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Yordenis Ugas left bicep “100%” says manager Decubas Jr

Manny Pacquiao

By Barry Holbrook: Yordenis Ugas’ manager Luis DeCubas Jr. says that Ugas’ swollen-looking left bicep is “100%” for tonight’s fight with Manny Pacquiao at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

DeCubas Jr. told Mike Coppinger of ESPN that Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) is ready to “shock the world” against Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).

The boxing public is curious why WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight champion Ugas’s left bicep is suddenly looking swollen and much bigger than his right bicep.

It would be interesting to see who replaces Ugas for tonight’s fight against Pacquiao if he’s pulled at the last minute by the commissioner. Do they move one of the co-feature fighters, Robert Guerrero or Victor Ortiz in place of Ugas? What a mess that would be.

Will Ugas able to use his left arm tonight?

Yordenis, 35, won’t last long fighting with just one arm tonight if he’s dealing with an injured left bicep unless he’s a glutton for punishment.

Ugas is an excellent fighter, but it’s asking a lot of him to fend off Pacquiao with just his right hand the entire contest. Fortunately for Ugas, his right hand is the one he uses to knock out most of his opponents.

Yordenis uses his left more for body punching, which obviously is what he’s hoping to do tonight to slow Pacquiao down.

It’ll be interesting to see if Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach will have him focusing on throwing punches on Ugas’ swollen-looking bicep to get him to quit or be pulled out in his corner. Roach has to have noticed the state of Ugas’ bicep.

If Ugas cannot use his left arm, as many suspects will be the case tonight, hopefully, he doesn’t admit afterward that he fought with the injury.

That would look bad, and it would look worse than he could pass the pre-medical screening without it being detected.

When the boxing public can spot it ahead of the fight, it should be caught by the commissioner.

Pacquiao expected to win

“Everyone has been talking about Manny Pacquiao not having a KO in a while. Well, Ugas is going to be a lot like Lucas Matthysse,” said MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons to Mayweather Channel.

Manny Pacquiao

“I think they [Ugas and Matthysse] are both good fighters, but they fight like they have cement in their shoes. So, I really think Manny is going to get a ninth round stoppage in this fight.”

“All respect to Ugas. He’s a hell of a fighter; he’s a worthy top 10 contender in the welterweight division, which is one of the top two or three weight classes in all of the sport,” said Dan Rafael.

“If Manny is anywhere close to where he was when he beat Thurman, I know it was two years ago; Ugas is in for a tough night.

“I’m not saying he can’t win rounds or make it competitive, but Pacquiao is at a different level. So, I like him on a decision but a good fight.”

Gibbons could be right about his prediction of a ninth round knockout for Pacquiao, but it could come sooner if Ugas’ left bicep is too painful for him to deal with the nonstop attacking style from the Filipino star.

If Ugas is dealing with a real injury, it would be a miracle for him to last until the ninth round.

Manny must throw a lot of punches

“I think this is the kind of fight with Manny Pacquiao where you never know if this is going to be his final time inside the ring,” said Ray Flores, the ringside announcer. “So, it’s must-see television, and plus, Yordenis Ugas can change his life if he’s successful over Manny Pacquiao.

“I look at it this way. Manny Pacquiao has got to go back to the old Manny Pacquiao, throwing a lot of punches in bunches, but he’s got to be able to hurt Ugas.

“Ugas looks significantly bigger than that of Manny Pacquiao, but Ugas has got to let his hands go. That right there is the story.

“I think we get pockets of action, and can Manny go ahead and possibly get a stoppage over Yordenis Ugas.

“Pacquiao hasn’t had a stoppage since Lucas Matthysse, and everyone is saying in the gym that Manny Pacquiao is looking in rare form.

“Will that happen? We’ll find out. I understand why Manny is the favorite in the fight, but listen; you can’t count out Yordenis Ugas.

“The guy fled from Cuba, and he was able to make it here. He retired for two years.

“He got his head together and has gone 11-1 in the ring since August of 2015, knocking off three previously undefeated fighters.

“Pacquiao is a different beast, but Ugas has the opportunity of a lifetime. I think the fans win because you’re going to get a back and forth fight during parts of the match-up.

“Ultimately, we’ll go ahead and see who prevails later on in the fight. I call the fight, so I can’t make a prediction, but there’s a reason why Manny is the favorite, but don’t count out Ugas. He’s a live underdog.”

When haven’t we seen Pacquiao throw many shots in any of his fights in the last 11 years?

The only reason Pacquiao couldn’t throw as many shots in his last fight against Keith Thurman as he normally does is that he was getting nailed with vicious left hooks from ‘One Time.’

Pacquiao literally couldn’t throw as many punches as he normally does because he was getting met with withering fire from Thurman, who was fighting with a vengeance in the second half of the contest when he realized he was losing.

With Ugas’ stationary fighting style, this fight could play out similar to Pacquiao’s fight with Joshua Clottey in 2010.

In that fight, Pacquiao threw over 1000 punches against the stationary Clottey in a totally one-sided fight from the first bell.

Although Clottey had excellent power, his hand speed was slow like Ugas, and he couldn’t use movement to keep the Filipino superstar off.

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