EIGHT-division world champion Manny Pacquiao and World Boxing Association welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas made their grand arrivals in Las Vegas ahead of their fight on Saturday, August 21.
The fighters faced off for the first time in front of T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday, August 17, where they will battle for the “super” welterweight belt on Saturday.
Pacquiao originally held the title after defeating Keith Thurman in July 2019, but was stripped off his championship earlier this year due to inactivity. Following this decision, Ugas, initially the “regular” champion after beating Abel Ramos last year, was elevated to “super” champion status.
The Pinoy boxer was initially supposed to fight 31-year-old American boxer Errol Spence Jr. on Saturday but the latter was forced to withdraw due to an eye injury.
Pacquiao, for his part, maintained that it was unfair to take his belt from him without any fight.
“We should settle it on the ring, it doesn’t seem right away they took my belt without fighting me,” he said.
The Filipino boxer turned senator also said that he “can’t wait” to show that he still has what it takes to win a fight.
“Being out of the ring has given me time to rest, but also to get motivated like in my early days. I can’t wait to display it all on fight night,” he said.
He maintained that boxing is his “passion,” which is why he is still eager to get inside the ring.
“Boxing is my passion. That’s why I’m still here giving inspiration to the boxing fans and bringing honor to my country. I’m happy doing my job and working hard. They have to try to slow me down in training, because I always want to go more rounds,” the Pinoy boxer said.
Pacquiao also acknowledged his age, noting that his bout with Ugas may be his “last fight.”
“This could be my last fight, or there could be more. I’m turning 43 in December, and my plan has always been to just go one fight at a time. I encourage the fans all over the world to watch this fight, because you never know,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ugas expressed excitement over the opportunity of fighting Pacquiao.
“It feels great to be in the main event Saturday night against a true legend like Pacquiao. I can’t wait to get in the ring on Saturday night,” he said.
“I didn’t hesitate at all when I got offered this fight. I knew right away what a big opportunity it would be and what a win like this can do for my career,” he added.
Ugas also vowed to defeat Pacquiao and put an end to any of his “future plans” in the boxing ring.
“I’m here to wreck any future plans Manny Pacquiao has in the ring and make sure that Saturday is his last fight,” he said.
The Saturday fight will be broadcast live on FOX Sports PPV. n