Does Pacquiao at 42 still have enough to beat Yordenis?
By Jim Maltzman: Manny Pacquiao could be fighting for the final time tonight at age 42 when he faces WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas.
Ugas is rumored to have an injured left bicep, seemingly swollen up, giving it a Popeye appearance. How this hasn’t been spotted during the pre-fight medical is hard to know.
With Pacquiao’s age and the 2 years out of the ring, it’s anyone’s guess what we’ll see from him tonight. He’s like an old car with a lot of mileage, and he could fall apart if he’s pushed hard by Yordenis.
Although Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach both insist that age and the two years of inactivity won’t be an issue, it’s hard not to believe that it will.
As always, Roach and Pacquiao’s fans are predicting a knockout; the fact is, the Filpino star hasn’t knocked anyone out in 12 years.
Given that length of time in between knockouts, the two years of inactivity, and the advanced age of Pacquiao, it’s sheer folly to assume that he’ll knockout Ugas tonight.
Is Yordenis hiding a bicep injury?
It’s safe to say the only way Pacquiao wins tonight is by decision unless Ugas pulls out with an injury, given the rumors of him suffering a left bicep injury.
If you’ve seen the photos of Ugas’ left arm, it looks badly swollen in the bicep area, and it’s much bigger than his right arm. We don’t know if there’s an injury, but it looks suspicious.
According to WebMD, when a tendon tears in a bicep, the muscles rip and form a ball, making it look like a Popeye deformity.
Depending on the severity of the injury, a person might need surgery. It’s hard to imagine Ugas being given the clearance to fight with this type of observable injury.
Assuming this is a real injury, Yordenis could be fighting with just the use of his right arm because he won’t be able to do much with his left in the state that it is.
The chances of Ugas beating Pacquiao with one arm are remote, and the likelihood is that the fight will need to be halted at some point due to the injury.
Porter is not expecting Pacquiao to be rusty
“I think it’s a better fight than a lot of people give it credit for, but obviously that remains to be seen,” said Shawn Porter to Boxing Social on the Pacquiao vs. Ugas fight tonight.
“We know that Ugas is going to be there to fight, and we know early on at least Manny is going to go out there and try and execute his offense.
“I know that Yordenis is going to try and push forward no matter what. If we get a fast quick knockout, I would expect that to come from Manny Pacquiao. Yordenis, anything he does effectively will come later on in the fight.
“I think Manny takes care of himself, and he has a passion for boxing that I don’t see too often, especially at his age,” said Porter when asked if the two years out of the ring will impact Pacquiao’s performance.
“With that being said, he’s got enough physically and mentally to carry him through anything. I think he’ll be 100%. I don’t think we’ll see any ring rust,” said Porter.
This writer disagrees with Porter on his belief that Pacquiao won’t have ring rust. I think he will have ring rust, but we won’t see it until the second half of the fight if it goes that long.
It may not matter that Pacquiao has ring rust. If Ugas’ left bicep is injured, he might not be able to go the 12 rounds without the fight needing to be halted.
Shawn sees improvements in Yordenis
“No, thoughts on his comments. He was on the opposite end of a decision,” said Porter when asked about Ugas’ trainer Ismael Salas saying that he felt his fighter Yordenis deserved the victory in his fight with Porter in 2019. Porter won a controversial 12 round split decision over Ugas.
“With that being said, there could be some business there, but I know the one that I said before we went on air today. After you fight an elite fighter, it’s supposed to take you to another level.
“I do. I think fighting me, and I think that Salas, Yordenis, and their entire team, I think they learned some things from Yordenis.
“They have more confidence from fighting me and a lot of the things that they need going up against Manny Pacquiao. Don’t me wrong; I think he’s [Ugas] has had three fights at least since he’s fought me, and those have gone great for him.
“He’s [Ugas] carrying all that momentum ahead, and that’s why I look to see a very good Yordenis Ugas on Saturday,” said Porter.
Ugas has looked the same in his last three fights as in his previous matches, but it’s not surprising that Porter believes he’s looking better.
He’s likely paying attention to Ugas more now than he did in the past after his controversial win over him. But if you look at Ugas’ fights in the last three years, he’s always been an excellent fighter.
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