Ugas: No one had the advantage in training

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com

LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao and WBA “super” welterweight champion Yordernis Ugas got the chance to size each other up for the first time when they made their grand arrival outside the T-Mobile Arena here, venue for their title clash on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).

Pacquiao and Ugas ended up being matched together after their respective opponents pulled out with eerily similar eye injuries.

The Filipino icon was originally slated to challenge WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in the main event while Ugas was to put his own title on the line against Fabian Maidana in the undercard.

Spence is a southpaw while Maidana is an orthodox fighter, leading both Pacquiao and Ugas to make late adjustments in training.

And this, according to the Cuban fighter, leveled the playing field.

“I don't think anybody has the advantage, because he was preparing for a southpaw, I was preparing for a conventional fighter,” Ugas, sporting a red tracksuit, told the media at the grand arrival ceremony Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).

“And we've had over 10 days to prepare so I don't think anyone has the advantage,” he added.

Both fighters claimed to have no problems adjusting, with Pacquiao saying it is easier to go from a southpaw to a right-handed opponent than the other way around.

“I was able to adjust right away because I’ve been fighting right-handed (opponents before),” said Pacquiao, who came in clad in a white polo shirt and wearing joggers.

Ugas certainly did not mind the last-minute change, which turns out to be the opportunity of a lifetime for the former Olympic bronze medalist.

“I am in great spirits, emotional in a good way. It means a lot to me to be able to fight Manny Pacquiao,” he continued.

He vowed to be worthy opponent to the boxing legend, who earlier hinted that it could be his last fight.

“If this is Pacquiao's last time making his way in the ring, he will fight someone who is of (high) caliber like me. We're gonna put on a great fight for the fans around the world,” said Ugas.

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