Pacquiao’s brawl with Ugas will determine whether he will keep on fighting | Inquirer Sports

Pacquiao’s brawl with Ugas will determine whether he will keep on fighting

/ 05:20 AM August 19, 2021

LAS VEGAS–Yordenis Ugas, accompanied by a couple of people from his camp, was visibly uncomfortable being in the limelight.

It’s quite understandable, because he hasn’t been in a fight big enough to have a “grand arrivals” ceremony.


It didn’t help that the event, held on Tuesday here in Las Vegas, was staged in a sprawling open space of Toshiba Plaza right in front of T-Mobile Arena where the fight will take place on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), because a crowd gathered as soon as the event announcer started speaking.


Then Manny Pacquiao’s entourage came in—complete with trainers, security men and politicians from back home. The fans were clapping up until he stepped onto the pop-up stage.

Calm and cool

Filipino boxing Manny Pacquiao during the grand arrival for Pacquiao-Ugas in Las Vegas.

Filipino boxing Manny Pacquiao during the grand arrival for Pacquiao-Ugas in Las Vegas. MP PROMOTIONS/WENDELL ALINEA

In contrast, Pacquiao—in crisp white polo shirt tucked inside a sweat pants—emerged with his usual flair. “It’s pretty hot in here,” he said, to the crowd’s approval as the temperature rose to 44 degree Celsius in the afternoon.

When photographers and cameramen asked for a fighting pose, Pacquiao’s arms were up, along with his ready smile. Ugas, all this time hands on his side, had to be told to pose.

Until they both began to talk.

“This is a challenge for me, I know both of us prepared very well for the fight,” said Pacquiao, who will attempt to wrest Ugas’ World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight super title.

“We should settle it in the ring, it doesn’t seem right that they (WBA) took away my belt without a fight,” said Pacquiao.


Score to settle

Cuban fighter Yordenis Ugas.

Cuban fighter Yordenis Ugas. MP PROMOTIONS/WENDELL ALINEA

Ugas was the WBA’s “regular” champ who got promoted to “super champ” after it was stripped off Pacquiao, who did not fight for more than two years.

Yet, Pacquiao said it’s more than the belt for him.

“I will be fighting for myself. For my legacy. For the honor of my country,” said Pacquiao. “This might be my last, or one of the last fights. I take it one fight at a time.”

Ugas, 35, very clearly declared his intentions upon coming in as a last-minute replacement in place of Errol Spence Jr.

“I’m so honored to be fighting a legend. But if this is Pacquiao’s last time making his way in the ring, he will fight someone of a caliber like me,” Ugas said. “Then I’m going to give my best effort.”

In so many words, Ugas (26-4-0 with 12 KOs) said he will be holding no punches against the boxing legend.

“I want to make sure that if I am the final guy that fought Manny Pacquiao, that I got the best out of him,” he said. “I’m going out there and fight the hardest that I can.

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“I’m going to make sure I’ll use the proper tactics,” he added.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, said the decision to hang his gloves “will depend on the outcome of this fight.”

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TAGS: Manny Pacquiao, Yordenis Ugas

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