Manny Pacquiao suffers a clear unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas
Numerous fans wanted Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KO’s) to once again become the official WBA super world welterweight champion of the world. The boxing phenomenon sought to accomplish this by dusting off Yordenis “54 Milagros” Ugas (27-4, 12 KO’s). Originally, Pacquiao, 42, was supposed to test his might against the ferocity of IBF and WBC world welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Regrettably, Spence suffered a last-minute eye injury that forced him to withdraw from the fight. In his place, Ugas was more than happy to answer the call of duty. Luckily for him, his readiness and game plan was award with a UD win over the living legend.
Heading into this fight, Pacquiao was the WBA welterweight champion in recess while Ugas was the full WBA super welterweight champion. Many felt that this was unjust. Back on July 20, 2019, Pac Man turned back the hands of time and defeated then WBA 147-pound champion Keith Thurman. Curiously, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WBA thought it would a prudent move to strip Pac Man of his title and award it to 54 Milagros. Once done, neither Pacquiao nor a large segment of the boxing populace viewed Ugas as the legitimate champion. So while this was certainly not the fight that the world wanted, the contest at least finally eradicated this annoying loose end.
It’s uncertain whether or not Pacquiao will fight on, yet there is a great possibility that he does finally bow out. Following this overtly flat performance, the excitement will be lacking in any other big fight out there. At the same time, it’s hard to believe that a person with Pac Man’s fighting spirit will be content to retire on a loss.
As most would have expected, Pac Man began the bout in rather fast fashion. The Filipino fighter went straight after Ugas with his take-no-prisoner style and even landed a few solid punches on the chin. To his credit, 54 Milagros ate the punches well. Despite the audience going crazy every time Pacquiao blinked, Ugas enjoyed a great second round. While nothing overly impactful landed, the Cuban was landing more, largely dictating the flow of action and having great success with his jab. Ugas was also not neglecting to touch the body.
In the fourth round, Pac Man seemingly was gifted some superstar treatment. After Ugas landed what appeared to be a belt-level shot, Pacquiao complained and referee Russell Mora jumped in. He gave Ugas a hard warning and Pac Man a quick breather. By the fourth, it was also very evident that Pacquiao’s fancy footwork had not shown up to the bout. Gone were the angles and fast darting feet. Here against 54 Milagros, the Filipino was content to, or only capable of, sitting in front of Ugas and slugging away.
For the next several rounds, the bout was set on a repetitive loop. The Filipino was still trying to do damage but he was being thwarted by the Cuban’s sturdy high guard and thumping jab. 54 Milagros was also giving Pac Man a devil of a time with a looping left-hand. At the outset of the tenth round, the two held a brief scrimmage that promised sustained action. This was not to be the case. Following the quick flurry, the bout resumed its previous tempo and format. Despite seemingly being in firm control, Ugas has a number of knots dotting his face. There was nothing to hamper his vision or performance but he was clearly in a fight. Down the final stretch, Ugas looked to finish the show strong.
During the final period, 54 Milagros was able to land a number of looping straight rights. Ugas had vexed Pacquiao with the shot all night, but now he was getting whacked and moved around the ring. Despite his willingness, Pac Man could just not switch into the next gear. When the scorecards were read, thankfully Yordenis Ugas was announced as the winner by way of unanimous decision victory.
Given the star power of Manny Pacquiao, and 54 Milagros’ sparse notoriety in the States, there was a huge possibility that the Cuban would be cheated on the cards. It’s just good to see that the judges did the right thing. With the victory, provide that he heals properly, Ugas versus Errol Spence Jr would be logical next bout for the ecstatic Cuban.
By: Bakari Simpson