Yordenis Ugas sets his sights on being undisputed welterweight champion
When an opportunity comes ringing, you must answer the bell. That was the scenario for WBA ‘super’ world welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs). When unified world IBF/WBC world 147-pound champion Errol Spence dropped out of an August 21 match against Manny Pacquiao due to a detached retina, Ugas was picked as the replacement opponent.
On short notice and with only eleven days to prepare, the 35-year-old from Santiago de Cuba, Cuba jumped at the chance to face the future Hall of Famer. He didn’t care that many of the experts predicted he would lose. It’s the big-money, dream fight Ugas has dreamt about his entire professional career. Fighting at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in front of a pro-Pacquiao crowd, Ugas seized the moment. The defending champ put on the fight of his career to decisively defeat Pacquiao by unanimous decision.
BLUEPRINT TO AN UPSET
The defending champion was sharp from the opening bell. He used the jab and subtle head and foot movement to make Manny miss, constantly keeping him off balance. Another key in the victory was the overhand right-hand, which seemed to have radar on the face of the pre-fight favorite.
If you think Ugas will settle and rest on his laurels, think again. Following a career-defining win, he let it be known he wants more triumphs. The ultimate goal is to win all the belts at 147, starting with facing one guy in particular.
“The plan is to unify the titles at welterweight. Everybody says that he’s the champion, now they know who the real champion is. Errol Spence, he’s the next one on the list that I want to fight, but most of all I am praying that he recuperates”.
While Ugas desire a showdown against Spence, it will not happen anytime soon. The fighter nicknamed “The Truth” is on the mend following his eye injury and will be on the shelf for the foreseeable future. However, Ugas is not devoid of suitable and high-level opponents.
Former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman was in Las Vegas to witness Pacquiao-Ugas. He made the rounds on press row telling everyone he’s looking for a fight. A contest between those two would draw decent numbers. Based on styles, it would make for a good scrap. Then there’s a potential rematch against Porter, who he lost to by a questionable split decision in March of 2019. A more likely scenario in the immediacy is a match against the WBA number one contender, Eimantas Stanionis, early in 2022.
Whatever route he decides to go, Yordenis Ugas is now at the big boy table and a power player at 147 pounds. With the ability to make moves on the welterweight board, it will be interesting what he does moving forward.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.