Yordenis Ugás defeated Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision, in a fight where the Cuban boxer’s impressive technical performance led to him retaining his WBA welterweight title, even though this fight was organised in 11 days.
Ugás(27-4) replaced Errol Spence Jr. who was the original opponent for Pacquiao(67-8-2) but Spence had to drop out because he found out that he had a torn retina during a pre-fight physical. Hence 11 days before the fight, Ugás was named Pacquiao’s new opponent. The Cuban was already on the undercard but seized this opportunity for a payday and spotlight since he migrated to Mexico from Cuba on a small boat, a decade back.
Ugás threw fewer punches than the Filipino boxer, but his punches were more precise and effective. Pacquiao struggled to get inside the effective jab of Ugás and couldn’t stop his right hand during the later rounds. The Cuban boxer’s game plan was pretty effective with precise jabs and body shots. Pacquiao excited the crowd with combinations but as said before, couldn’t get inside the jab.
Ugás, then in the middle rounds, was more confident. Pacquiao was still attacking him and threw twice as many punches but the punches that landed between both of them were the same, as the Cuban was more defensive and precise with his punches, in response to the opponent’s activity. Pacquiao got a combination going in the 10th Round, but Ugás recovered and responded with a flurry of his own shots.
The final score was in favour of Ugás… Two judges scored 116-112, in favour of Ugás and the third judge scored 115-113, going the same way. The Associated Press score was also 116-112. The T-Mobile Arena was filled with 17,438 fans, with most of them cheering for the star from the Philippines. The 42-year-old boxer, now senator doesn’t know when he will fight again, after an unimpressive performance after a long lay-off period.
Ugás, meanwhile, said that he respected Pacquiao but showed today that why he deserves the WBA welterweight title. This was Ugás’ 12th victory in 13 fights, after coming back from boxing after two years of retirement from the sport.