Derrick James Compliments Yordenis Ugas On Boxing Ability and Ring IQ
When it comes to any physically strenuous activity, the mental fortitude of the participant is of paramount importance. This is especially true in the sport of boxing. Realizing this, chief second Derrick James is particularly cognizant of his charge, IBF and WBC welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr’s (27-0, 21 KO’s), next opponent. In his next contest, on April 16, Spence will face the challenge of WBA Super welterweight champion Yordenis “54 Milagros” Ugas (27-4, 12 KO’s). The two will battle under the hot lights of the AT&T Stadium located in Arlington, Texas.
Of course, it requires a great deal of talent, determination and perseverance to even become a world champion in the first place. Yet, in Ugas’s case in particular, he had to go above and beyond the call of duty to put himself in position to even compete as a professional fighter. This is because 54 Milagros was born in Cuba where competing as a professional is illegal. Obviously Ugas was very unwilling to squander his tremendous boxing talent and opted to take the considerable risk involved to escape and migrate to America.
“I watch him, I watch him fight, he’s a phenomenal fighter! Listen, the story says it all! It tells who he really is as a fighter, as an individual as a man, to escape [Cuba] six times and you finally make it on the seventh time! If you get away five times I am going to keep you tied to a bed with a chain or something! He got away seven times? That must be a Cuban record! That’s a testament to the man that he truly is, the fighter that he truly is. So you got to realize that he is not going to give up. You got to beat it out of him.”
A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN
Going a step further, not only does James marvel at Ugas’s mental dexterity, he also is impressed with his fighting style. While Cuban boxers are known far and wide for their boxing skill and acumen, Derrick James has noted how much 54 Milagros has separated himself from his fellow countrymen.
“He’s very smart, very intelligent. But, this is the thing with Ugas that’s funny because he doesn’t fight like any other Cuban. So, when you say ‘Cuban Boxing School,’ he doesn’t fight like any of those other guys. Those other guys are kind of hard to watch! They throw ten punches a round or whatever but Ugas is a guy that is very aggressive. But, he is caught where his age puts him at the perfect point of where you have to be slick as a fighter and sly as a fighter…Ugas is that; he’s an athlete but at the same time he is very slick. He’s very sly, very intelligent.”
Given this very complimentary appraisal, it is beyond clear that James harbors a massive amount of respect for Ugas. With that being the case, it goes without saying that James and Spence Jr have employed a very serious and no-nonsense training camp. Therefore, there is little doubt that when these top-flight athletes face one another in the ring, no matter who gets their hand raised, the fans will be the true winners!
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By: Bakari Simpson