Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugás is confident that by next week, his profile will rise after fighting Filipino ring legend Manny Pacquiao.
The 35-year-old Ugás stepped in to replace unbeaten American Errol Spence Jr. in the main event of the August 21 fight card in Las Vegas, after a medical examination revealed that Spence had a torn retina in his left eye.
It's a big opportunity for Ugás, who currently holds the WBA "super" welterweight title but does not have the same recognition as Spence.
"It feels great to be in the main event Saturday night, against a true legend like Pacquiao," Ugás said, as quoted by Boxing Scene. "I can't wait to get in the ring on Saturday night."
"I didn't hesitate at all when I got offered this fight," added the Cuban boxer, who was initially set to defend his title against Fabian Maidana in the undercard.
Incidentally, Maidana had to withdraw from the bout as well after suffering an injury in training camp, leaving Ugás free to take the Pacquiao fight.
"I knew right away what a big opportunity it would be, and what a win like this can do for my career," Ugás said.
A bronze medalist from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Ugás has put together a solid stretch in recent years, winning 10 of his last 11 fights. His only loss during that time came against Shawn Porter, who won via split decision when they faced off in March 2019.
Ugás will be the underdog against Pacquiao but he is confident that he has what it takes not only to defeat the Filipino icon, but even send him to retirement.
"I'm here to wreck any future plans Manny Pacquiao has in the ring," he declared. "(I will) make sure that Saturday is his last fight."
Pacquiao, also a senator in the Philippines, has hinted at retirement after the Ugás bout though his promoter, Sean Gibbons, has announced that he will fight again later this year.
Regardless of Pacquiao's plans, Ugás said he is ready for whatever the "Pacman" brings to the ring.
"I always work hard and give it my all every day in training camp. We were already working for the Fabian Maidana fight. Of course, once I knew I was fighting Pacquiao, I was motivated even more, but I always give it my all in training camp," he said.
The Pacquiao-Ugás bout will be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.