EIGHT-DIVISION world boxing champion Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao said he had agreed to fight with Miami-based Cuban Yordenis Ugas following the cancellation of his bout with Errol Spence who suffered a torn retina in his left eye.
“I have agreed to fight Yordenis Ugas on August 21 for the WBA welterweight super championship. The proper way and the only way to win a world title is inside the ring,” said Pacquiao in a statement issued from Los Angeles.
“I pray for a complete recovery for Errol Spence. Luckily his examination prevented further damage to his eye,” said Pacquiao.
“This is the best training camp I have had since the first Barrera fight. I am grateful it won’t be wasted. I look forward to showing everyone that Manny Pacquiao is still here to give the fans a good show,” he said.
Pacquiao acknowledged that Ugas was “a good and formidable fighter” and said that come August 21, “only one fighter will emerge from the ring as the WBA welterweight champion”.
Pacquiao, 62-7 with two draws and 39 knockouts, last fought in July 2019 when he beat American Keith Thurman for the WBA version of the 147-pound division throne.
But the senator was stripped of the crown in January due to inactivity.
While preparing for the bout with longtime trainer Freddy Roach in Los Angeles, Pacquiao insisted the layoff had “helped my body and my mind a lot”.
“This time around, I’m as excited as ever and feeling like I’m young again,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tom Brown, president of TGB Promotions noted that for Ugas, 35, it is a daunting challenge to “make his first title defense against a boxing legend in a career-defining fight.”
Ugas said it would be “an honor” to meet Pacquiao in the ring.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Pacquiao, but I am coming to win this fight,” he said.
Spence discovered he had a torn retina during a pre-fight medical examination by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in Las Vegas on Monday, organizers said.
“I’m very disappointed that I won’t be able to fight Manny Pacquiao on August 21,” Spence, the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Council champion, said in a statement.
“I was excited about the fight and the event. Unfortunately, the doctors found a tear in my left eye and said I needed to get surgery on it ASAP and that there was no way I could fight with my eye in that condition.”
Spence has returned to his home in Texas for treatment.