Manny Pacquiao won the WBA super-welterweight title two years ago and is keen to win back the belt he never lost when he meets Yordenis Ugas on Saturday in Las Vegas
Manny Pacquiao is not underestimating short notice replacement Yordenis Ugas as the Filipino hopes to win back his WBA super-welterweight title this weekend.
Pacquiao and Ugas will meet on August 21 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Ugas took the fight on less than two weeks notice after Pacquiao’s original opponent Errol Spence was forced to withdraw due to a torn retina.
Eight division world champion Pacquiao hasn’t fought since defeating Keith Thurman in 2019, winning him the WBA super-welterweight title in the process to become the oldest welterweight world champion in history at the age of 40.
And the Filipino isn’t happy that Ugas would later capture that title without fighting him.
“I didn’t like that someone took my belt without challenging me in the ring. Both of us are champions, but we’ll see who has the belt after Saturday,” Pacquiao said.
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The 42-year-old said it didn’t take him long to change his preparation for Ugas, despite the Cuban being an orthodox fighter whilst Spence is a southpaw.
“It only took me two days to adjust to fighting Ugas. I have fought a lot of right handed fighters before. It would have been harder switching from preparing for a right hander to a southpaw,” he continued.
“Most of my opponents have been right-handed, so there’s nothing to worry about.
“If there’s a chance for a knockout, then I’ll go for it because that’s what I want to give to the fans. I’m not underestimating Ugas though. He has a lot of experience in boxing and fought in the Olympics. I know I have to be very good to win this fight.”
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Ugas is unbeaten in his last three fights, with the last loss of his career coming to the former IBF and WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter in 2019.
The Cuban – who won bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games – doesn’t think Pacquiao will be able to finish him, and is confident in his preparations for the boxing legend.
“This has been a long road for me. Obviously it is short notice that I learned I was fighting Pacquiao, but I’m thankful for the opportunity and I’m ready to take advantage of it,” Ugas said.
“We made the adjustments we had to in the last two weeks so that I’m ready for Pacquiao. We’ve done everything we had to and we’re 100% ready to go Saturday night.
“I’m certain that he cannot knock me out. I’ve done all the preparation over these past six years to get in this position, I’ve hit my stride and I just don’t believe I can be stopped by Manny.
“I have prepared for 12 hard rounds. If this is Pacquiao’s final fight, then he’s going to be up against a guy who brought his best and who is a world-class fighter.”