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Ugas trainer Salas warns Pacquiao: Yordenis won’t run

Manny Pacquiao

By Chris Williams: Trainer Ismael Salas is warning Manny Pacquiao that Yordenis Ugas WON’T run from him this Saturday night when he defends his WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight title in the main event in Las Vegas.

(Photo credit: Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions)

The Cuban coach Salas wants to clarify that Ugas’ fighting style is entirely different from Guillermo Rigondeaux, who took some heat from boxing fans for the movement he employed in his fight last weekend against John Riel Casimero.

Salas scored the Casimero vs. Salas fight a 12 round draw for the record and felt neither guy did enough to win.  Salas says the style that Rigondeaux used in that fight isn’t the ‘Cuban style.’

It’s his own way of fighting, and it’s entirely different than how Ugas fights. Ugas is a pressure fighter who uses his power, size, and body punching to win his fights.

He’s not someone that will give up real estate, looking to pick off his opponents with precise counter-punching the way Rigondeaux did all night against the slower, less-skilled Casimero.

Salas predicts Pacquiao will retreat

“As you know, Yordenis is a warrior. If you remember back when he fought with Shawn Porter, Shawn Porter had been the aggressor in all of his fights, but at that time, in that fight, he had to pull out,” said Ugas’ trainer Ismael Salas to Fighthype.

Manny Pacquiao

“So, he [Porter] had to move around. Yordenis Ugas is a very solid 147-pounder.

“He’s big, strong, good chin, and has very good fundamentals. This is a big challenge [for Ugas], but in boxing, no challenge is no way to be.

“He can try [to be more aggressive against Ugas], but I believe he will pull out,” said Salas when asked if Pacquiao will attempt to fight aggressively against Yordenis, unlike Porter, who stayed on the outside, fighting cautiously against him.

Pacquiao lacks the size, power, or the ability to take the body shots from Ugas for him to turn this fight into a war on Saturday night.

If Pacquiao were a little younger, bigger, and comfortable with getting hit to the body, he’d have a chance to go to war with Ugas and possibly beat him.

Unfortunately, Pacquiao fails to check any of those boxes, which means his only option is to stay on the outside and focus on pot-shotting as he did against Antonio Margarito in 2010.

In his fight with Ugas in 2019, Shawn Porter tried to use his normal mauling style of fighting against him briefly, but he quickly gave up after he tasted the power of the hard-hitting Yordenis.

You could see the mental gears shifting in Porter’s head when he started tasting Ugas’ power in the first round. Porter decided to give up on the idea of brawling with Ugas in close and instead keep the fight at range.

It didn’t work well for Porter fighting Ugas on the outside either, as the Cuban talent battered him with powerful shots the entire fight.

In the end, Porter proved that being the A-side is vital in boxing, as he was given a controversial 12 round split decision fight in which he appeared to win only three rounds at best.

Ugas has the gameplan to beat Manny

“Yordenis Ugas, he likes to cut the tree, chopping down the guys so if someone sees him from the outside and don’t know the intensity that Yordenis brings to the fight.

“We already have a strategy [for Pacquiao]. So when we go to the fight, things can change. We have Plan-A, Plan-B, Plan-C. So let’s see Manny coming in, and then we move forward.

“Yeah, but we have two very good southpaws in camp, so you have to do what you have to do,” said Salas when asked how difficult it is for Yordenis to prepare on two weeks’ notice to fight Pacquiao.

“Manny Pacquiao is a star, and, of course, we are the underdog side,” Salas said about Ugas being the B-side for the promotion. “But to overcome the underdog side, you have to implement during the fight whatever you bring on, and then who can beat who. So this is what we try to do.

“Everybody knows that Manny Pacquiao is a guy with an amazing explosion. He can go in and out, and he can make one, two, or three offenses at the same time. So we will take care of it,” said Salas.

The ONLY game plan that will lead to a victory for Ugas is to go after Pacquiao from round one, hitting him and over to the body to force a stoppage.

Let’s face it; the odds of Ugas winning a decision against the superstar Pacquiao are slim and none.

Salas had Casimero-Rigondeaux as a draw

“I must tell you that this fight must be disqualified for both sides,” said Salas on last Saturday night’s fight between WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimeros and Guillermo Rigondeaux.

“Yeah, Casimero, he didn’t catch Rigondeaux, but he’s a world champion. Why did you not implement it. Always in boxing, you will always see one aggressor and one moving.

“So one guy [Rigondeaux] is moving and the aggressor, what did he do? Following. So, what I saw, they [Casimero] had no plan behind. They had power.

“I didn’t see win [for] Rigondeaux, and I didn’t see a win for Casimero. So for me, it was one of the more crazy fights in the latest fights.

“Everybody knows,” said Salas when asked if Ugas will fight much differently than Rigondeaux.

“Everybody is telling a Cuban style because of Rigondeaux, but we have [Yuriorkis] Gamboa, [Erislandy] Lara, and [Luis] Ortiz. So, don’t mention Rigondeaux as a Cuban style. No, that’s his style,” Salas said.

Salas is kind to Casimero by scoring the fight a draw, as Terence Crawford and Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero had Rigondeaux winning. Chris Williams had Rigondeaux winning by a landslide by 11 rounds to 1 score.

Casimero looked inept all night, repeatedly missing his shots and fighting like a wild man who had put on the gloves for the first time.

The World Boxing Organization should do the right thing and order a rematch between Casimero and Rigondeaux because there’s too much controversy over the results of that fight for it to be left as is.

Ugas won’t run from Pacquiao

“I believe if Rigondeaux trains with any Cubans, I don’t like to take anything away from him, but it doesn’t match the style with Rigondeaux’s style.

“Remember when Rigondeaux fought with Nonito Donaire. He was a counter puncher. When he [Rigondeaux] beat Rico Ramos, he was a counter puncher.

“So, it’s hard to say. Yes, yes, of course,” said Salas when asked if we’ll see a different type of fight from Ugas on Saturday against Pacquiao compared to how Rigondeaux fought against Casimero. “You will never see Ugas running away. He never does,” said Salas.

Ugas has never run in any of his fights, and it’s crazy to think he would do that against the smaller, weaker, and older Pacquiao.

Besides it not being part of Ugas’ fighting style, there’s too much on the line for him to take that kind of approach to this fight.

Ugas knows full well if he runs from Pacquiao, he would be admitting defeat, and he’s not about to do that.

What we’re going to see from Ugas is a fighter who will fight tooth & nail to the bitter end and will go down swinging if he must.

But there’s an excellent chance that it’ll be Ugas that will be dominating this fight, making Pacquiao look every bit of his age.

The only question is, will the judges give it to Ugas if the contest goes the full 12 round distance? Shawn Porter being A-side against Ugas enabled him to get a victory in a fight he should have lost. With Pacquiao being a much bigger A-side for this fight on Saturday, Ugas might need a knockout to win.

Hopefully, we don’t see a long count like the first Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury fight in 2018.

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