By Mark Elezaj
And just like that, another one of the summer’s biggest fights has fallen through. WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. has been forced to withdraw from his much anticipated title defense against the living legend Manny Pacquiao due to a unexpected retinal tear.
A routine pre-fight eye exam that was ordered by the Nevada Athletic Commission revealed that Spence had a torn retina in his left eye.
He will undergo surgery in Dallas and is expected to make a full recovery.
“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.”
Pacquiao will now face WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas in the main event of the August 21st pay-per view.
“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.”
Spence later took to Twitter stating that he had three doctors look at his eye and that all three were positive about his recovery.
He went on to say that he would be back to face the winner of Pacquiao-Ugas “for sure.”
“I came back from worse,” he wrote.
Ugas, who was already scheduled to face Fabian Maidana in a title defense in the night’s featured undercard bout, was promoted to a “super champion” status due to Pacquiao’s inactivity after Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman in July 2019.
The 35-year-old Cuban said it is an honor to get a chance to fight Pacquiao.
“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.”
Sean Gibbons, president of Pacquiao’s MP Promotions, told Yahoo Sports that Pacquiao is open to all options after the Ugas fight.
“The Senator is very disappointed about Errol Spence’s injury but is happy he still gets to compete,” Gibbons said. “He has been looking extraordinarily sharp in training and would have given a great performance against Spence.
“He’ll go ahead and fight Ugas, because he’s a fighter and that’s what he does. When that’s over, he’ll consider all of his options and that would include Errol.”
~ The Fighting Voice ~