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    Pacquiao quick to adjust to orthodox sparring partners for Ugas fight

    Aug 11, 2021
    Manny Pacquiao

    MANNY Pacquiao was quick to change gears.

    Hours after learning he will be fighting a new opponent in Yordenis Ugas of Cuba instead of undefeated Errol Spence, the team of the 42-year-old Filipino legend brought in three right-handed fighters who engaged Pacquiao in sparring for eight rounds on Thursday (Manila time).

    Spence is a southpaw like Pacquiao, who has been sparring with three other lefties in training camp for the past six weeks now.

    From southpaw to orthodox

    For a fleeting moment, the Filipino senator admitted adjusting to the fight plan, but got into the groove of things once everything settled down.

    “For the first thirty seconds, things looked a little odd in sparring,” admitted the 42-year-old, battle-scarred warrior. “But I adjusted quickly and it was business as usual.

    “I am a politician. And I am used to dealing with changing stances,” added a grinning Pacquiao.

    Manny Pacquiao training with Buboy Fernandez

    The change in opponent comes almost two weeks before Pacquiao was supposed to return to the ring on August 21 after a two-year absence, as he prepares to take on a bigger fighter in the 31-year-old Spence, who is staking his two title belts in the fight set at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.


    Spence was found to be suffering from a detached retina on his left eye and wouldn’t be given the approval to fight the only eight-time world division champion.

    Pacquiao admitted feeling disappointed with Spence backing out at the last minute, but stressed the health condition of the American champion is imperative.

    “I am disappointed in the situation, but thank God, the tear in Errol’s retina was discovered before it could be damaged further,” he said. “I join his family, friends, and fans, and pray that he has full and complete recovery.”

    With time running out, Pacquiao is quick to move forward and turn his focus to Ugas, who incidentally, was the same fighter that benefited when the WBA stripped Pacquiao of his welterweight belt early this year due to inactivity.

    The 35-year-old Cuban was recognized by the boxing body as its champion at the 147-pound division.


      Pacquiao said the fight is the proper way to decide who between him and Ugas is deserving of the belt.

      “Ugás is a champion with a strong Cuban boxing background. This is a big fight,” said the Filipino boxing legend.

      “He was given my title belt earlier in the year, but now we get to fight for it inside the ring. That is the proper way to become a world champion.”

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