Thrust into the biggest fight of his life, Yordenis Ugas has a simple formula on what to do against Manny Pacquiao.
“I need to do (everything) a little bit better,” said Ugas in Spanish during the grand arrival on Tuesday, August 17 (Wednesday, August 18, Manila time) at the Toshiba Plaza here.
Ugas, a former world amateur lightweight champion and 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medalist, will be dangling the “super” welterweight crown taken away from Pacquiao and given to him by the World Boxing Association with nary a fight.
According to Ugas, tangling with Pacquiao is for his legacy and his countrymen back in Cuba.
“I am always ready to fight the best,” said Ugas, who at 5-foot-9 towered over the 5-foot-6 Pacquiao during their first faceoff for the Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view headliner on Saturday, August 21, at the T-Mobile Arena.
“It’s a turbulent situation over there (Cuba) so I’m dedicating this fight to my countrymen fighting for liberty and freedom.”
After a stellar career with the Cuban national team, Ugas defected to the United States in 2010 and turned pro the same year.
Ugas boasts a victory over World Boxing Association champion Terence Crawford in 2007 and lost to former world champion Amir Khan in 2004.
Knowing Pacquiao has the edge in speed, Ugas said he intends to keep his distance.
“He always comes forward so I must apply proper tactics to prevent him from getting close.”
Subbing for Errol Spence Jr., who sustained a retinal tear on the left eye, on 11 days’ notice doesn’t bother Ugas. And neither is the fact that Pacquiao is a southpaw while his original foe, Fabian Maidana, has an orthodox stance.
“I don’t think anybody has the advantage,” said Ugas, alluding that Pacquiao also has to adjust because Spence is a southpaw while he is a right-hander.
The 35-year-old Ugas admits Pacquiao, 42, is on a different level when ranged against his previous opponents but is unfazed.
“I am always ready to fight the best,” said Ugas (26-4 with 12 knockouts).
In doing so, Ugas assured himself of being part of boxing lore.
Either as another Pacquiao victim or the one who finally ended the Filipino icon’s ring career. – Rappler.com