By Adrian Stewart Co
Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao will have a new opponent for his upcoming match next week at T.Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with American boxer Errol Spence Jr. forced to withdraw due to an eye injury.
In a statement yesterday, Pacquiao said he will have Cuban Yordenis Ugas as his new opponent with the latter’s World Boxing Association (WBA) world welterweight championship on the line.
It will be an interesting bout for Pacquiao as it was Ugas who was awarded as the WBA welterweight champion after the belt was taken away from the Filipino boxer for his failure to defend it within a year.
Pacquiao captured the WBA championship when he defeated American Keith Thurman via split decision in 2019. The Filipino boxer was not able to defend the belt in 2020 due to the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, pandemic.
“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,” Pacquiao said.
Ubas, for his part, is honored for the opportunity to face Pacquiao and is looking to prove to the eight-division world boxing champion that he deserves the WBA diadem.
“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 know together (with my coach Ismael Salas), we will come up with a masterful game plan to combat anything Manny will bring to the ring.”
“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,” he added.
Spence, in his statement that was released by boxing promotions PBC on Wednesday, said he suffered a torn retina that requires immediate surgery forcing him to back out from his encounter with Pacquiao.
I’m very disappointed that I won’t be able to fight Manny Pacquiao,” 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.”
“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 soon. We’ve come back from worse,” he added./ASC, WDJ