Is Manny Pacquiao upset that his super fight against Errol Spence Jr. fell through after Spence tested positive for COVID-19? Not really.
Pacquiao will still be facing an elite opponent on Aug. 21 in Las Vegas, WBA titleholder Yordenis Ugas. Thus, the 42-year-old icon will an opportunity to do his thing on a big stage, just as he has done for most of the past two decades.
“I did my best in training and in preparation for this fight, so I wanted to make sure my hard work was not wasted,” Pacquiao said during a virtual press conference.
“Ugas was ready to fight and challenge me on August 21. So it’s a great thing that I can show off my hard work in the gym when we face each other on fight night.”
“I’m not disappointed at all in what happened because my hard work will not be wasted. Ugas stepped up and is bringing his WBA championship into the fight, which I’m excited to fight for.”
Ugas [26-4, 12 KOs] was handed the WBA belt when the sanctioning body designated Pacquiao [62-7-2, 39 KOs] its “champion in recess” because of his activity. He hasn’t fought since he outpointed Keith Thurman to win the title in July 2019.
Pacquiao acknowledges it won’t be easy to win it back against Ugas, a slick boxer who fights from an orthodox stance. Pacquiao had been preparing for Spence, who is a southpaw.
“What I can say to the fans is that this is definitely not an easy fight., Pacquiao said. “Ugas is a champion because they gave him my belt. Now, we have to settle it inside of the ring. I cannot take him lightly, because he’s the kind of fighter who will take advantage of that. …
“I know that Ugas is also very prepared for his fight because he was going to be on the undercard. If there was no Ugas on the undercard, it’s possible we would have cancelled the fight. It’s a good thing we had another welterweight champion on the card for this scenario that happened.”
This scenario has allowed fans to see one of the greatest fighters of all time at least one more time. At his age, there’s no guarantee he’ll fight again.
Source: Michael Rosenthal