Welterweights Manny Pacquiao and Yordenis Ugas went face-to-face at the final presser in Las Vegas, and both brought title belts to the party.
So the big question is, “who’s the champ?”
Well, the answer for us is none of them.
WBN declassified the World Boxing Association for its irregular practices over the past few months and beyond.
Now, for us, the WBA belt is meaningless until the organization thoroughly cleans up its mess.
From T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, an eight-division world champion Pacquiao takes on Ugás on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View this Saturday, August 21.
The pair discussed their roles in the fight and the title belts they boasted on the day.
“I didn’t like that someone took my belt without challenging me in the ring. Both of us are champions, but we’ll see who has the strap after Saturday.
“I’m praying for a fast recovery from Errol Spence Jr. and that he can fight again soon. I, of course, felt terrible when I first heard the news, but it’s a good thing that Ugas was ready to challenge me for the world title. I’m glad that we can settle that dispute about the WBA title. It’s always better to talk in the ring.
“It only took me two days to adjust to fighting Ugas. I have fought a lot of right-handed fighters before. It would have been more challenging switching from preparing for a right-hander to a southpaw. Most of my opponents have been right-handed, so there’s nothing to worry about.
“I feel young right now. I’m just happy with what I’m doing because boxing is my passion. I enjoy training camp, and I’m excited to sacrifice and be disciplined every day to prepare for a fight like this.
“For the Keith Thurman fight, I would do about 25 rounds a day, and now for this fight, I’m doing 30 or more rounds a day. The coaches have had to try to stop me because I want to keep going.
“If there’s a chance for a knockout, then I’ll go for it because that’s what I want to give to the fans. I’m not underestimating Ugas, though. He has a lot of experience in boxing and fought in the Olympics. I know I have to be very good to win this fight.
“I never imagined what I would have accomplished in boxing from the beginning of my career leading up to now.
“But I went from nothing to something to inspire people both inside and outside of the ring. This is going to be a good action fight, and I’m going to do my best Saturday night because I love to make the fans happy.”
“This has been a long road for me. It is short notice that I learned I was fighting Manny Pacquiao, but I’m thankful for the opportunity, and I’m ready to take advantage of it.
“We made the adjustments we had to in the last two weeks so that I’m ready for Pacquiao. We’ve done everything we had to, and we’re 100% ready to go Saturday night.
“No excuses are heading into this fight. I’ve been in this position, taking a short-notice battle before, although never against a fighter the caliber of Pacquiao. I have no concerns, though, and I believe both of us will be prepared for this fight.
“I’m confident that he cannot knock me out. I’ve done all the preparation over these past six years to get in this position, I’ve hit my stride, and I don’t believe Manny can stop me.
“I have prepared for 12 hard rounds. If this is Pacquiao’s final fight, then he’s going to be up against a guy who brought his best and who is a world-class fighter.
“I want to thank my whole team for this great opportunity. More than anything, I am a fighter who represents my country of Cuba. This fight is dedicated to all the people who are fighting for freedom in Cuba. I’m fighting for all of them.
The pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT as Manny Pacquiao, already a legend in the sport, can break his record as the oldest fighter to win a welterweight championship. At the same time, Ugas looks to take advantage of the most significant opportunity of his career in his first world title defense.
Tickets for the live event, which TGB Promotions and MP Promotions promote, are on sale now and can be purchased through t-mobilearena.com and axs.com.