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Yordenis Ugas reacts to facing Pacquiao in place of Spence

Errol Spence Jr Manny Pacquiao

By Chris Williams: Yordenis Ugas wanted to pay his respects to the badly injured Errol Spence Jr in replacing him against Manny Pacquiao on August 21st at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) wants Spence to know that he had full confidence in him that he would have beaten Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) if not for the injury getting in the way of things.

If not Pacquiao, Ugas would have fought Spence this year. The Filipino star got in the way of things. It’s odd how fate changes things. Maybe Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) wouldn’t have gotten injured had he fought Ugas, but we’ll never know.

Was Spence overdoing it in training?

If Spence was overdoing it in sparring for the Pacquiao fight, this is the result. He suffered an eye injury, which has wrecked everything.

Spence wanted to be the one to send the 42-year-old Pacquiao into retirement on August 21st, and now that job has fallen into Ugas’ hands. If Ugas beats Pacquiao, Spence will have permanently missed his chance.

Errol Spence Jr Manny Pacquiao

Ugas, 35, will step to the forefront to face Pacquiao on FOX PBC PPV, and he’s hoping he can take his scalp and add to his collection.

Hopefully, Spence isn’t bitter about it afterward because Ugas is just doing his part as a good soldier in stepping up to the front lines to replace the injured warrior.

Now, we don’t know if Spence will be able to fully recover from this eye injury to continue his great career. When you’re talking about a problem with an eye, it could be over with potentially in terms of Spence’s career.

MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons says Pacquiao, who he calls ‘The Senator,’ still wants to fight Spence at the end of the year if he makes a speedy recovery.

The odds of Spence coming back from eye surgery to fight Pacquiao in November or December are likely low. This isn’t exactly a hangnail Spence suffered during his sparring session last Monday.

It wouldn’t be a big deal if this were laser eye surgery to fix Spence’s vision or a stye that needed to be removed. If that were the case, Spence probably could come back to fight Pacquiao in December.


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Pacquiao will need to prepare for Ugas quickly

“It’s very unfortunate that Errol Spence suffered an eye injury, but the senator [Pacquiao] is praying for Errol, hoping for a speedy recovery,” said MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons to Fighthype.

“We understand these things happen in the sport. Injuries are part of the game, so it is a little bummer. The senator felt like he was just peaking, he was just right, and he was going to make history. It’s going to be a thrilling fight for the fans.

“How we look at it is it’s in the past now. There is nothing we can do. We can’t cry over spilled milk. The guy is injured; he can’t fight. We have to focus on Yordenis Ugas and put everything into that.

“The senator is a professional,” Gibbons continued about Pacquiao. “This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in his life. We just got to move forward and concentrate on Ugas and then win that fight and see what happens.

Errol Spence Jr Manny Pacquiao

“First of all, the senator gives his praise to God, and he never questions why things happen because he puts all his faith in God. So he will make the proper adjustments with [trainer] Freddie Roach and Buboy [Fernandez].

“He’s going from fighting a left-hander to fighting a right-hander. But again, you know when the senator made his name in this country was when he stepped in as a late replacement for Lehlo Ledwaba on HBO. So the senator adapts,” said Gibbons of Pacquiao.

Well, there is one positive that Pacquiao is fighting Ugas on less than two weeks’ notice. If Pacquiao loses, he’s got a great build-in excuse to tell the boxing world.

Should Pacquiao loses to Ugas, which is possible, he’ll need to make up his mind on whether to ask for a rematch or call it a day.

Manny wants to fight Spence later this year

I know Pacquiao has a lot of pride, but he’s been out of the ring for two years, and he’s pretty old. Maybe it won’t matter if Pacquiao fights Ugas a second time.

After all, Ugas is arguably a better fighter than Shawn Porter, and that guy is perhaps the#3 welterweight in the division today. Ugas may beat Pacquiao on August 21st, and there’s not much Manny could do about it.

Unless Pacquiao has found the Fountain of Youth to drink from, he’s going to be out of luck against Ugas.

“You trained to fight Spence, but then you train to get in shape in case to be ready to fight if something changes,” Gibbons continued. “It’s like getting ready for a football game.

“You look at different defenses and different offenses, but if something changes, you make adaptions, and that’s what the senator [Pacquiao] is great at.

“The senator at 42 years and 8 months, and looks at everything at the moment. You’re going to look at the 21st and see how that goes, and then look at everything.

“If Errol Spence heals up and is prepared to come back possibly later in the year, the senator would at least like to get one more fight in. But after the 21st, he’ll see what’s out there,” said Gibbons on Pacquiao wanting to fight Spence still.

We’ll see what happens with Pacquiao when he challenges WBA welterweight champion Ugas for his old title on August 21st.  It’s foolish for Gibbons to already count Ugas as a victory for Pacquiao in the win column because this is not that type of a fight.

If Pacquiao is in a hurry to get the Spence fight done later this year, he’s going to have to forget it. Pacquiao wants to run for the president of the Philippines, but he can’t force Spence into the ring if he’s still convalescing. 


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