By Matt Lieberman: A very muscular and ripped to shreds Manny Pacquiao weighed in at 146 lbs on Friday at the weigh-in for his title fight against WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
For his part, Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) weighed in at the limit at 147 lbs and looked thin with his face looking worn out and drawn.
One could tell this wasn’t an easy process for the 5’9″ Cuban fighter to get down to the 147 lb limit today.
We’ll have to see if his performance is negatively impacted by the work that Ugas had to do for him to make weight on Friday.
Out of all the years, this writer has seen Pacquiao make weight, this is the best he’s ever looked. Not only did he look like a person in his late 20s but he physically, he’s looking better than he ever has.
In other weights:
Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero weighed in at 146.75 lbs for his 10-round co-feature bout against former WBC 147-lb champion ‘Vicious’ Victor Ortiz.
For his part, the 34-year-old Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs) weighed in at 148 lbs. Ortiz hasn’t fought in three years since 2018, and we’ll see on Saturday whether he’s still got it after all this time.
He’s not very old, so he should still be packing a lot of power and speed, which is what made him so good earlier in his career.
This is the first fight for the 38-year-old Guerrero (36-6-1, 20 KOs) in two years, and it’ll be interesting to see how he performs.
Yordenis could exploit Pacquiao’s recklessness
“Ugas is going to look to counter Manny and hope that Manny makes some mistakes and come in a little reckless, which he does sometimes,” said Teddy Atlas.
“He comes in a little hot, a little fast, a little out of control, and look to catch him with counters. Ugas is also a good body puncher.
“He’s not as relentless going to the body as Spence is, but he goes to the body with the left hook pretty darn good.
“Here’s the key. Ugas is a conservative, solid fighter, but a conservative, calm, deliberate guy. He doesn’t waste much. The one thing is, he’s not busy.
“The one thing that hurts him is sometimes he can be outworked, he can be outhustled. I thought he got outhustled in the [Shawn] Porter fight.
“I thought he technically won the Porter fight, but I think it got stolen from him with the jab of Porter where he outworked and outhustled him on a couple of scorecards.
“So look for Manny to have opportunities to outwork him, to outhustle him, to outscore him.
“I mean, Manny is one of the busiest fighters you’re ever going to see anyway besides one of the fastest fighters you’re ever going to see,” Atlas said.
If Pacquiao comes rushing forward the way he always does, Ugas could take him out if he catches him perfectly with one of his big power shots. He’s got the power to KO Pacquiao if he lands cleanly, and he’s excellent at catching his opponents when they’re attacking.
Atlas: Pacquiao will outwork Ugas
“So, I’m going to look for Manny Pacquiao to outhustle, outwork, outperform Ugas in a good fight, in a competitive fight, and I’m looking for Manny to win a unanimous decision.
“Here’s the one if unless Manny becomes suddenly old. He’s 42-years-old. And he’s been unbelievable. He’s a miracle. He’s special.
“The way he still performs, but sooner or later old man time is going to get his hands on him. I don’t know if it’s going to be now, but fighters become old in the ring. That’s the only thing I hold back a bit.
“If Manny suddenly becomes old on fight night. But that aside, the way Manny has been looking in camp, the reports are that he’s been looking real good.
“Again, Manny is too good, too fast, and too much Manny Pacquiao. He wins a decision over Ugas,” said Atlas.
Ugas doesn’t have a high work rate, and there’s no way possible that he can keep up with Pacquiao’s volume punching.