Keith Thurman: Ugas is a bad style for Pacquiao
By Chris Williams: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman sees it as a bad night for Manny Pacquiao on Saturday when he challenges Yordenis Ugas for his WBA welterweight title on FOX Sports PPV in Las Vegas.
(Photo credit: Scott Kirkland / FOX Sports)
Thurman, who came close to beating Pacquiao two years ago when he wasn’t at his best, views this fight as a bad-style match-up for the Filipino star. He’s taking on a guy that has the wrong style for him in Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs).
This fight is like a repeat of the 1973 contest between George Foreman and Joe Frazier with the way that Ugas has the style to take advantage of how Pacquiao fights.
In the Foreman-Frazier fight, Foreman was the younger, bigger, stronger guy who thrived on throwing uppercuts.
Unfortunately for Joe Frazier, he had a low bob & weave style, which put him in the perfect position to get hit by Foreman’s powerful uppercuts.
Foreman brutalized Frazier, knocking him down six times in the process of stopping him in the second round.
Pacquiao will come low in the same way that Frazier did against the young 25-year-old Foreman, and he’s going to get caught repeatedly by Ugas’ uppercuts and likely stopped early.
Thurman: Yordenis can nail Pacquiao
“I’m here for the fans. If it wasn’t for the feedback from the fans and how they love to see me in the ring and love to see me outside of the ring, that’s what motivates me to be here, step up and do these kinds of gigs” said Keith Thurman on Friday.
“This is what I say about Manny Pacquiao,” Thurman continued. “Let’s just go through Manny Pacquiao’s career. Manny Pacquiao isn’t an undefeated fighter.
“Manny Pacquiao is the kind of guy that with other certain guys, he has problems. We’re all human beings. Manny is only so big. Yes, David beats Goliath, and he’s done it, but styles make fights.
“I’m not really sure this is a great style. Ugas with those long arms. What was difficult for me was when Pacquiao creates those angles; he’s already small,” said Thurman.
The long arms that Ugas has will make it easy for him to stand back at range and pick Pacquiao off when he attacks at angles, coming in low like a low-flying jet ready for a strafing attack.
Uppercuts are key for Ugas
“When Pacquiao ducks, I felt like I didn’t have a punch for that, but Ugas has long arms,” said Thurman on the problems he had against Manny in 2019.
“Something about long-range fighters. When they throw uppercuts, they can reach lower with their uppercuts. I think the uppercuts for Ugas are going to be a key to victory.
“The body shots. We did see Manny Pacquiao fade. We did see me step up in the later rounds. If that happens again, can he dog it out at 42-years-old? That’s what we’re here to see tomorrow night.
“I thought it would be a great fight this year for me to come back, but it didn’t happen,” said Thurman on him wanting to fight Yordenis Ugas this year.
“I would have loved for it to happen. It would have been a great fight for me, especially with two years of inactivity.
“I would have loved that fight. That fight did not manifest on the timeline and on the clock. I was sitting back waiting; I’m still training. Where’s the contract, baby?” said Thurman.
‘One Time’ Thurman took the words right out of Chris Williams’ mouth in talking about the ability for Ugas to land his powerful uppercuts when Pacquiao comes in low like he often does.
If Pacquiao doesn’t change the way he goes on the attack against Ugas, he’s going to get caught by one of his beautiful uppercuts and get laid out like a turkey ready for the oven on Saturday night.
Ugas will lay Manny out nice, and there won’t be anything his two trainers Buboy Fernandez and Freddie Roach, can do about it. Interestingly, Thurman has noticed what Chris Williams has.
If Roach hasn’t seen the same thing about Ugas and his uppercuts, he shouldn’t be training at this level.
Pacquiao needs to hire Thurman as his trainer because he will get taken apart by ugas if he makes the mistake of coming low all night the way he always has.
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