On Saturday night, WBA (super) welterweight champion Youdenis Ugas will try to defend his title for the first time at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, which will be the same as the previous eight champions. Manny Pacquiao plays the game.
Yes, Urgas replaced WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spencer Jr., who had a torn retina in his left eye and faced Pacquiao with a 26-4 record in his career. He said it was an opportunity, but he didn’t take it for granted.
“It’s a long road for me,” Ugas said At the final press conference Between the two fighters on Wednesday. “Obviously, this is a short battle. I am grateful and honored to have this opportunity. I am ready.”
To the public, Ugas is largely an unknown figure.He was rated the 6th welterweight ESPN.com And it’s different from Spence’s reputation, which is Rank As the fourth pound-to-pound fighter in similar services.
But this does not mean that Urgas will become Pacquiao’s promoter. Before Saturday’s game, here are five things to know about Ugas.
His career is on the rise
Although he is 35 years old, it can be said that Ugas is at the highest level of his career.
Since losing to Amir Imam in the welterweight competition in May 2014, Ugas has won 11 of 12 matches. His only loss was due to a controversial split in March 2019. Decided to face former WBC welterweight champion Sean Porter.
Since that game with Porter, Ugas has won his last three games, including defeating Abel Ramos in September 2020 to win the WBA (regular) welterweight championship. Promoted to Super Champion In January, the organization stripped Pacquiao of his title, and Pacquiao won the title with a split decision over Keith Thurman in July 2019 due to inactivity.
His amateur career is very successful
Although his professional experience is far inferior to Pacquiao, Ugas has a prolific amateur background, which is worth mentioning.
Ugas started his boxing career at the age of 6, and won the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. According to BoxRec, he also won a tournament called the PanAm Championship in 2005 and won a gold medal at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games.
Ugas also defeated the current WBO welterweight champion and ESPN’s second-ranked pound-to-pound fighter. Terence CrawfordAnd some other current and former champions, including Darlys Perez, Francisco Vargas, Khabib Allakverdiev, Jose Pedraza, Julius Indongo and Sadam Ali, in his amateur career.
He and Pacquiao have similar stories
Pacquiao’s growth experience has always been one of the best stories in boxing history. He grew up in poverty in the Philippines and later became one of the greatest fighters of all time and an idol of his country.
Ugas hopes to do the same in Saturday night’s victory. He was born in the Santiago de Cuba district in Cuba, It is said that He tried to defect six times and was sent to prison each time.
Ugas finally defected from Cuba in 2010 and started a successful boxing career. According to one of his tweets, he did this when he was separated from his mother for nine years, and then separated for another year and a half because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Happy birthday mom, and may God bless you with health and congratulations. Love you very much, I pray for you every day. In order to become free men and professional fighters, we had to not see each other for 9 years. Covid is here, we separated again a year and a half ago😞#Panama pic.twitter.com/CDjzKQCotl
-Yordenis Ugas (@YordenisUgas) August 12, 2021
If Urgas can beat Pacquiao on Saturday night, he will definitely add another unforgettable chapter to his story.
He will have an advantage in height and tentacles
Ugas is 5 feet 9 inches tall and has an extension distance of 69 inches, which is 3.5 inches taller than Pacquiao and an extension distance of 2 inches.
Pacquiao started his career in the lightweight class and is usually at a physical disadvantage against opponents, but he made up for this with lightning speed of his hands and feet. Pacquiao’s long-time coach Freddie Roach said in a recent interview that he doesn’t think Ugas’ size is a problem.
“He (Ugas) is not as good as the other person (Spencer),” Roach said. “He didn’t make good use of his height.”
Ugas and his camp are full of confidence in his abilities.
“I came to prepare for 12 tough matches,” Ugas said. “If this is the last battle of the legendary Manny Pacquiao, then he will fight a man who has performed his best and is a world-class fighter.”
He throws a lot of fists
Like Pacquiao, Ugas is also a fighter who likes to speed up the pace of combat. According to CompuBox data, he averages 18.1 shots per round and 56.6 shots per round, while Pacquiao’s average shots is 19. The number of shots is 57.6 times.
Unlike Spencer, Ugas is an orthodox (right-footed) boxer who poses different challenges to Pacquiao in terms of body positioning. Although Roach believes Pacquiao can win through the knockouts, Roach is considering this.
“He is not a typical Cuban boxer, that kind of real sleek or something like that,” Roach told DAZN. “This guy has been looking for knockouts and has been looking for knockouts.”
It is often said that style makes fighting, and Saturday’s game will show whether Pacquiao’s speed will win, or whether Ugas can challenge him with his aggressiveness, length and physical fitness.
For more information on how to watch Saturday’s game, click here.