Manny Pacquiao unfazed with opponent change in boxing return

MANILA – Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao was unfazed with the sudden change of opponent less than two weeks before his much-anticipated ring return on August 21 (August 22 in the Philippines) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

According to Pacquiao, he is not worried about a change of game plan, especially since his original foe Errol Spence Jr. is a southpaw, while his replacement opponent World Boxing Association’s (WBA) welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas fights out of an orthodox stance.

“The only danger for this fight is the change in stance,” Pacquiao said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday (Thursday in the Philippines).

“I always consider myself a bipartisan boxer. I am happy to fight either right-handed or southpaw fighters. It’s not a problem for me at all to switch the styles,” he added.

Pacquiao was glad that Ugas replaced Spence since this will give the latter the chance to prove if he deserves the world championship taken away by the WBA from the Filipino boxer.  

“I am happy that (Ugas) stepped up to replace Errol Spence. He became a world champion because they (WBA) gave him my belt. Now, we have to settle it inside of the ring,” the fighting senator said.

In the same virtual presser, Ugas said that he knows the last-minute switch was a career-defining moment for him, especially if he can pull off an upset against the heavily-favored Pacquiao.

“I’m well aware that Pacquiao is the favorite. But at the same time, I’m a champion. I’ve faced so many strong opponents to get to where I am. I have full confidence in myself and my ability to get a victory,” he added.

The 42-year-old Pacquiao will enter the match with a 62-7-2 win-loss-draw ring record, including 39 wins by way of stoppages. The 35-year-old Ugas, for his part, has a 26-4-0 slate, with 12 knockout victories./PN


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