By Mark Eisner: WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) had too much size, power, and youth for the old 42-year-old warhorse Manny Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) in defeating him by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Brought in as the replacement opponent, Yordenism 35, had too much power and superb defensive skills for Pacquiao, who looked every bit his age tonight.
The final judges’ scores: 115-113, 116-112, and 116-112, all for Ugas. Boxing News 24 scored it for Ugas 116-112.
- In what amounted to be an old-timers fights, former two-division world champion Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero (37-6-1, 20 KOs) labored to a 10 round unanimous decision over former WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz (32-7-3, 25 KOs). The scores were 96-94, 96-94, 96-94. Boxing News 24 had an identical score. The 34-year-old Ortiz landed the better shots in the first half of the contest. However, he was frequently barging forward with his head down, resulting in a lot of head-butts. The referee did little to address the head-hutting, unfortunately. Guerrero put up with it, and outworked Ortiz down the stretch. Both guys looked nowhere near as good as they were a decade ago when they were winning world titles. It’ll be interesting to see where PBC puts them next. It would be a bad idea for the 38-year-old Guerrero to challenge for a world title off of this performance.
- Featherweight contender Mark Magsayo (23-0, 16 KOs) had to get up off the deck to come back to score a highlight reel 10th round knockout over former WBC super bantamweight champion Julio Ceja (32-5-1, 28 KOs). Magsayo landed a flurry of shots before knocking Ceja out cold with a right hand. Earlier in the fight, Ceja knocked the 26-year-old Magsayo down in the fifth round with a right hand to the head.
- Carlos Castro (27-0, 12 KOs) overcame a bad start in the first half of his fight with 2004 Olympian Oscar Escandon (26-6, 18 KOs) to stop him in the 10th round to win the vacant WBC Continental Americas featherweight title. Castro dropped Oscandon twice in the 10th round before the referee halted the fight.
- Featherweight Angel Contreras (11-4-2, 6 KOs) defeated John Dato (14-1-1, 9 KOs) by an eight round unanimous decision. The heavy-handed Contreras dropped Dato in the third round with a big uppercut. The judges’ scores were 78-73, 77-74, and 77-74.
- Featherweight prospect Mickel Spencer (1-0) defeated Eliseo Villalobos (1-2) by a four round unanimous decision. The scores were 40-36, 40-36, and 40-36.
- Super middleweight Burley Brooks (6-2-1, 5 KOs) and Camero Rivera (9-6-4, 6 KOs) fought to a six six round draw. The scores were 59-55 Brooks, 58-56 Rivera, and 57-57.
Preview – Can Ugas beat Pacquiao?
Pacquiao was supposed to be fighting Errol Spence Jr. tonight, but now he’s facing the guy Yordenis Ugas, who has the WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight title that he won in the ring two years ago against Keith Thurman.
The WBA stripped Pacquiao of his title and gave it to Ugas, and he’s still upset about it. As far as Pacquiao is concerned, the only way you can become the WBA champion is to beat him in the ring, not having it given to you.
Pacquiao is facing a right-handed fighter tonight in Ugas after training for a left-hander Spence virtually his entire eight-week camp for their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Having this abrupt change could be a problem for the 42-year-old Pacquiao, but we’ll have to see tonight.
Manny feels that it’s not going to be a problem for him, as it’s easier for him to go from training for a lefty to face a right-handed fighter than it would be in reverse.
What Pacquiao has going for him is that brunt of his opponents during his long 26-year professional career have been right-handers and only a small amount southpaws. Also, what Pacquiao has on his side is he’s a southpaw, so it’s not as much of a problem.
You’ve got to give Pacquiao respect for not canceling the fight date after Spence pulled out with a tear in his left retina in his eye two weeks ago. Pacquiao chose to remain on the card and face the dangerous 2008 Cuban Olympian Ugas on short notice, which is a courageous move on his part.
How does Pacquiao win?
Ugas is younger, taller, and he’s got a powerful right hand that he uses to hurt his opponents to the head and body. You’ve got to give Pacquiao, a senator in the Philippines, and former eight-division world champion a ton of credit because he could have pulled out of the fight. No one would have faulted Pacquiao if he did so.
Ugas isn’t in the same class as Spence, but he’s close enough to be a real threat to the 42-year-old Pacquiao, who hasn’t fought since July 2019. There’s a lot of ring rust on Pacquiao that he’ll be shaking off tonight, and we don’t know what kind of form he’ll be in given his inactivity and his age.
Ugas arguably deserved a win over Shawn Porter in 2019 and got the bad end of the stick in that fight with the referee blowing a knockdown that he should have been given credit for in the 12th.
The blown call was huge, and then not getting the nod on the scorecards at the end was the unkindest cut of all for Ugas. Interestingly, Porter took the victory, such as it was, and went on to a huge payday in his next fight against Errol Spence Jr.
Ugas is bigger than Pacquiao, and he has more power than him, and captured an Olympic bronze medalist in 2008.
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach has been raving about how he’s looked in camp, knocking down sparring partners at the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles.
How to watch Pacquiao vs. Ugas
Tonight’s Pacquiao-Ugas fight will be shown on Saturday, August 21st. The start time is 9:00 p.m. ET. The location of the fight card is at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight can be ordered on FOX Sports PPV.
It has to be difficult mentally for Pacquiao not to be let down by Spence pulling out, and being replaced by Ugas, who isn’t as popular or as accomplished as a professional.
The boxing public isn’t as interested in this fight, and there’s been very little buzz to speak of this week about the Pacquiao vs. Ugas fight. It almost seems like Pacquiao isn’t fighting at all because the interest in the fight is quite low compared to what it had been when Spence was still on the card.
Pacquiao must stay composed and not let himself lose sight of the fact that he’s facing a fighter that wants to win badly in Ugas. This fight means EVERYTHING to Ugas, as he’s facing a superstar, and victory here will lead to bigger things for him.
Manny admitted that he wasn’t happy about Spence pulling out of the fight, but he was willing to take it in stride and face Ugas. Pacquiao says he knows how talented Ugas is, and he’s ready to face him for the WBA title that was stripped from him earlier this year.
Pacquiao had been looking forward to the Spence fight, as it would either be the final one of his career or a match that would lead to another huge contest against possibly Terence Crawford or Keith Thurman.
Manny knows tonight could be the last fight of his career or maybe now. His decision will be based on what happens inside the ring tonight, which is why he must perform as best as he can.
Full card for tonight’s Pacquiao vs. Ugas fight:
Pacquiao loves fighting, and he loves training. The way Pacquiao thrives on competing could prove integral to how he performs tonight against the younger, bigger, and stronger Ugas.
This could be Manny Pacquiao’s last fight. He’s 42-years-old, he wants to be the president of the Philippines. A win against Ugas could help him in that area.
- Mark Magsayo vs. Julio Ceja
- Carlos Castro vs. Oscar Escandon
- Robert Guerrero vs. Victor Ortiz
- Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas
Superstar former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is meeting WBA Welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas in the main event tonight in a fight that should provide fireworks on FOX Sports PBC PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.