YORDENIS Ugas believes his upset of the great Manny Pacquiao last year prepared him for his unification welterweight title fight against Errol Spence.
For the second straight fight, Ugas will be facing another southpaw opponent as he takes on Spence on Saturday at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (Sunday, Manila time).
The 35-year-old Cuban scored a stunning unanimous decision against Pacquiao in August of 2021 to retain the WBA welterweight crown.
The victory against one of the greatest fighters of all time gave the Ugas camp the confidence against the comebacking Spence.
“We are comfortable fighting a southpaw. Ugas showed and proved that he can already beat a southpaw in Manny Pacquiao,” said Ugas trainer Ismael Salas.
“Ugas is one hundred percent ready for this fight. Mentally, we are very strong and we are prepared for any style. Every fighter has a different style and style make fights.”
Ugas was a last-minute replacement for Spence in the Pacquiao fight after the unbeaten American suffered a retinal tear on his left eye two weeks before the bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Spence watched with keen interest how Ugas got the better of the match against Pacquiao, who he said was obviously already just a ‘shell of himself.’
“I’ve been looking forward to this fight since I had to drop out of the Pacquiao bout,” said the reigning WBC and IBF welterweight title holder.
“I knew I would be fighting the winner, and now I’ve got Ugas in front of me,” added Spence (27-0, 21 KOs). “He’s a tough champion who’s been through a lot in his life. Ugas is living the ‘American Dream,’ and he wants to keep living the ‘American Dream. His challenge is beating me and I want his belt.”
Both champions made weight, with Spence coming in at 146 ¼ pounds and Ugas at 146 ¾ pounds.
Veteran referee Laurence Cole will be the third man in the ring, while Glenn Feldman, Steve Weisfeld, and Tim Cheatham are the three judges scoring the bout.