Yordenis Ugas believes that he has solidified himself as the true WBA Welterweight Champion.
Last night (Aug. 21), Ugas went one-on-one with Manny Pacquiao. Initially, Pacquiao was set to challenge for the WBC and IBF Welterweight Titles. Spence ended up pulling out of the fight due to a retinal tear. Ugas stepped up to put his WBA gold on the line.
Ugas captured the “Regular” version of the WBA title back in Sept. 2020. He was upgraded to “Super” champion after Pacquiao was designated to “Champion in Recess” due to inactivity. Pacquiao hadn’t competed since July 2019.
Ugas and Pacquiao had a competitive fight but the general consensus was that Ugas began to take over down the stretch. The efforts of Ugas were rewarded as he was given the unanimous decision victory.
After the fight, Ugas said he was glad to be able to prove he’s the real WBA titleholder (h/t BoxingScene.com).
“I’m very excited but, most of all, I want to thank Manny Pacquiao for giving me this moment in the ring today. I told you, I am the champion of the WBA and I showed it tonight. I’m very emotional. A lot of people say Cubans can’t win the big fight. So, I’m very proud that I got this win for Cuba and showed what we are all about.”
Ugas said he’s looking to unify the welterweight gold. Ugas said that while he hopes to face Spence next, he wishes the WBA and IBF champion a speedy and full recovery. The other welterweight champion is WBO titleholder Terence Crawford. Crawford may be due for a title defense against Shawn Porter. He’ll be a free agent after his next fight.
As for Pacquiao, he has flirted with retirement. “PacMan” is heavily rumored to be running for the President of the Philippines.