By Max Schramm: Yordenis Ugas revealed on social media that he fought Manny Pacquiao with an injured left bicep during their clash a week ago on August 21st.
With Ugas letting fans know he was fighting with an injured bicep, it makes his win over Pacquiao even more impressive.
Normally, Ugas used his left hand to throw powerful body shots, but he couldn’t do that against Pacquiao because of the injury.
Instead, Ugas relied solely on his right hand to throw body and headshots against the Filipino star.
Ugas, 35, says he suffered his bicep injury during a sparring session three weeks before the fight, and he hadn’t been scheduled to fight Pacquiao at the time.
The Cuban talent Yordenis was still scheduled at the time to defend against Fabian Maidana when the injury occurred.
The WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight champion Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) confirmed what many boxing fans and media members suspected, that he injured his bicep in training for his title defense at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
During the fight with Pacquiao, Ugas rarely used his left hand to throw power punches. Yordenis mostly jabbed lightly with his left and used his right hand as his main weapon to beat Pacquiao.
In the last two weeks before Ugas’ fight with Pacquiao, the Cuban fighter’s left bicep looked considerably larger than his right bicep, and it seemed obvious there was an injury.
“I injured my [left] bicep three weeks ago in sparring,” said Yordenis Ugas on Instagram. “I wasn’t scheduled to fight Pacquiao yet. And I continued training, but I did stop sparring.”
— Boxing Habit (@boxing_habit) August 27, 2021
It was pretty obvious that Yordenis, 35, had suffered an injury to his left bicep, as it looked visibly swollen with the way it bunched up in a ‘Popeye’ manner, which is often a sign when an athlete suffers a torn/detached bicep.
Atlas: Pacquiao wasn’t prepared
“He [Pacquiao] wasn’t prepared for what Ugas had. Ugas was prepared for what Pacquiao had,” said Teddy Atlas. “Pacquiao wasn’t prepared for what Ugas had, and he should have been.
“I know it was a last-minute [replacement], but he had the same amount of time to get ready, and his team as Ugas had to get ready for the adjustment the same, and he did it,” said Atlas.
You can argue that Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach dropped the ball by failing to have Manny make the right adjustments because he should have been able to spot that he was getting nailed by Ugas while backing away after his exchanges.
Pacquiao never changed anything in his game from the first to the last in terms of making adjustments, which is why Ugas continued to beat him with right hands all night.
If this will continue into a rematch, Pacquiao might want to consider dumping Roach and getting a good trainer to replace him for the rematch with Yordenis.
Ideally, Pacquiao should hire a Cuban trainer that knows how to deal with fighters like Ugas because he can’t afford another loss.
As clueless as Pacquiao looked, he needs a Cuban trainer who can give him the coaching tips required to defeat Ugas.
Manny didn’t make adjustments
“The other thing he [Pacquiao] didn’t do. You got to make adjustments during the fight,” said Atlas. “The one major one that Pacquiao didn’t make that really killed him, and the commentators never mentioned this.
“I saw it right away. He didn’t judge distance very well. He kept stopping. Whether it was at the beginning, he stood in front at the wrong distance, and he got caught with lead right hands [from Yordenis].
“Or when he finished his action, he stepped out straight in front of Ugas but too close. He should have went out six inches more.
“If he would have gone out six inches more, he would have missed those right hands. When he initiated the action, he went out front, and he got caught out in front because he was too close.
“He misjudged the range, the distance where Ugas’ punches could reach,” Atlas said of Pacquiao. “He wasn’t prepared.
“Okay, one round, two rounds, three rounds it happened, but it CAN’T happen for twelve rounds. You have to make those adjustments.
“Nobody [trainer Freddie Roach] told him. ‘Hey, you got to get a little further out. You’re stopping too close. You got to start from a little further out.
“When you get done with your exchanges, come out farther. You’re not coming out far enough. You’re getting caught because your distance is wrong.’ So for me, it was that,” said Atlas.
It’s unknown whether Pacquiao going out an extra six inches would have helped him win the fight with Ugas because he was frequently getting hit while he was backing away, not when he was standing at range.
Pacquiao needed to use more angles and move his head while backing out after throwing his shots. He wasn’t doing that against Ugas, and that’s why he kept getting hit all night.
Manny’s upper body was fine
“He didn’t give angles,” Atlas continued about Pacquiao. “Maybe his legs didn’t allow him to go in and out as much to go to the side. Maybe his 42-year-old legs didn’t allow him as much.
“His upper body looked fine. His punches, his output of punches, his combinations, he looked sharp, he looked fast, and he looked good.
“I’m not taking anything away from Ugas. At 42, he’s not the Pacquiao he was at 32 or 22, but he was still terrific. Pacquiao, I thought he was terrific.
“He showed the heart that Pacquiao always shows, even though he got caught by these punches by the bigger guy, and also a really good accurate counter puncher.
“That’s what Ugas is. He doesn’t waste none. He’s an accurate sharpshooter, he’s a sniper, and he knew what he had to do.
“He knew what his opportunities and chances. They [Team Yordenis] were prepared, and he executed. There were plenty of rounds early that Manny, I thought made it a close fight,” Teddy said.
Pacquiao did look good in terms of his hand speed and work rate for the fight, but power wasn’t what it had been in his previous fight. Perhaps it’s all the running that Pacquiao did during training camp that took away his punching power.
If not that, Pacquiao may have needed more weight lifting during camp to build his strength back up after sitting inactive for two years after his win over Keith Thurman in 2019.
Ugas executed brilliantly
“He was coming in against a southpaw [Pacquiao], and this is obviously how he makes a living, Ugas,” said Atlas. “So the style was a problem, and it was suited for a guy like Pacquiao to that extent that he’s going to be giving him something to counter.
“But the big thing in this fight was that Manny had his moments where he outscored him, landed combinations.
“I give all the credit in the world to Ugas. His style was perfect to have a chance in this fight, and he executed brilliantly.
“And he went to the body [of Pacquiao] and slowed him down. He threw lead right hands, and he caught him [Manny].
“He used the jab to disrupt the rhythm of Pacquiao and control him on the outside and not let him do what he wanted and go in and out.
“And he disrupted him. His coach had him prepared perfectly,” said Atlas about Yordenis.