Boxing: Pacquiao, Ugas make grand arrival in Vegas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2021 11:43 AM | Updated as of Aug 18 2021 12:18 PM

Manny Pacquiao poses for media at Wild Card Boxing Club on August 04, 2021 in Los Angeles, California ahead of his fight against Errol Spence Jr. on Aug. 21 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. File photo. Michael Owens, Getty Images/AFP
Manny Pacquiao poses for media at Wild Card Boxing Club on August 04, 2021 in Los Angeles, California ahead of his fight against Errol Spence Jr. on Aug. 21 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. File photo. Michael Owens, Getty Images/AFP

Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and Cuba's Yordenis Ugás made their grand arrival in Las Vegas on Tuesday, ushering in fight week.

The fighters were introduced in front of T-Mobile Arena, where they will face off on August 21 for the WBA "super" welterweight championship.

For Pacquiao, it's an opportunity to win back a belt that he never lost.

The "Pacman" won the WBA "super" welterweight title when he outpointed American Keith Thurman in July 2019, but in January 2021 the sanctioning body declared him a "champion in recess" and stripped him of the belt due to inactivity.

Elevated to "super" champion status was Ugás, and Pacquiao is now taking the situation as a source of motivation.

"Ugás is a fighter," Pacquiao said. "He's a champion. He took my belt, but I'll see him later in the ring."

For Ugás, meanwhile, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. A bronze medalist in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, the Cuban enters the bout having won 11 of his last 12 fights. His most recent loss was to Shawn Porter in March 2019, where he dropped a close split decision. 

Sean Gibbons, Pacquiao's promoter, has warned that Ugás cannot be underestimated. 

"He (Ugás) has been preparing to fight. He's in tremendous shape," said Gibbons. 

In the undercard, Victor Ortiz will take on Robert Guerrero in a welterweight bout, while unbeaten Filipino Mark Magsayo battles Mexico's Julio Ceja in a featherweight showdown.

In another featherweight bout, Carlos Castro will take on Óscar Escandón in a 10-round affair to open the card.

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