Manny Pacquiao is fuming about the decision to hand the title that he thought he had won to Yordenis Ugas, and will use that at motivation for their upcoming fight
Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao will be extremely motivated for his upcoming fight with Yordenis Ugas after the Cuban boxer was given the WBA super-welterweight belt as a result of Pacquiao’s inactivity. The Filipino senator was described as being “p*****” about that decision by his legendary trainer Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao hasn’t fought since defeating Keith Thurman in July 2019.
Pacquiao was due to make his return to the ring in a blockbuster fight against Errol Spence Jr., but the American star was forced to withdraw from the bout after suffering a retinal tear in his left eye in training. Ugas has stepped in as a late replacement for the contest, which is due to take place on August 21.
The change in opponent represents a challenge for Pacquiao, as Spence is a southpaw compared to Ugas’ more orthodox stance. Roach is under no illusions as to the talents of Ugas, and expressed his belief that the fight will be exciting- and not just because of Ugas’ explosive style.
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Roach said: “Ugas goes for the kill right away. He likes to go for the home run when he throws his punches.
“He would rather win a fight by knockout than on points. There will be a lot of fireworks in this one.
It’s a fight, that’s for sure, and the fact that Manny had the world title belt he earned by beating Keith Thurman given to Ugas without any warning or due process has given Manny a big incentive to really perform on August 21.
“I think he’s really p***** at this guy!”
Ugas may have upset Pacquaio with his comments after being awarded the WBA title, although he did mention that he didn’t fear a fight with the 42-year-old. In a tweet, Ugas wrote: “Manny Pacquiao is a legend and he’ll always be a champion.
“But his intention is [to fight] McGregor and now Ryan [Garcia]. You cannot hijack a championship. I don’t want this position for easy fights. My team has my consent to fight Pacquiao.”
Roach, who is already in the boxing hall of fame having been inducted in 2012, has worked with Pacquiao for nearly two decades, and is in awe of the fighter’s durability.
Speaking about the risk of injury during training camps, Roach said: “In the twenty years Manny and I have worked together, he has never had an injury that postponed or canceled a fight.
“That is amazing and a testament to Manny’s skills and conditioning. I have had to deal with opponent changes before but never this close to a fight.
“We still have two more sparring sessions remaining and though I am concerned, I’m not too concerned. Manny adjusts to any situation. He looked great in sparring on Tuesday. “