Pacquiao makes weight for welterweight title fight
LAS VEGAS: Manny Pacquiao and Yordenis Ugas both made weight then came face-to-face for the cameras at the weigh-in ahead of their Saturday world title welterweight showdown in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao, the heavy favorite, weighed in at 146 pounds while World Boxing Association welterweight champ Ugas tipped the scales right on the number at 147 pounds on Friday.
Ugas (24-0, 12 KOs) took the fight on just 11 days notice after Errol Spence Jr. pulled out with an eye injury.
“I’m not taking this fight lightly,” 42-year-old Pacquiao said. “Of course, I don’t want to be overconfident for this fight. I want to make sure tomorrow I get the victory.”
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) is returning to the ring after a two-year absence – the longest of his career – to fight for another world title in front of a big Vegas crowd and a pay-per-view audience.
The hastily rearranged bout also gives Pacquiao a chance to settle a score at the T-Mobile Arena.
Pacquiao was controversially stripped of his WBA title on grounds of “inactivity” earlier this year despite the global disruption to boxing caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The WBA instead handed the belt to Ugas, a fact that upset Pacquiao.
“I didn’t like that someone took my belt without challenging me in the ring,” Pacquiao said. “Both of us are champions, but we’ll see who has the belt after Saturday.”
In the opposite corner, Ugas is quietly plotting an ambush despite also having to readjust his training camp.
The 35-year-old Cuban had initially been due to face Fabian Maidana on the undercard but agreed to step in to face Pacquiao after Spence’s withdrawal.
“I have a lot of respect for him so I’m very excited,” Ugas said. “I have the belt. Whoever wins tomorrow gets the belt, but right now I’m the champion, and I’m ready.”