One of the biggest boxing matches of the year has suffered a setback. On Tuesday, unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. announced he is withdrawing from his upcoming match again Manny Pacquiao due to him suffering an eye injury while training, per Yahoo! Sports. Yordenis Ugas, the current WBA welterweight champion, will take Spence's place in the bout on Aug. 21 in Las Vegas.
The Nevada Athletic Commission announced that Spence has a torn retina in his left eye. He has left Vegas to return to his home in Dallas and will have surgery on his eye. In a statement: Spence said: "I'm very disappointed that I won't be able to fight Manny Pacquiao on August 21. "I was excited about the fight and the event. Unfortunately, the doctors found a tear in my left eye and said I needed to get surgery on it ASAP and that there was no way I could fight with my eye in that condition. I'd like to apologize to everyone. You know I'll be back as soon back soon. We've come back from worse."
JUST IN - Errol Spence Jr. is out of his title fight with Manny Pacquiao on Aug. 21 after suffering a retinal tear in his left eye, per Premier Boxing Champions. pic.twitter.com/YGOss04ALt— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) August 10, 2021
Yahoo Sports spoke to Sean Gibbons, the president of Pacquiao's MP Promotions and said that Pacquiao wanted to take on Spence but is ready to fight anyone. "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." Pacquiao, 42 is currently a Senator of the Philippines and expected to run for president in 2022, which could mean the fight with Spence may not be happening anytime soon.
The match on Aug. 21 will be Pacquiao's first since beating Keith Thurman in July 2019. At the time, Pacquiao was the WBA (Super) welterweight champion but was stripped of the title in January of this year due to inactivity. The title was given to Ugas who won the WBA (Regular) title last year.
"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,'' Ugas said in a statement. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Pacquiao, but I am coming to win this fight. I've been in camp working hard with my coach Ismael Salas and I know together we will come up with a masterful game plan to combat anything Manny will bring to the ring. I wish Errol Spence Jr. a speedy recovery and I want to ensure the fans that I will be at my best for this fight."