By Allan Fox: Trainer Freddie Roach says Manny Pacquiao could be at the end of his career after his 12 round unanimous decision loss to WBA Super World welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas last Saturday night.
Roach says he’s “worried” about the former eight-division world champion Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) after the way he performed against Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) in getting beaten in front of a crowd of 17,438 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao might not continue his career after his loss, as he looked like he was only 50% of the fighter he’d been twelve years earlier when he was knocking out talented guys like Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton.
Aside from beingly stunned in the 12th after getting hit by a jarring right hand from Ugas, Manny was never seriously hurt in the fight.
What’s working against Pacquiao continuing his career is that he will be running for the presidency of the Philippines in May 2022.
Obviously, losing another fight ahead of the election would be disastrous for Pacquiao’s hopes of winning the position. But on the flip side, if Pacquiao were to face Ugas in a rematch and defeat him, it would greatly help his political career.
“I’m a little bit worried about it, yes. I hate to see the day when he retires, and he’s boxed with me for a long time,” said trainer Freddie Roach when asked if he has some concerns about Pacquiao after his loss to Ugas.
“I hate to see the day when he retires, but this could be it. We didn’t have a great performance tonight, but we’ll see what Manny decides.
“His range was really hard to get to; he had long arms, very tall,” Roach said when asked what made Yordenis so difficult for Pacquiao. “He was tough for Manny to reach at times, and he fought a good fight.
“Me and Manny were trying to get together in the corner to work on, but he was boxing well, not as well as Ugas was. He [Yordenis] fought a good fight. His range was really good in the fight. We just couldn’t reach him,” said Roach of Ugas.
Pacquiao looked older and slower in the fight. He was still able to land his shots in mini-flurries, as he’d done in the past, but it wasn’t the same sustained attacks that we’d known the Filipino star throughout his career.
Ugas did a good job of picking off Pacquiao’s best shots with his high guard. When Pacquiao did land, his shots didn’t budge Ugas or snap his head back.
It was as if Pacquiao was hitting a rock wall, and didn’t have the power to budge the Yordenis. One reason for that is the size difference between the two.
Ugas looked a lot bigger than Pacquiao, and it was as if the two were three divisions apart in natural size. Pacquiao resembled a super featherweight power-wise taking on a welterweight, and not surprisingly, he couldn’t shake Ugas with his weaker punches.
It didn’t matter that Pacquiao’s punches were much faster than Ugas’. Pacquiao didn’t have enough power at this level to jar the Cuban fighter, and that made it easy for him to get the better of the action.
Ugas was doubling up his jab and then following it with thudding right hands to the body of Pacquiao, which stop the Filipino star’s forward motion in its tracks.
This writer had Ugas winning the fight 9 rounds to 3, as he was landing all the telling blows in virtually every round.
Pacquiao had his best success in the first four rounds in which he took advantage of the slow start by Ugas to outland him by a significant margin.
It’s disappointing that Pacquiao couldn’t pass the torch to an arguably better fighter like Terence Crawford or Errol Spence Jr to help them become a bigger star.
As we saw in Pacquiao beating superstar Oscar De La Hoya in 2008, he was able to take the torch from the ‘Golden Boy’ and become a superstar in his own right.
Unfortunately, with Pacquiao losing to Yordenis, we were robbed of the chance to see him pass the torch to his next successor. As good Ugas tonight, he probably won’t do well when or if he faces Spence or Crawford.
Those guys are on a different level than the Cuban fighter, and they’ll surely expose him as a one-hit-wonder in the same way Evander Holyfield exposed Buster Douglas as a one-hit-wonder in defeating him after his upset win over Iron Mike.