Manny Pacquiao loses unanimous decision to underdog Ugas
Father Time may have finally caught up with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.
Yordenis Ugas won a tactical fight against the 42-year-old Filipino icon to retain his World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time) before a crowd of 17,438 that trooped to the T-Mobile Arena despite the pandemic.
“I told you I am the champion of the WBA and I proved it tonight,” Ugas, a replacement fighter who only stepped in after Errol Spence was deemed unfit to fight, said after one of the biggest upsets in recent years.
“He’s definitely a great competitor,” added the Cuban about Pacquiao. “A lot of respect for him, but I won the fight.”
Constantly scoring with his jabs and getting the better of the exchanges, Ugas controlled the pace of the 12-round bout and walked away with lopsided scores of 115-113, 116-112, and 116-112 in the judges’ scorecards.
Coming back from a two-year inactivity, Pacquiao lost for the second time in his last five fights and was obviously a little bit slower than the fighter he once was.
He was at the receiving end of Ugas’ jabs and counter-punches that left him with a swollen face and a small cut just under his right eye by the end of the bout.
The eight-time world division champion admitted not making the needed adjustment to offset Ugas’ fight plan.
“I think that’s the problem for me because I didn’t make the adjustment right away,” said the Filipino boxing senator.
The last time Pacquiao lost was in 2017 when Jeff Horn scored a massive unanimous decision upset to wrest the Filipinos’ WBO welterweight crown.
His record now stands at 67-8-2 with 39 KOs as speculations of a possible retirement faces him in the aftermath of the stunning upset.
Ugas meanwhile rose to 27-4 (12 KOs) as he successfully made the first defense of his 147-lbs crown.
“Move, jab, and keep my bounce. That’s the key to my win.”