Manny Pacquiao had a dream: to become the first boxer to become a champion in four different decades. At 42 years old, the Filipino was looking to join an unpublished volume of the most important books of this sport. But his wish was not successful.
In Las Vegas, the solidity of Yordenis Ugás outweighed the nickname’s experience Pac man and the victory, by points, was in the hands of the Cuban, who retained the title of super champion welterweight from the World Boxing Association.
It was a clearly closed match that took place at dawn this Sunday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. With their ways and their weapons, both tried to hurt as far as their rival left them. Finally, the Cuban prevailed. The cards gave the winner to Ugás, in unanimous ruling, by 115-113, 116-112 and 116-112.
The difference between the two was minimal, perhaps less than what was marked by the cards of a fight that had different nuances. He went from the enthusiasm of Pacquiao at the beginning, to the progressive advance of the confidence of Ugás. In between, very good moments were seen. With the absence of powerful hands and falls, but great nonetheless.
“I have a lot of respect for Pacquiao, but I came to show who the WBA (AMB) champion is,” said the winner at the end of the fight.
The Filipino said that now “it will be time to relax”, so doubts about his sporting future continue. In fact, he maintained that he will shortly make an announcement about the political career that began in recent years in his country.
The fight was even in Las Vegas (Photo: EFE / EPA / ETIENNE LAURENT)
Pacquiao came out determined to attack an opponent with greater stature and arms reach, while the Cuban tried to keep his distance. However, the elusive Filipino leaked several times with good combinations and, without being forceful, imposed the conditions at the start.
In the second the combat leveled off. Pac Man was not as accurate as the nicknamed “54 Milagros”, who sharpened his aim, hit the body and head of his rival in similar doses, and stayed with the assault.
With the cards on the table, caution invaded the ring for the first two minutes of the third round. Until Pacquiao exploded his left hand on the humanity of the Cuban, who got around the situation well with a good defense.
The fourth chapter showed a very active Ugás, finding spaces with a certain comfort and connecting frequently, with direct and sharp hands. Pacquiao looked somewhat baffled until the close of the fifth round, when he was ignited in an intense and emotional blow-by-blow with his rival. By the middle of the contest, it was clear that parity was going to be a constant.
The second half
Distance continued to be the Filipino’s problem. Ugás closed all the roads to him with a solid posture. Thus, much of Pacquiao’s attempts were diluted in thin air. The seventh, the eighth and the ninth rounds had a similar panorama, but with a slight supremacy of the Cuban, who hit the clearest blows.
From the tenth round on, faced with the need to start deducting points on the cards, Manny got to work, but despite the final attempt, he did not reach him. And the one who celebrated was Ugás.
The Cuban thus achieved the 27th victory of his career (12 were by KO). His record is completed with 4 defeats, none of them on the fast track. Pacquiao, meanwhile, added the eighth loss of his campaign (3 of them were by KO). His personal record also comprises 62 wins (39 KOs) and 2 draws.
The Central American retained his WBA welterweight crown (Photo: AP Photo / John Locher)
The professional paths of Pacquiao and Ugás were intertwined in the run-up to this contest, but they were not to cross on Sunday night.
The Filipino’s rival should be Errol Spence Jr, owner of the welter belts of the International Boxing Federation (FIB) and the World Boxing Council (WBC). However, the American boxer dropped out of the contest because he had to undergo surgery due to a retinal detachment in his left eye.
There appeared the figure of Ugas, who held the title of the World Boxing Association that Pacquiao left vacant for not appearing during the last two years. The Cuban, in turn, had planned to face Fabián “TNT” Maidana this evening, but Marcos Chino Maidana’s brother suffered a cut in training and also had to give up fighting.
They came with the same streak
Both Pacquiao and Ugás arrived at this fight with the same positive record of three consecutive victories, although in favor of the Central American it could be said that his activity was more recent than that of the Filipino, who had not fought since July 20, 2019, when he beat him. on points to American Keith Thuran, also in Las Vegas.
Previously, Pac man had beaten undefeated American Adrien Broner, by points, in Las Vegas, on January 19, 2019, and Argentine Lucas Matthysse, by technical knockout, on July 15, 2018, in Malaysia.
Pacquiao’s positive streak began against Matthyse in Malaysia (AP Photo)
Later, Pacquiao deepened his political career. After being elected as a national senator, he was also appointed chairman of the ruling Philippine PDP-Lanban party. In addition, he is a potential candidate for the presidency of his country, in May 2022.
His last loss in a ring came on July 2, 2017 against Australian Jeff Horn, on points, in Brisbane.
On Ugás’ side, his positive streak included American boxers. After falling with Shawn Porter in Carlson, on March 9, 2019, the Cuban defeated Víctor Figueroa Jr, also on July 20 of that year. In 2020, meanwhile, he beat Mike Dallas and Abel Ramos, before whom he put on the belt that he put into play tonight in Las Vegas.