By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao sounded irritated on Wednesday in taking a shot at both champion Yordenis Ugas and the WBA for elevating him to their 147-lb ‘Super Champion’ during the two years that the Filipino star was out of the ring from 2019 to 2021.
While Pacquiao was inactive for 20 months, the World Boxing Association did the logical thing by elevating the highly talented Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) to their ‘Super Champion’ last February.
The WBA made a move because it was pretty clear at the time that Pacquiao wouldn’t be getting back in the ring anytime soon. On top of that, Pacquiao had been linked with fights against Conor McGregor and lightweight Ryan Garcia. Why was Pacquiao interested in fighting those guys?
How would the WBA sanction mismatches like that for Pacquiao to defend his 147-lb belt? That would have been Mickey Mouse type of fights, in the same ballpark as the YouTuber fights involving the Paul brothers.
Ugas beat a quality fighter in Abel Ramos to win the vacant WBA ‘regular’ welterweight title. The next thing that happened is the WBA elevated Ugas after Pacquiao failed to defend his title for close to two years.
Pacquiao sends warning to Ugas
“This is definitely not an easy fight,” said Pacquiao on Wednesday on his match against Ugas on August 21st. “Ugás is a champion because they gave him my belt. Now, we have to settle it inside of the ring.
“I cannot take him lightly because he’s the kind of fighter who will take advantage of that. I don’t care if I’m the challenger or champion coming into it. We’ll see who is the champion after August 21,” said Pacquiao.
Hopefully, Pacquiao takes the high road and admits that he lost if Ugas wins the fight. That would look not good on Pacquiao’s part if he invalidates the judges’ decisions if Ugas wins on the scorecards.
I mean, Pacquiao has been out of the ring for two years, and he’s old at 42. It shouldn’t be a shock if Ugas wins the fight because, unlike Pacquiao, he’s in his prime.
He was arguably robbed in his fight with Shawn Porter in 2019, and he’s still performing at the same level two years later.
“We’re ready to go. We just have to maintain for the next week, which is easy,” said Pacquiao’s strength & conditioning coach Justin Fortune to Fighthype.
“It was a bit of a shock with the pull-out [by Spence] yesterday. The poor guy has a detached retina. So I know Errol’s team is taking care of that, and we’ll get the fight at a later date, as long as he gets through everything good,” said Fortune.
Yorgenis Ugas won the lottery, says Fortune
“Ugas won the lottery,” Fortune continued. “It’s a six-round fight. It’s as long as Manny wants it to go.
He [Ugas] just beat Abel Ramos, barely. So what the f***. You won the lottery. You should count your blessing. You won the lottery, and that’s all there is to it.
“They get to see Manny, and it’s a way for Manny to shake off a lot of rust and get back onto Errol. Errol is going to take care of his business, and yeah, it’s still possible, absolutely,” said Fortune.
What is Fortune driving at by continually saying that Ugas “won the lottery”? What difference does it make how he got the fight with Pacquiao?
The fact is, Ugas has the fight now, and Pacquiao will have to try and make the best of a bad situation.
Is Ugas supposed to be grateful that he got the fight and lose on purpose out of gratitude? Chris Williams is trying to understand.
Errol Spence Jr suffered an eye injury, so Ugas saved the day for PBC and Pacquiao by stepping up.
Spence’s eye injury was bad enough
“We don’t know the degree of the detachment, so nobody wants to speculate,” said Fortune. “It could be a minor thing; it could be anything. He’s a professional, so he’ll take care of his business and get back in the ring as soon as he can.”
It’s true, we don’t know what degree Spence’s left retinal tear was for his eye, but the fact is, it was bad enough for him to pull out of the fight and require eye surgery.
Pacquiao and Fortune will be kidding themselves if they think Spence will be able to make a quick recovery and fight in December. That’s not going to happen.
Get well soon, champ! 🦈 pic.twitter.com/69vyROx2fJ
— Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing) August 11, 2021
Anyway, it’s a waste of time for Fortune and Pacquiao to look past Ugas because this guy has a very good chance of beating the Filipino star.
Indeed, Chris Williams is PICKING Ugas to do a number on Pacquiao and send him into retirement. That’ll be a good lesson for other fighters not to look past their opponents towards other fights, especially when facing someone as young, hungry, and talented as Ugas.
Fortune and Pacquiao overlook the fact that Ugas hasn’t made the millions upon millions that Manny has during his long career. Ugas hasn’t gotten a taste of that green stuff until now, and he’s going to be ready to rip Pacquiao to shreds on August 21st.
Believe me; they’re literally going to have to pull Ugas off of Pacquiao on the night because he wants to add his scalp to his collection. A rematch would earn Ugas massive money, so you can bet he’s going to take full advantage of this opportunity.
Has Ugas slipped since the Porter fight?
“What do you think? That was a long time ago,” said Fortune when asked what happens if Ugas shows up in the same form he was two years ago when he fought Shawn Porter in March 2019.
“Again, Ugas just fought Ramos. Now, Pacquiao, Ugas is a lucky guy. He won the lottery, and we never underestimate the late replacement. History will tell you that.
“Many champions underestimate anybody. He’s [Ugas] in the same boat as Manny. He didn’t spar anybody like Manny.
“He wasn’t supposed to fight a southpaw. He’s ready to fight; he’s been off for a couple of years, so he’s ready to fight, period,” Fortune said about Pacquiao.
Ugas looked sensation against Abel Ramos last September, and he also was impeccable against Omar Figueroa Jr and Mike Dallas in being them.