By: Sean Crose
“Everybody has to expect the fireworks tomorrow,” Yordenis Ugas’s trainer Ismail Salas told FightHype on Friday. “It will be a great fight. Two great fighters.” The fight Salas was speaking of, of course, is tonight’s welterweight title unification between his fighter Ugas, and fellow champion Errol Spence. A year ago, Ugas was a well known, but not particularly celebrated, fighter. Then came last summer, when the world saw Ugas get the better of the great Manny Pacquiao. Yet the fact that Spence is seen as a pound for pound level boxer, coupled with the fact that Pacquiao was over forty when he fought Ugas, has led Spence to be the star attraction of tonight’s fight in his native Texas. Salas, however, is confident.
“Ugas will show the world why he is in this position,” says the veteran trainer. When asked if Ugas felt good after having made weight, Salas made it clear that weight simply isn’t an issue for his man. “Ugas is a natural welterweight,” Salas said. “He’s big. He’s a big welterweight and natural. So for Ugas to make weight, for example last night we had a good dinner, not big, but a proper dinner.” Comfortable with his fighter’s condition heading into the weekend, Salas also made it clear why he feels Ugas can score the upset over Spence.
“They have something there,” Salas said, indicating Spence and his team, “not many people see.” Salas went on to indicate that Spence wasn’t the same man when he returned from a terrible car crash to face welterweight notable Danny Garcia late in 2020. “If everybody saw Errol Spence’s last fight with Danny,” said Salas, “I don’t’ know if people sensed it’s not the same Spence, but it’s not only that. Every time Danny moved to his right side, he got blank. So, since after that, I knew he (Spence) has got some situation with his eyes.”
What makes Salas’ comment unique is the fact that Spence suffered an eye injury after the Garcia fight, when he was preparing to fight Manny Pacquiao. Indeed, the eye injury led to Spence dropping out of the bout, paving the way for Ugas to upset Pacquiao and to take the Filipino icon’s WBA title. Not that Salas would give away all his fighter’s secrets. When Ugas and Spence answer the bell this evening at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium there’s no doubt each man will have a specific strategy – or strategies – lined up for the other.
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