Errol Spence Jr. DeSoto was eliminated from his pay-per-view battle with Manny Pacquiao on August 21 due to a retinal detachment in his left eye.
WBA welterweight champion Jordanis Ugas will meet Pacquiao at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on the same day, organizers announced on Tuesday.
Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) holds the WBC and IBF welterweight titles, but has only fought once since September 2019 due to a car crash and the coronavirus pandemic.
According to his promoter, Spence had no idea he had a retinal tear until he was examined by the Nevada Athletic Commission on the Monday before the fight.
Spence will operate at his home in Texas on Wednesday to recover from the tears, but will miss the confrontation with Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs). 2 years absence.
“I’m excited about the fight and the event,” Spence said. “I can’t fight my eyes in this state. I want to apologize to everyone. I’ll be right back. I’ve come back from a slump.”
Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) must defend his first career WBA title in the opening encounter with Spence of Pacquiao. Pacquiao beat Keith Thurman to win the same belt for the WBA title in his last game of 2019.
Ugas, 35, was promoted to WBA Byzantine Championship super middleweight champion last January after he was suddenly stripped of his belt due to Pacquiao’s inaction.
Philippine lawmakers immediately agreed to shift their focus to Ugas, perhaps because of the way he lost the WBA championship after learning of Spence’s injury.
“The right and only way to win a world title is with the ring,” said Pacquiao.
Ugas plans to take on Fabian Maidana on Pacquiao Spence’s undercard, but otherwise, the third-placed Cuban Olympics will receive the biggest performances of his professional career up and down.
Ugas won three games in a row and won the first version of his WBA title with a split win over Abel Ramos in his last game last September.
“I have great respect for Pacquiao but I am here to win this fight,” Ugas said in a statement. “Everyone knows how I came to America to pursue my dream of becoming a world champion. Now one of the best Cuban fighters I have ever worn. Time to mark my legacy with victory as mine.