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Ugas-Figueroa highlights Pacquiao undercard

The pay-per-view undercard for the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman welterweight world title fight is set.

Premier Boxing Champions made the supporting bouts official on Thursday for the card that will take place on July 20 (Fox PPV, 9 p.m. ET) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

In the co-feature, Yordenis Ugas and Omar Figueroa Jr. will meet in a welterweight world title elimination fight with the winner earning a mandatory shot at the 147-pound belt held by Shawn Porter.

Ugas (23-4, 11 KOs), 32, a Cuban defector fighting out of Miami, is coming off a disputed split-decision loss challenging Porter for his belt on March 9. He can earn another crack with a win over Figueroa.

"Omar Figueroa Jr. is a tremendous fighter, and that's the style I like to face. I'm an all-action fighter and the fans are going to be in for a full course meal before the actual main event. That I can promise," Ugas said.

Former lightweight world titlist Figueroa (28-0-1, 19 KOs), 29, of Weslaco, Texas, is a straight-ahead brawler who is coming off a 10-round decision win over John Molina Jr. on Feb. 16 and looking for another title shot.

"I'm excited for this fight against a talented Olympian who's very skilled," Figueroa said. "I know he will be moving around the ring a lot, so I'm going to have to move with him and chase him all night. I'm going to have to be in really good shape and work hard on my conditioning. This fight has definitely raised the stakes for me, so I know I have to be ready. I'm going to have a good camp and come in with excellent preparation for July 20."

Welterweights Sergey Lipinets (15-1, 11 KOs) and Molina (30-8, 24 KOs) will do battle in a 10-rounder between aggressive brawlers.

Former junior welterweight world titlist Lipinets, 30, a Kazakhstan native fighting out of Los Angeles, moved up to welterweight after losing his belt by decision to Mikey Garcia in March 2018. Lipinets has won his first two bouts at welterweight, including scoring a 10th-round knockout of former titlist Lamont Peterson on March 24 in a leading candidate for fight of the year.

"There's no slowing down in my march to get that welterweight championship belt," Lipinets said. "As always, I'm fighting a guy that is very dangerous and tough to the last bell. My title shot is right around the corner. I'm very excited to be part of a show like this and I'm grateful for these opportunities in my career and I promise that I'll earn my keep. I'm looking forward to becoming a two-time world champion."

Molina, 36, of Covina, California, a former lightweight and junior welterweight world title challenger, is coming off the disputed decision loss to Figueroa in February and predicts another action fight.

"It's going to be another barnburner like every one of my fights," Molina said. "My opponent is tough and durable, so I know it is going to be another exciting fight for my fans. There's no surprises at this stage of the game for me."

In the opening bout of the pay-per-view, former bantamweight world titleholders Luis Nery, of Mexico, and Juan Carlos Payano, of the Dominican Republic, will square off in a 12-round bout between southpaws.

Nery (29-0, 23 KOs), 24, who was stripped of his bantamweight title for failing to make weight for a 2018 title defense, is coming off a fourth-round knockout of former junior bantamweight titlist McJoe Arroyo on March 16 on the Errol Spence Jr.-Garcia PPV card.

"To fight in Las Vegas has been a dream of mine since I turned professional," Nery said. "All the great Mexican fighters have fought in the fight capital of the world. My fight against Juan Carlos Payano is the last step to me getting my shot at the WBC championship and getting my belt back."

Payano (21-2, 9 KOs), 35, got starched in one round by Naoya Inoue in the World Boxing Super Series quarterfinals in October but bounced back for an eight-round decision over then-unbeaten Damien Vazquez in March. He is thrilled to be on a Pacquiao card.

"Manny Pacquiao has been my favorite fighter since I've been a pro and I'm very excited to be fighting on this pay-per-view," Payano said. "I even nicknamed myself 'Baby Pacquiao,' so this is a special honor. Fighting Luis Nery is also a great opportunity for me. Luis is a very hungry, strong fighter looking to regain his championship status. Unfortunately, he is not going to do that with me. I'm sure he will be ready and come for war, and so will I."