All-time great Manny Pacquiao has not scored a KO or stoppage in a fight since the summer of 2018, when he scored a TKO over Argentine warrior Lucas Matthysse. Before that, Pac Man had not stopped a foe for getting on eight years, since he stopped Miguel Cotto late on in their terrific November 2009 battle. Pacquiao showed in his last fight, the July 2019 decision win over Keith Thurman, that he still has power (dropping “One Time” in the opening round) but he is no longer the destroyer he once was.
So, can Pacquiao get the stoppage win tonight when he fights the crafty, never-stopped Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas? Trainer Freddie Roach says, yes, Manny can and will get the KO – in six rounds or less. This is what Freddie told the media and he explained that, as Ugas is something of a slow starter, he has instructed Pacquiao to come out of the blocks fast. Of course, doing that could lead Manny into trouble, with Ugas perhaps being able to catch his advancing target with a stiff and sharp counter.
We will soon see what happens. For all his many millions of fans, the sight of Pacquiao scoring a sensational knockout (in what could prove to be Manny’s final fight) would be quite something. If tonight’s fight is Pacquiao’s last, it would also be most satisfying for Roach to see his fighter make his pre-fight prediction come true.
Ugas, 26-4(12) has a big mountain to climb tonight and it’s probably fair to say that he will be almost alone as far as fan support goes. The overwhelming majority of fights fans will be rooting for Pacquiao, 62-7-2(39) to do it, and do it in devastating style. In this sense, 35-year-old Ugas has less pressure on his shoulders than 42-year-old Pacquiao does.
Manny, as we know, hates letting his fans down. He won’t have to worry about that tonight, even if he doesn’t get the KO.
Prediction: Pacquiao by fairly wide decision victory.