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Yet another of the summer’s biggest fights has fallen through as Errol Spence Jr. has been forced to withdraw from his planned WBC and IBF welterweight title defense against the legendary Manny Pacquiao. Spence suffered a retinal tear that forced him out of the bout.
Pacquiao will now face WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas in the Aug. 21 pay-per-view main event.
«I’m very disappointed that I won’t be able to fight Manny Pacquiao.» Spence said in a press release. «I was excited about the fight. 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.»
Ugas was already scheduled to face Fabian Maidana in a title defense in the night’s featured undercard bout. He was promoted to «super champion» status due to Pacquiao’s inactivity after Pacquiao won the belt in July 2019 over Keith Thurman.
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Pacquiao has not fought since that Thurman fight, which was a stunning return to the world title scene after it seemed Pacquiao’s time as an elite fighter had come to an end.
Spence, 31, is undefeated and one of the sport’s pound-for-pound elite fighters. He has held welterweight gold since May 2017 and the Pacquiao fight was a chance for him to ply his trade against one of the best fighters of the modern era.
«First and foremost, I ask everyone to join me in praying for a full and complete recovery for Errol Spence Jr.,» Pacquiao said. «Thank God his physical examination discovered his eye condition before he suffered any further damage.»
«It’s an honor to fight the great multiple division world champion, Manny Pacquiao, as 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,» Ugas said.
«Everyone knows my story about how 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.»
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