Ugas Speaks on his Motivation and Responsibility to Country and Community
Boxing fans tend to gravitate towards and have more respect for fighters who had to jump additional hurdles on their way to becoming world champions. Such is the case for WBA Super welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs), who has become quite the endearing figure with hardcore fans following his upset win over Manny Pacquiao in August 2021.
BASKING IN THE GLORY
In the aftermath, the world champ has been making the rounds appearing at events and doing several interviews with various members of the boxing press. He’s also not been shy about going on social media to floss the accouterments of his newfound wealth, including a new home and cars.
His profile is higher than ever. Expect that attention to raise even more on April 16. The 35-year-old from Santiago de Cuba, Cuba will face unified IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) live on Fox PPV.
TAKING NOTHING FOR GRANTED
It’s easy to ponder whether the newfound attention has gone to his head. In attendance for Hector Garcia’s upset win over Chris Colbert on February 26, Ugas was asked by Showtime Championship Boxing’s Brian Custer about all the added attention. The Cuban strongly feels that he fights for more than himself and it’s still a driving force in his career.
“My responsibility has to really step up a notch now. I’m fighting for a whole community. Now it’s country and life. […] The cars and houses, that’s material things. I’m still very hungry to win fights.”
To his point, Ugas must care for not only his family here in the United States, but his loved one’s in his home country of Cuba. The path to a world title was not a golden one.
After back-to-back defeats to Emanuel Robles and Amir Imam in 2014, it would have been easy for him to get discouraged. Instead, his resolve only hardened. A bitter split decision loss to then-WBC welterweight champ Shawn Porter was another set. But the vet kept plugging along, believing he was destined to be a champion. The fruits of his labor paid off with the win over Pacquaio, a future Hall of Famer.
He promises to carry that same hunger in his upcoming unification bout with Spence who he warned better be on his A-game.
“I’m going with everything. Everybody knows that Spence is one of the best boxers. I hope that Spence comes in his best condition. It’s going to be two of the best three boxers in that division fighting on that night.”
Indeed the fire is still in the belly, and spells trouble for Spence and anyone else in the welterweight division.
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By: Michael Wilson Jr.