Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
With what once was billed as a potential fight of the year, like boxing tends to do, Pacquiao (67-8-2, 39 KOs) vs. Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) gave fight fans much more than anticipated. Originally scheduled to be an Errol Spence Jr. coming out party. The young lion was to be taking on the old lion. Boxing fans would certainly be tuned in to see if this would be the last we would get to see of the legendary Manny Pacquaio. However, those in attendance and watching around the world get more than they bargained for.
On short notice, Cuban fighter Yordenis Ugas was called into replace Spence Jr.. He saw this as a moment, to take the glory he was deserving of. From right out the gate, Ugas would prove that he wasn’t going to be the sacrificial lamb for a Manny Pacquiao going away party. He would say post-fight, “the right hand was a shot I had planned to use on Manny. It kept working so I kept using it.”
Some might say, the 35-year-old Ugas could’ve finished the 42-year-old Manny if he followed up that right hand with combinations. Nonetheless, he was consistent enough with his right hand in addition to his size and length to control this fight. Additionally, Ugas maintained a tight defensive stance that didn’t allow many openings for Pacquaio to break down his guard. He complimented that tight guard with his stiff left- and right-hand jabs.
Although the 17, 438 fans inside the T-Mobile Arena were largely there to cheer on Manny Pacquiao. There was little surprised from anyone watching, that Yodenis won this fight. Feeling the same way Ugas shouted with excitement when the final bell sounded. Once the cards were read, one judge scored it 115-113, while the other two judges scored it 116-112.
If this were the final time the current Senator of the Philippines and only eight-division World Champion in the history of boxing were to get in the ring, no one would be disappointed. Additionally, the Pac Man became the first fighter to hold championships in four decades (the 1900s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s). Impressively Pacquiao also became the lineal championship in five different weight classes. The long-time politician and huge basketball fan also is the only boxer to have won the Welterweight Championship four separate times, after he beat Keith Thurman in 2019.
After being named winner of the bout, Yordenis graciously acknowledge Pacquiao’s status in boxing, “He’s a legend, one of the greatest fighters that ever lived. I’ll always respect him not only as a great fighter but outside the ring. I also admire that he fights for his country, as I do. I want to free Cuba.”
Manny Pacquiao all but said he was going to retire, after the fight, when he said, “I don’t know. Let me rest first, relax and make a decision if I’ll continue to fight or not.” Reading from a prepared statement Manny graciously thanked the fans for their support and the media for covering his fights. He felt this was the right time to bow out of the sport, kindly share your thoughts on his career and your overall thought of the legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao. You can reach out to me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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