Yordenis Ugas is attempting to stay positive following a wave of doubt over his’ world welterweight title’ win and Manny Pacquiao holding ‘super’ status.
The Cuban has addressed those who claim his victory over Abel Ramos was not for a legitimate championship. A defiant Ugas insists he’s the first from his native land to win a version of the 147-pound crown in 51 years. Jose Napoles, a legend of the sport who based himself in Mexico due to Cuban constraints on the sport, claimed the unified championship in 1969.
To his credit, Ugas knew all about Napoles when speaking to Boxing Writer’s Association of America supremo Jose Santoliquito before his big fight on September 6. “I know the history. It’s been a long road to get here. I believe that I’m one of the top welterweights in the division. I’m a warrior,” Ugas told Premier Boxing Champions through Santoliquito.
“People are going to see the hunger of a man who wants to become a champion. It’s been my dream since I touched U.S. soil (in 2010). “I won at the Olympic level, and now I’m ready to win at the professional level.
“Trying to escape is the story of many Cubans wanting a better life. I won’t forget traveling over from Mexico and landing in Texas. When the boat reached the shore, I didn’t kneel and kiss the ground, but it was an emotional moment for me. “I’ve wanted to be free my whole life.
I want to be able to provide for my family (back in Cuba), and the only way that it is possible is to succeed here with something I love to do.” Outlining what it meant to him, Ugas gave an insight into what he would eventually pour out over social media after his triumph. “I do get a little emotional when I think about it, and I know I will when I have my hand raised on Sunday,” he said.
“The last Cuban welterweight champion was Jose Napoles, and that was over 50 years ago. “Doing this will be something very special for me, considering where I came from to get here. My family had nothing. We lived between walls, in a house with no roof. “You never forget that.”
In light of the recent criticism, Ugas said on Monday: “I became a world champion. It is not about money. It is about a goal, an objective, a dream that I fulfilled. “Not only did I do something special on a personal level after ten years of hard work, but I made history for my country. The first Cuban 147 world champion in 50 years,” The 34-year-old added.
As written previously in a WBN article, it’s been heartbreaking to watch Ugas reach what he believes is his dream only to be shot down by the fact Manny Pacquiao is, and should rightly be, the only authentic WBA champion in the division.
The blame lies exclusively with the World Boxing Association, who have a duty to fans and boxers to address this as soon as possible. None-the-less, Ugas feels he is the champion and good luck to him. If that’s how the WBA wants to play it, that’s not his fault. It just won’t be in the eyes of the boxing fraternity, and especially those who follow the ‘Pacman’ with such vehement enthusiasm.
Noel Galang – Kamao TV