Former world champion Yordenis Ugas has not lost the hunger of the early days.

The Cuban veteran - with head trainer Ismael Salas at his side - is determined to topple his upcoming opponent Mario “El Azteca'' Barrios - when they collide for the interim-welterweight title of the World Boxing Council.

The fight will be featured, this Saturday night, as part of the Showtime pay-per-view undercard to Saúl “Canelo' Alvarez's defense of the undisputed super middleweight crown against Jermell Charlo. The event takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Ugas returns for the first time since May of 2022, when he suffered a fractured orbital bone and was stopped by Errol Spence in their welterweight unification clash.

“Right now I feel good. It has been a long road, 16 and a half months since the last fight, but thank God we have traveled that type of path in other years and now with the favor of God I'm ready to return to the sport," Ugas told George Ebro.

“I don't think [there is more urgency for me in this fight]. I am proven in the sport. For the last seven years I have been fighting top welterweights. Everyone knows what I can give, the competitor that I am. I don't have much to prove. Yes, I come from fighting the injury, but we are already healed. This will be a great fight, I have a lot of respect for him who, like every Mexican, is a great warrior.

“I'm preparing for the best version of him. He is a boxer who is always looking for pressure. What happened to my eye could motivate anyone to attack me. Surely he is going to come out and fight. This is not new for us. As I've said, for the last seven years I have been fighting the best in this sport. We are already used to this, to fighting, to training, to showing myself on the big stages of sport."