BOXING great and Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao is looking to vent his ire on Cuban Yordenis Ugas when they finally meet Sunday (Manila time) in Las Vegas.

For one, Ugas is defending the World Boxing Association's (WBAs) super version of the welterweight title previously held by Pacquiao. Pacquiao should not be listed as the challenger in the fight given the fact that he never lost the title in the ring.

Pacquiao earned recognition as WBA "super" champ in July 2019, when he carved out a hard-earned decision win over Keith Thurman.

Pacquiao went inactive in 2020 because the sporting world was shut down by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Instead of giving Pacquiao some leeway, the WBA stripped Pacquiao of the super belt in January 2021, citing the boxer's inactivity. The WBA, however, gave the belt to Ugas who was also inactive at the time.

When Pacquiao secured a fight with World Boxing Council-International Boxing Federation (WBC-IBF) unified champ Errol Spence Jr., he asked the WBA to reinstate him as "super" champ to make the fight a showdown for three major belts. The WBA turned down Pacquiao's request. Following this development, not a few thought Pacquiao was finished with the WBA.

But a series of circumstances led to Pacquiao fighting for the WBA title again.

Spence backed out at the last minute after sustaining an eye injury.

The promoters went on a frantic search for a substitute to save the card and stumbled on Ugas.

Ugas was supposed to fight in the undercard, but his opponent Fabian Maidana also withdrew because of an eye injury.

Predictably, Ugas wasted no time in agreeing to defend the WBA title against Pacquiao.

"Ugas is the champion because they (WBA) gave him my belt," chided Pacquiao. "Now, we have to settle it in the ring."

Pacquiao is looking to win a belt he has never lost. As if this is not enough to get his blood boiling, Pacquiao is also frustrated at Spence's sudden withdrawal.

Pacquiao may have wished a speedy recovery, but it cannot be denied months of Herculean preparation went down the drain with the American's decision to suddenly back off.

Pacquiao is settling for Ugas which many believe is a major downgrade.

Ugas, however, is looking to prove his critics wrong. He is, after all, the defending WBA champ.

Standing 5'9" with a 69-inch reach, Ugas is as big as Spence. While Spence Jr. is clearly the more talented fighter, Ugas' motivation makes for a different story.

Born in dirt poverty in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, Ugas remembers living between walls, in a house with no roof.

At age six, Ugas started hitting the sandbag. He compiled a 96-9 amateur record which included a win over current World Boxing Organization champ Terence Crawford and a bronze medal finish in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Fighting for a country where an Olympic gold medalist is awarded a bicycle, Ugas made six attempts to leave the shores of Cuba for a better life in the United States. He was caught on each occasion and landed in jail.

In 2010, Ugas finally made it to Mexico, and then to Miami, Florida where he has since settled.

Ugas turned pro in July 2010 and won his first 11 fights. He then went on a tailspin, losing three times (on points) between 2012 and 2014. After losing to Amir Iman in May 2014, a disgruntled Ugas went inactive for two years.

Ugas returned in 2016 and rededicated himself to the sport by hooking up with noted Cuban trainer Ismael Salas. Ugas moved up to the welterweight division and has since gone 11-1, the only loss being a decision to then WBC welterweight champ Shawn Porter in March 2019.

In September 2020, Ugas won the WBA's "regular" welterweight title (a secondary belt) with a decision over Abel Ramos. Four months later, Ugas was promoted by the WBA to "super" champ status.

Ugas totes a record of 26-4 with 12 knockouts. Style-wise, Ugas is a counterpuncher. For his size, Ugas does not fight like a tall guy. He prefers to inch his way forward, both hands up, and counter up close.

Ugas owns a good left hook to the body and a strong overhand right.

Ugas' leg movement is limited and there are occasions when he tends to be flat-footed in the ring.

Ugas does not have the reputation of a heavy puncher, but he is never shy to mix it up. Ugas has never been knocked out and three of his four losses came via split-decision only.

Ugas knows Pacquiao is the heavy betting favorite, but the Cuban is unfazed.

Ugas is quick to point out he has been an underdog all his life.

Between 2010 and 2019, he fought in the United States without seeing his mother and family. When he is not fighting, Ugas is raising an autistic son and lending his voice to spark change and freedom for his native Cuba.

In his 35 summers, Ugas has been working for a better life for him and his family.

Pacquiao may be looking to make him pay, but Ugas is looking at hitting paydirt.