The August 21 welterweight title fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas between Errol Spence Jr and Manny Pacquiao is off.
The American has suffered an eye injury forcing the WBC and IBF champion to withdraw from his first fight of 2021. ESPN’s Mike Coppinger has reported that the injury itself is a torn retina in his left eye.
Despite the disappointment of all involved and the fans looking forward to the event all is not lost. WBA Super 147lbs champion Yordenis Ugas will step in to face the Filipino legend in what is a respectable replacement.
In quotes posted by The Athletic’s Lance Pugmire, Pacquiao said: “First and foremost, I ask everyone to join me in praying for a full and complete recovery for Errol Spence Jr. Thank God his physical examination discovered his eye condition before he suffered any further damage.”
The injury had been noticed during a pre-fight medical examination by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in Las Vegas yesterday. Spence Jr is expected to have surgery tomorrow when he returns home to Dallas.
“I’m very disappointed that I won’t be able to fight Manny Pacquiao,” said Spence Jr.
“Unfortunately, the doctors found a tear in my left eye and said I needed surgery on it ASAP and that there was no way I could fight with my eye in that condition.
One man’s misfortune is another man’s… fortune.
“It’s an honour to fight the great multiple division world champion Manny Pacquiao,” said Ugas.
“I am more than ready to take on this challenge. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Pacquiao, but I am coming to win this fight.
“I came to America to follow my dreams of becoming a world champion, and now it’s time to stamp my legacy with a victory, as one of the best Cuban fighters to ever put on a pair of gloves.”