The all-time great from the Philippines, edging ever closer to making politics his full-time grind, came to the T-Mobile in Las Vegas to again remind everyone of his greatness. Manny Pacquiao (67-7-2) faced WBA Welterweight Champion Yordenis Ugas (27-0) to prove that, as it was two years ago, age is but a number.
Father Time, be patient with this one, he’s different. Senator, near future President of his nation, he’s built totally different.
That was a summation of wide-spread thinking of Pacmaniacs, fans who adore his disarming smile and commitment to being a compassionate role model in any community he’s in. It wasn’t much considered that maybe 42 wouldn’t feel like 40.
After a solid start, Manny dipped. He didn’t find that next gear and Ugas’ right hand slammed Manny backward repeatedly. The reflexes had dimmed a bit, and the judges saw it—-Steve Weisfeld and Dave Moretti deemed it 116-112 while Patricia Morse Jarman scratched out 115-113, for the Cuban Ugas.
Here is how it unfolded on Saturday night.
Upon the announcement of Manny Pacquiao coming into the ring, 17,438 people were in attendance screaming his name, craning necks to get a glimpse of the Senator. The arena went absolutely nuts once he made it to the ring and showed off that multi-million dollar smile he is famously known for throughout the world. After all of the introductions, it was fight time.
This fight was won by Ugas in the first round. There was a moment when Ugas landed his first looping right hand and it caught Manny’s attention instantaneously. Manny was really cautious for the rest of the round but did manage to throw some flurries in an effort to steal the round.
While both men stood up for the second round and began to work, it was Ugas who was using his left jab effectively and started to land that looping right hand even more. Pacquiao was studying, processing the data because that is what a legend in the sport does and surely he would figure this out, right?
Manny came out in the fourth round and still was not as active as we normally see from him while Ugas was landing the looping right hand at will.
Things started to become a concern for wife Jinkee in the VIP row when we approached the sixth round and Pacquiao wasn’t able to get started. He had a puzzled look on his face or maybe it was frustration as Ugas continued to land the cleaner shots and dominated when it came to ring generalship.
More of the same in the eight, ninth rounds and you could feel it in the air that this Manny Pacquiao is the 42 year old that hasn’t fought in two years. Thats when the concern started making its way throughout the arena. Fans started to realize that he wasn’t going to be pulling a rabbit out of the hat in Las Vegas, would not make like Chris Angel and shock, amaze and thrill watchers.
The fight went all twelve rounds and there was plenty people wondering if the judges were going to give it to the Senator one last time. The scorecards at press row ranged from Manny winning wide to Ugas winning by a narrow margin.
Jimmy Lennon announced that it is a unanimous decision. Then he read the following scorecards… 115-113, 116-112 and 116-112 all for the winner, Yordenis Ugas.
What’s Next/Final Thoughts
We have seen the last of Manny Pacquiao and that’s ok. He’s had a tremendous career and one that will be discussed for years to come. Manny will be considered one of the greatest fighters of all time and recalled into the next century as a compelling and impressive international figure.
It’s hard to see how there could be a mix of attributes like Pacquiao’s package—and if he runs for and claims the Presidency, well, his legend grows another level.
What happens with Yordenis Ugas? I think he fights Keith Thurman as that seems to be the logical next move for the PBC. The winner of that fight will face Errol Spence Jr. in late 2022, which keeps Spence Jr and Crawford from fighting next year.
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