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Yordenis Ugas: Pacquiao can have a rematch

Image: Yordenis Ugas: Pacquiao can have a rematch

By Jeff Aronow: WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas says he’s willing to give Manny Pacquiao a rematch if he’s interested in facing him again. Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) dealt Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) a crushing defeat last Saturday night, beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

If Pacquiao, 42, wants the rematch, Ugas says he’ll give it to him, but it’s a big decision that needs to be made by the Filipino star. The way Manny fought last Saturday night, a second fight might not be any different.

Assuming Pacquiao chooses not to fight a rematch, Ugas says he wants a unification match against either IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. or WBO champ Terence Crawford.

As for Pacquiao, his choosing not to fight Ugas again would leave one option – retirement. When you lose the way Pacquiao did, you must rematch or retire. To walk away from the loss and to fight other guys, it would be a confession by Pacquiao that he doesn’t feel he’s good enough to beat Ugas.

Ugas blocked most of Pacquiao’s shots with his high guard and countered him with heavy punches the entire fight. Although Ugas couldn’t match the work rate of Pacquiao, his shots were the eye-catching variety and left no doubt that they were damaging.

Image: Yordenis Ugas: Pacquiao can have a rematch

The majority of the rounds were razor close, but the difference in power between much bigger Yordenis and Pacquiao was really the difference in the fight. Pacquiao

“He can have a rematch,” said Ugas at the post-fight press conference when asked if he’d be willing to fight Pacquiao again. “200 percent. Manny is a great fighter, a legend.

“If he wants a rematch, no question about it. A person like that deserves it. We knew we had to take control of the fight, we knew he was a great fighter, and that’s exactly what I did,” said Ugas.

Pacquiao’s speed and combination punching were as good as in the past, but his movement wasn’t there. He couldn’t bounce around the ring, attacking from different angles as he’d done in the past.

When Pacquiao did attack, he didn’t continue to fire punches at close range, and that enabled Ugas to have breaks that he wouldn’t have been given if Manny were fighting in his old form.

In hindsight, it may have been asking too much for the 42-year-old Pacquiao to come into the fight with Ugas and fight the way he had two years ago when he beat Keith Thurman in 2019.

Pacquiao hadn’t fought in 25 months, and he looked rusty and his legs not responding the way they had in the Thurman fight.

Image: Yordenis Ugas: Pacquiao can have a rematch

The way Pacquiao fought against Ugas, he likely would have lost to guys from the past like Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, and Ricky Hatton. Those guys would have done a better job of beating the stationary Pacquiao than Ugas.

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