By: Hans Themistode
After spending numerous months prepping to take on Errol Spence Jr., Manny Pacquiao was taken aback when he was given the news.
The current unified welterweight champion was forced to pull out of their August 21st, showdown due to a torn/detached retina in his left eye. Immediately taking his place is WBA titleholder, Yordenis Ugas.
Their physical dimensions are almost identical. Both Ugas and Spence Jr. stand at 5’9, while their arm reach is fairly similar with Spence Jr. having the edge by three inches. In terms of their fighting styles, both fighters are a bit analogous in that department as well, especially from close quarters.
The biggest difference between Spence Jr. and Ugas, is their fighting stance. With the Cuban native fighting as an orthodox fighter and Spence Jr. as a southpaw, Pacquiao is somewhat relieved with how things played out.
“It’s a matter of two days to adjust,” said Pacquiao during an interview with Mike Coppinger of ESPN. “It’s not hard to adjust because we’ve been fighting right-handed fighters. It would be harder if it was the other way around.”
Pacquiao’s admittance that going from an orthodox fighter to a southpaw is difficult, comes as little to no surprise. While the Filippo native has aggregated over 25 years of experience in the ring, the former eight-division world champion has failed to face a left-hander since 2008 against David Diaz, a fighter he ultimately stopped in the ninth round.
In Ugas, Pacquiao faces an aggressive come forward fighter but one who he’s comfortable fighting on short notice due to his extended history facing orthodox opponents. If for some reason, Pacquiao was originally scheduled to face a right-handed fighter and was now forced to switch game plans to a left-hander, he admits that he would have shown far more reluctance in accepting a fight under those circumstances.
“If you’re fighting a right-handed fighter but now it switches to a southpaw, it’s getting hard for me. I would think twice.”
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