For Pacquiao, level of respect, focus on Ugas no different than on Spence

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2021 12:59 AM

Yordenis Ugas (C) poses with referee Russell Mora and members of his team after defeating Omar Figueroa Jr. during a welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ugas won the fight by unanimous decision. File photo. Steve Marcus, Getty Images/AFP
Yordenis Ugas (C) poses with referee Russell Mora and members of his team after defeating Omar Figueroa Jr. during a welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ugas won the fight by unanimous decision. File photo. Steve Marcus, Getty Images/AFP

Yordenis Ugas may not be as popular as Errol Spence Jr., but Manny Pacquiao has motivation to face the Cuban world champion this weekend.

The 5-foot-9 Cuban Ugas holds the "super" WBA welterweight crown Pacquiao used to own. Ugas, formerly the "regular" WBA champion, was elevated to super status when Pacquiao was declared "champion in recess" due to inactivity.

“My title was given to Ugas,” Pacquiao said in an article posted on Yahoo! Sports.

“That is not how you become a champion. You earn it by winning it inside the ring. We will fight for the title. That is the proper way a champion is crowned.”

Pacquiao was supposed to fight Spence, but the undefeated American champion was forced to pull out due to injury.

Ugas was brought in as the replacement to save the August 21 card, giving Pacquiao the opportunity to reclaim the title.

“I am not taking him for granted. In fact, I am taking him as seriously as I took Errol Spence," said the 42-year-old Pacquiao.

"I still have the same hunger to win. I live for it. I have had a great training camp and I am well-prepared. I want to prove to everyone, especially Yordenis Ugas, that I am still here.”

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