important thing of all. That alone should make Spence uneasy.

“I know I’m the underdog. I came here to win. I will fight whenever, wherever, in anybody’s backyard.

“Spence can say whatever he wants. I’ll fight the way I always do, exchanging blows and coming forward.

“I’ve always been an underdog – six years ago and now, I’m used to it. Spence is the rightful favorite as a unified champion in his home city, but I came here to pull off the upset.

“I want all of Cuba to know that I fight for them with all my heart and soul, and I will do just that on Saturday night.”

Spence: ‘I don’t see any trickiness in Ugas’

Boxing legend Zab Judah joined WBC and IBF champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. for a virtual press conference Wednesday as the fighters discussed the undisputed championship and previewed Spence’s upcoming welterweight championship unification clash against WBA champion Yordenis Ugas taking place Saturday, April 16 live on SHOWTIME PPV from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Spence will look to add a third belt by defeating Ugas, moving him one step closer to becoming the first undisputed welterweight champion since Judah accomplished the feat in 2005.

Here is what Spence had to say Wednesday:

ERROL SPENCE JR.

(Cooper Neill / Showtime)

“It’s motivating to hear from Zab. When you grew up watching a person and now it’s your turn and they give you high praise, it’s especially motivating. I appreciate Zab’s support. A lot of older fighters don’t really give their support to the younger generation. I give much respect to Zab. His support means a lot.

“I remember when I was younger, watching Zab winning all the belts. That’s something I wanted to do. I never dreamed in a million years that I’d be doing that. It’s a dream come true. I just have to stay focused because every fight is the most important fight. This is the third time I’m taking someone’s belt. The welterweight division has had a lot of great fighters and a lot of great champions so doing it at this weight class is such a big accomplishment.

“It’s definitely gotten easier to fight in my hometown. You get a lot of pressure from fans, media and friends but you have to block all that out and focus on the task at hand. It’s still special to fight at home in front of your family, your friends, your day one fans too. That ring walk is special too—walking out and seeing familiar faces. You don’t get that in other places but at home they can come out and watch you fight.

“All of my training camps have been at home. I rarely go to a fight hotel unless I’m fighting out of state. I like the comfort of being at home, being around my family. I don’t like getting on planes, especially when you’re trying to make weight. You’ve got to hop out the plane, go to a boxing gym that you’re not familiar with. I’d rather just stay home.

“I don’t see any trickiness in Ugas. I think people put too much emphasis on that. Most Cuban fighters move a lot, get on their toes but Ugas is not even that. He’s a guy who tries to fight, he wants to fight and trade shots. I boxed Mikey Garcia, I banged with Kell Brook and Shawn Porter. I boxed in the paint with Lamont Peterson, slipping and countering. I don’t stand in front of opponents.

“I’m adding to my legacy. Every fight that led up to this is just as important as this fight because they got me to this point. If I didn’t beat those guys I fought when I was 9-0, 10-0, then I wouldn’t have gotten the Kell Brook fight. If I didn’t beat Brook, I wouldn’t have got the Shawn Porter fight, Danny Garcia and everything else. So, every fight means a lot to me because it leads me to better fights and more accomplishments.

“Being a student of the game and just my style makes me a throwback fighter. I feel I’ve always had a professional style, even in the amateurs. I was going to the body then, stopping people to the body. I always had that patience and that’s why I was highly-regarded once I turned pro. Also, I have a laid back personality so I transfer that over to my fighting ability.

“It’s about working hard every day, striving and staying on the grind. I want to show everyone that they don’t have to worry about anything. I’m going to perform to the best of my abilities and I’m 100%.

“It feels good to prove all the doubters wrong. It motivates me. For all the people who say certain things, I just use it as fuel. On April 16, they’re going to see not even the same version of me but a better one.

“Everybody tune in on Saturday, April 16. If you can’t be there at the AT&T Stadium, make sure you order it on SHOWTIME pay-per-view. It’s going to be an amazing event, an all-action fight. It’ll be one-sided on my end but you will see an exciting fight.”

Ugas: ‘I had to overcome everything alone’

WBA Welterweight World Champion Yordenis Ugas had a virtual press conference Monday as the fighters discussed their journeys to boxing glory and previewed Ugas’ upcoming welterweight championship unification clash against WBC and IBF champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. taking place Saturday, April 16 live on SHOWTIME PPV from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Just the 12th unification fight in the rich history of the welterweight division, Spence vs. Ugas 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. Ugas will look to join Trinidad on the list of unified welterweight champions, as Trinidad unified 147-pound belts in a 1999 victory over Oscar De La Hoya.

Here is what the Ugas had to say Monday:

YORDENIS UGAS

“Ismael Salas is one of the best trainers in the world. When I was out of the sport for over two years, I went to the gym with him and he built me back up to where I am now. He’s been a great influence in my boxing career and he’s helped me reach the heights I’ve been able to achieve.

“I love my country, but I am also always asking for a free Cuba, because I want a better future for the country that I represent and love with all of my heart.

“I did my job against Manny Pacquiao. I took the fight on 11 days’ notice. Whatever Spence said about what he would have done against Pacquao, I’m not concerned. I’m only focused on the challenge that I have against Spence.

“I had to leave Cuba on a speedboat, never knowing if I’d see my family again. I didn’t see them for almost a decade. I had to overcome everything alone. Not only professionally, but personally I had a lot to overcome.

“I’m a competitor, I would have put my best foot forward in any decade. I would have loved to fight Trinidad and the other fighters of his era. I could have won, I could have lost, but I would have loved to face those challenges.”

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champion

Errol Spence Jr.: ‘Whatever Ugas brings to the table, I’m ready for it’

Unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr., a Desoto, Texas-native, declared that he is “on point” physically during a media workout in Dallas on Thursday ahead of his 147-pound title unification clash against WBA Welterweight World Champion Yordenis Ugas taking place Saturday, April 16 live on SHOWTIME PPV in a Premier Boxing Champions event from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Responding to a statement made Wednesday by Ugas’ trainer Ismael Salas that he was a “different” fighter in his first fight back after a 2019 car accident, Spence smiled and said he was now in better shape physically and mentally and that Ugas’ trainer would soon see.

(Cooper Neill / Showtime) 

Just the 12th unification fight in the rich history of the welterweight division, Spence vs. Ugas 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. Spence will look to add a third welterweight championship belt to his resume when he returns to fight at AT&T Stadium in front of his hometown fans for the third time.

Here is what Spence had to say Thursday:

ERROL SPENCE JR.

“I’m feeling good and I’m ready to go. This layoff was easier for me after the injury than the one after the accident because it was a lot less stress on my body. Mentally I was also prepared for what I was going to go through. I had been back in training before camp started for this fight so I’m ready.

“Even half of me would beat most of these guys at the top level. I feel great now and I’m 100%. Physically I’m on point and everything feels real regular. If Ugas’ trainer (Ismael Salas) thinks I’m a different fighter now, we’ll see in two and half weeks how different I am.

“Training camp has been great. I’ve had great sparring partners and we’ve been focused. I got a nutritionist and it’s made the weight cut much easier for me.

“I have everything in my arsenal. Whatever Ugas brings to the table, I’m ready for it. I’m going to dictate the pace and control everything. I’m making him fight my fight.

“From what I’ve seen, Ugas is very physical and very tough. He was waving Shawn Porter forward, so you know he has that fighter spirit inside of him.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of work and I’m not worried about my eye at all. It actually feels stronger than the other one. I’m just making sure that I’m 100% on point with everything.

“I’m not looking to say anything to the rest of the division. I’m going to send my message with my performance. When I have three belts, everyone is going to know what that means.

“I watched the Ugas vs. Manny Pacquiao fight live but I haven’t watched it since then. I thought the way that fight went was more because of Pacquiao being a shell of himself.

“I’ve been looking forward to this fight since I had to drop out of the Pacquiao bout. I knew I would be fighting the winner, and now I’ve got Ugas in front of me. He’s a tough champion who’s been through a lot in his life.

“I can’t sit back and fight a tune-up fight right now. I want to go straight in with the sharks. Ugas is going to push me to another level and that’s what I want. I knew that if I was fighting a tune-up I could sneak snacks in at night and stuff like that. I’m fighting someone on my level.

“Ugas is living the ‘American Dream’ and he wants to keep living the ‘American Dream’. His challenge is beating me and I want his belt.

“Those Mexican fans are a huge part of Texas and I love fighting in front of them. I’m planning on giving them the kind of amazing fight they love.”

Spence: ‘I want to be the undisputed welterweight champion of the world’

WBC and IBF world champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and WBA world champion Yordenis Ugas faced off for the first time Wednesday at a press conference to discuss their welterweight title unification clash that headlines a SHOWTIME PPV on Saturday, April 16 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Spence vs. Ugas will be just the 12th unification fight in the rich history of the welterweight division and will see Spence fighting in front of his hometown crowd looking to add a third welterweight title and boost his standing as the world’s top welterweight. Fresh off of an upset victory over legendary eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, Ugas will seek another upset victory as he hopes to continue his remarkable run through the division that has seen him win 12 of his last 13 fights since 2016.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday from AT&T Stadium:

ERROL SPENCE JR.

“I can guarantee fireworks on April 16. Ugas is going to give it his all, just like I will. I’m going to put on another great performance in front of my hometown crowd. It’s ‘Man Down’ and it’s ‘Strap Season’. I’m the guy everyone is talking about. The motivation I get from my family and friends allows me to push through everything I’ve gone through.

“I want to thank Jerry Jones and the Cowboys for bringing me back and realizing my skills and my potential. We’re going to sell this stadium out and make this a great night. I’m going to put on a great show in front of my fans, my family and the whole Cowboys organization.

“I also have to thank Ugas for agreeing to take this fight with me. He’s a tough competitor who comes to fight. I thought he beat Shawn Porter in 2019 and then he beat Pacquiao with an arm injury. He’s a great warrior, but I believe that it’s my time to show the world that I’m here to win another belt.

“At the end of the day, I want to be the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. This is another step toward that goal. I’ve been the shot caller. I’m the big fish at 147.”

“My eye has been good. Sparring has been great and I’ve been looking good. I’ve taken some hits and my eye feels great. I haven’t been in the ring in a year and a half, but I’ve been focused and in the gym training every day.

“I feel very sharp right now. My last couple of fights I was really only able to train for about two months. But I’ve been in the gym for the last six months getting ready for this.

“I started my career on SHOWTIME. I had my pro debut and won my first world title on SHOWTIME. This is a reunion of sorts and I’m excited to be back.

“This is going to be a great fight. Ugas always comes to compete. With all respect to Pacquiao, I’m a way different fighter than Pacquiao and at this point I’m a better fighter. Ugas is a real warrior, but I’m hungry too. I’m not letting this opportunity pass by me.

“I’ve been feeling strong. My nutritionist that I added for this camp has been the missing ingredient. I was struggling to make weight and I think that’s the reason that I haven’t gotten a stoppage in my last few fights. This is the first camp in a while that I haven’t put the sauna suit on. It’s been a breath of fresh air. I’m really having fun in this training camp.

“It feels good to be back. It’s a blessing to be in this position. Most people take life for granted until they’re given a second chance, and I’ve been given a second chance in life and a third chance in boxing.”

 

YORDENIS UGAS

“I’m so excited for this fight. I have nothing but respect for Errol Spence Jr., for his team and his trainer. What you are going to see on April 16 is two of the three best welterweights in the world face-to-face and ready to give a great show for the fans. This is not just going to be a fight between two of the best welterweights in the world, but a fight between two of the best trainers in the world too. They are going to go head-to-head and show their prowess as well.

“I’ve fought since I was six-years-old. I have overcome any and all challenges. I was ready for Pacquiao and I’m going to be ready for Spence. Like I said before, I’m so excited for this fight to be able to show people what I’m worth. I can promise you that I’m going to be ready on April 16 to show what I’m worth.

“I’m a warrior. I’m someone who is committed to his family, to his community, to his team. I’m going to give the fans more than 100 percent of what I can give and I can promise you it’s going to be something you don’t want to miss.

“I not only accepted this fight, I pushed for this fight. Because I want to fight the best. Here we are, two of the best welterweights in the world. I want the biggest challenges. I’m here and I’m ready to prove that everything I’ve done so far wasn’t a fluke at all.

“You know how long I’ve been calling for this fight and how long I’ve wanted this fight? Four years. I have wanted this for so long. Spence is one of the best in the world and I’m so glad that I get to face him like I’ve wanted for the past four years.

“Whoever wins this fight is going to be the king of this division and the one that calls the shots from now on.

“I’ve been waiting for the best Spence to reappear for two years now. I was well aware that he had to overcome a terrible accident. After that, the surgery on his eye was nothing. I knew he could overcome that.

“It’s been a long, hard road. I had to go through a lot to get to where I am today. The Pacquiao fight helped me get to where I am today but make no mistake, I made it here because of my hard work, my resilience and my skills. I’m ready to prove that once again at the AT&T Stadium.”

Photos: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

 

Spence-Ugas set for April 16 in Texas

Unbeaten WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.(27-0, 21 KOs) and WBA Welterweight World Champion Yordenis Ugas(27-4, 12 KOs) will square off in a welterweight championship unification showdown on Saturday, April 16, from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Spence, 31, is looking to return after a retinal tear in his left eye forced him to pull out of his fight with Manny Pacquiao in August. The last time we saw Spence was December 2020, when he defeated Danny Garcia by unanimous decision; now, he’s looking to add another belt to his collection against Ugas.

For the 35-year-old Ugas, he took full advantage of the opportunity to fight Pacquiao, and he defeated the Filipino legend by unanimous decision.

It should be interesting to see how Spence looks in this one after a long layoff, but to his credit, he came off a horrific car accident and looked sharp against Garcia, so it may not be an issue.

Hopefully, the winner of this one could fight WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, next. A fight with Crawford, a promotional free agent, might be easier to make because he is no longer with Top Rank, or it could be former world champion Keith Thurman who gets the shot after he defeated Mario Barrios Saturday night. Thurman is still a big name at 147.

No matter what’s next, Spence-Ugas will be a terrific fight. Can’t wait!

 

 

 

James: ‘I’d like the rematch with Ugas coming off his big win against Pacquiao’

WBA Welterweight Champion Jamal “Shango” James will look to move one step closer to the very top of the welterweight division when he takes on unbeaten contender Radzhab Butaev in a matchup that headlines action live on SHOWTIME Saturday, October 30 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

“I’m looking to make a big statement in this fight,” said James. “This will be my first title defense and my first time fighting on SHOWTIME and in Las Vegas. My whole mindset is to come out and show out, so that everyone knows I’m a major player in this division. I have to prove to everyone why I deserve the biggest fights.”

James continued his ascent up the 147-pound rankings in his last fight in August 2020, when he out-boxed Thomas Dulorme to capture his title. With the title win, James was set to take on his mandatory challenger in Butaev, allowing James ample time knowing who his next foe would be.

“We’ve known that Butaev is the opponent for a while, so we’ve been training for a long time and I’ve been in great shape all camp,” said James. “We’re just working on our different tools and perfecting them for the fight ahead. We know that everyone is coming for us since I have the title now, so I’m just doing whatever I have to do so that I’m ready on October 30.”

The unbeaten Butaev was an amateur standout before turning pro in 2016 and quickly rising up the welterweight rankings. Trained by Joel Diaz, Butaev most recently knocked out Terry Chatwood in December 2020 to officially set up his showdown with James. While James anticipates his opponent trying to negate the height advantage he brings to the ring, he’s confident in his boxing ability making the difference on fight night.

“Like any other fighter, Butaev has two arms, two legs and a head,” said James. “All of these guys are coming with their A-games. He has strengths and weaknesses just like anyone else. I know he’ll come in there strong and try to test me. He’ll probably try to get inside on me. It’s my job to out-box him and beat him.”

The Minneapolis-native has developed a strong following in his hometown, filling up The Armory in downtown Minneapolis four times between 2018 and 2019, a run that included exciting victories over contenders Abel Ramos and Antonio DeMarco. Training out of the Circle of Discipline gym, James has led the charge in a Minneapolis boxing renaissance, which continues to motivate him even as he hits the road and prepares to fight in Las Vegas for the first time.

“Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in general really has my back,” said James. “They give me a ton of motivation. And the Circle of Discipline is like my extended family. The people here all push me and keep me on task. That’s what makes me bite down a little bit harder in training, because I know all the people that I have behind me and supporting me.”

James is riding a seven-fight winning streak since his lone pro defeat, a decision loss to WBA World Champion Yordenis Ugas in August 2016. He hopes that a victory on October 30 will lead him directly into a rematch against Ugas, or a showdown against one of the other big-name welterweight stars.

“I’d like the rematch with Ugas coming off his big win against Pacquiao,” said James. “He’s fought the top guys and I’ve fought him before, but it was under less-than-ideal circumstances. I’d like to see what a fight between us would look like after both of us have had a full camp. I haven’t been able to get anyone like Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter yet, and those are the biggest fights in the division. I’d love to face one of those guys that are already considered the best at welterweight so that I can really prove myself.”

Roy Jones Jr. reacts to Ugas’ win over Pacquiao, concerned for Errol Spence Jr.

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

Ugas: ‘The right hand was a shot I had planned to use on Manny(Pacquiao)’

Yordenis Ugas got the opportunity of a lifetime on Saturday night, and he took full advantage of it. 

Ugas used a beautiful jab, some decent bodywork, and a lovely right hand to outbox and out-work Manny Pacquiao to win a 12-round unanimous decision and retain his WBA 147-pound title in the main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas(FOX PPV).

All three judges scored the bout in Ugas’ favor, one turning in a 115-113 card while the other two had it 116-112. 

“I’m very excited but, most of all, I want to thank Manny Pacquiao for giving me this moment in the ring today,” Ugas said afterward. “I told you, I am the champion of the WBA, and I showed it tonight.”

The 5-9 Ugas, who was elevated to the main event after Errol Spence Jr. had to withdraw due to an eye injury, used all his advantages on Saturday night, including his size and length, which helped him tag the 42-year-old Pacquiao.

“My trainer, Ismael Salas, and I had a plan,” Ugas said. “We were going to move him around; we were going to use the jab and keep him off balance. That was the whole game plan.”

Ugas, 35, also discussed the right hand that Pacquiao could not avoid, which helped open up a cut near Pacman’s left eye.

“The right hand was a shot I had planned to use on Manny,” Ugas said. “It kept working, so I kept using it.”

Pacquiao, who was trying to get the belt back that he won in 2019 against Keith Thurman and could run for president in the Philippines in the near future, was unsure what he would do next, but according to him, he will take some time to think about it.

“In the future, you may not see Manny Pacquiao in the ring,” Pacquiao said. “I don’t know. Let me rest first, relax and make a decision if I’ll continue to fight or not.”

Being away from the ring for two years is a long time, which could have impacted Pacquiao’s performance. However, give Ugas credit. He had the perfect game plan and executed it very well.

For Ugas, Spence Jr. will probably be next when he gets healthy. Regarding Pacquiao, there’s nothing left to prove. He could fight on and still be a credible opponent, but he’s a legend, and let’s hope the legend knows when it’s time to move on.

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions