TFC News

Manny Pacquiao, new opponent Yordenis Ugas face media after Spence pullout

Steve Angeles | TFC News Los Angeles

Posted at Aug 12 2021 12:50 PM | Updated as of Aug 12 2021 01:12 PM

Manny Pacquiao and Yordenis Ugas spoke in a virtual conference.
Manny Pacquiao and Yordenis Ugas spoke to the media in a virtual press conference hosted by PBC's Ray Flores.

A last minute virtual face-off for a last minute world title fight.

Less than 24 hours after Errol Spence Jr. withdrew from his mega fight with Manny Pacquiao due to a damaged retina, the Filipino boxing champ and his new opponent Yordenis Ugas spoke to the media.

Ugas said, "I couldn't be more excited when I got the call and found out I was going to fight one of the best fighters in history. Nothing but respect for him, it just heightened the level of excitement for me."

Up for grabs on August 21 is the WBA welterweight title which has come with controversy in recent months. Pacquiao won the 'super' title against Keith Thurman in 2019. But as he was unable to defend it due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WBA took back Pacman's belt last month.

Meanwhile, in January, Ugas was elevated by the WBA from interim champion to full champion, giving him the belt.

Both fighters say that their upcoming fight will finally settle the questions on who the true champ is. "Whoever wins on Saturday night will be the true WBA champion; no question about it," claimed Ugas.

As for Pacquiao, he admitted that the fight will not be an easy one. He pointed out, "Ugas is a champion. He took my belt and we have to settle it inside the ring. I never take him lightly because Ugas is the kind of fighter you cannot underestimate."

The 35-year-old Cuban was originally set to defend his title against Fabian Maidana on the Pacquiao-Spence card. He will now have to adjust his game plan against the speedier southpaw. "Last minute changes are nothing that I'm not used to. It’s just about making the adjustments, I had to make it a couple times before when something was going to change in the last minute like four years ago, I remember I had to do the same thing. I'm ready to adjust at whatever comes my way," declared Ugas.

While Pacquiao was preparing for the southpaw Spence, he said that he has no trouble adjusting to Ugas' aggressive orthodox style. "I've always considered myself a bipartisan boxer. I like fighting right-handers and southpaws so it's not a problem for me," said the fighting senator.

Ugas is fighting for more than the world title. The former Olympian has been a voice in the ongoing political unrest in Cuba. "Both Manny and I will leave it out there and that’s going to be our gift for the fans. I also want to send a greeting to the fans in Cuba and sending my best to all the men and women that are fighting for freedom, that are fighting for change and I’m going to leave my heart out there for you."

Oddsmakers expect the bout to be close, opening with Pacquiao as a 2-to-1 favorite.