Pacquiao ready to reclaim WBA crown against Ugas

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Las Vegas

Manny Pacquiao says a change of opponent has not affected his training as he attempts to reclaim his world welterweight crown after a two-year absence from the ring on Saturday.

The Filipino boxing icon faces WBA champion Yordenis Ugas at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena in a bout that was put together after his initial opponent, Errol Spence Jr., suffered an eye injury.

The abrupt withdrawal of Spence, the unbeaten IBF and WBC champion, has deprived the 42-year-old Pacquiao of another superfight at the tail-end of his glittering career.

It also means Pacquiao, who has not fought since beating Keith Thurman for the WBA title in July 2019, has had to recalibrate his training to account for the fact that he will now be taking on a right-handed opponent rather than a southpaw.

Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 knockouts) played down the impact of the tactical readjustment as he prepares for the 72nd fight of a professional career that began in 1995. “It only took me two days to adjust to fighting Ugas,” Pacquiao said. —AP

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