Ugas was once a top 140 lb prospect, but losses to Johnny Garcia in 2012 and two in 2014 against Emanuel Robles and Amir Imam put his career in question, at least as far as becoming a serious contender.
After nearly two years out of the ring, he returned to face rising welterweight Jamal James, scoring a win that started a really good streak, and saw the Cuban deliver on his earlier potential.
Now, by retiring Manny Pacquiao in his last outing, Ugas (27-4, 12 KO) is in prime position for a chance to call himself the best welterweight in the world.
“I was out of the ring for a long time, but when I came back and gave Jamal James the first loss of his career, I knew that I would be coming for big things. Everything changed for me that night and it’s all led up to this,” he said.
“The Pacquiao fight was a great night for me. After that fight my life changed in even more ways. But I’ve always kept myself humble. I showed everyone who the WBA champion was. I have my eye on continuing to make history.”
Ugas, of course, will be a sizable underdog against Spence (27-0, 21 KO), but he knows that and says it doesn’t have any impact on him at all.
“Being an underdog means nothing to me. I was the underdog against Pacquiao and now again against Spence. I’ve always been the underdog and it doesn’t faze me,” he stated. “It’s an honor to be in the ring with Errol Spence Jr. We’re fighting for three belts, but even more important is fighting for honor and respect.”
The 35-year-old Ugas will be looking to unify his WBA welterweight title with the WBC and IBF belts held by Spence, at which point only the WBO belt held by the in-limbo Terence Crawford would be missing from the collection.