Ugas will go toe-to-toe with the legend–trainer | Inquirer Sports
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Ugas will go toe-to-toe with the legend–trainer

/ 05:20 AM August 21, 2021

Nonito Donaire Jr.: Ugas will be right in front of Pacquiao.—MARC ANTHONY REYES

LAS VEGAS—If his trainer is to be believed, Yordenis Ugas is one Cuban who will not run, not even against someone as decorated and tested as Manny Pacquiao.

“You will never see Ugas running away,” Ismael Salas, Ugas’ chief trainer, said as his ward stakes the World Boxing Association welterweight title on Saturday against the Filipino legend at the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena here. “He never does.”

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And with this guarantee, Nonito Donaire Jr., the reigning World Boxing Council bantam champ who is also here to create noise for a fight against either Japanese star Naoya Inoue or Filipino champ John Riel Casimero, believes that the Pacman has just the perfect foe.

“His opponent (Ugas) is just right there in front of him,” said Donaire. “But of course, he (Ugas) is still a champion and he’s not scared to engage. I know Manny will win.”

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Donaire, though, has just this to say to Pacquiao: “Just don’t be over confident, and be careful.”

Casimero just last week prevailed over Guillermo Rigondeaux, another Cuban, in a lackluster fight that saw Rigonedeaux run away from the brash Filipino for a good chunk of their World Boxing Organization bantam title fight.

Interestingly enough, Salas also had the chance to train Rigondeaux, but effectively said that his current champion is a different breed.

“Ugas is a very competitive fighter,” he said.

The 35-year-old Ugas also has all the reasons to stand up and fight.

“This great fight came into my career and I never asked for it,” wrote Ugas on his Twitter account. “She (fight) came through God and chance.”

In another post, Ugas described the fight as “the biggest, most important night of my career.”

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That’s motivation enough for Ugas to embrace an all-or-nothing attitude.

“There are no excuses heading into this fight,” Ugas said. “I’ve been in this position taking a short-notice fight before, although obviously never against a fighter the caliber of Pacquiao. I have no concerns, though.

“I’m happy to have my chance against him, a legend, that I respect a lot. But on Saturday when the fight starts, respect ends.”

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TAGS: Boxing, Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire, Yordenis Ugas
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