Once it was announced that Errol Spence Jr had to cancel his fight with Manny Pacquiao due to an injury and Yordenis Ugas was the replacement opponent, many were expecting a Pacquiao victory.
However, if you followed the career of Ugas and took Pacquiao’s age into consideration, you still had to expect a tough fight coming for Pacquiao.
Ugas was dismissed, but he showed the world what he was capable of. Fans were in full force to see Pacquiao in hopes of a victory.
The result was not in his favor, but he did not disappoint the fans, and neither did Ugas. It was a great night with a packed and enthusiastic crowd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, with an attendance of 17,438 people. The FOX PBC PPV card provided four entertaining fights.
In the main event, WBA World Welterweight Champion Yordenis Ugas (27-4, 12 KO’s) of Santiago, Cuba, scored a twelve round unanimous decision over Manny “Pacman“ Pacquiao (67-8-2, 39 KO’s) of General Santos, Philippines.
In the opening round, both fighters warmed up fast and had their moments.
The round went in favor of Pacquiao as he was the busier of the two fighters. In the second round, Ugas started landing his jab and his straight right hands.
The third round was close that favored Pacquiao, but once again, Ugas was landing some good counter punches.
Ugas came back in round four and worked his jab. He also continued to land counter punches on Pacquiao. The momentum of the fight was going back and forth as Pacquiao managed to outwork Ugas in the fifth round.
Then Ugas would win a few rounds in a roll. Even though they were close rounds, Ugas edged out Pacquiao from rounds six to ten.
Ugas continued to counter Pacquiao and make him miss punches. Pacquiao did have a good comeback round in the eleventh round.
Going into the final round, it was clear that Pacquiao was behind on points and that he needed something big to win. That did not happen. Ugas closed the show by scoring the cleaner shots in the round.
Pacquiao did his best as he always does, and he went all out. In the end, it was clear that Ugas won the fight. There was no controversy with the scorecards, which was a good thing.
All the judges scored it unanimously for Ugas with scores of 115-113 and 116-112 (twice). It was a great fight and a great showing from both fighters. Ugas showed why he is a top fighter, and he is a threat for any fighter in the welterweight division. Ugas retained his WBA title.
Even though this was promoted as a WBA title fight, I felt there was no importance in that. What was important was that Ugas got a great opportunity, and he made the most of it. He is a hard worker that has paid his dues.
If you didn’t know who Ugas was before, now you do. For Pacquiao, he showed us once again why he is a legend.
I think it’s safe to say that Pacquiao really showed his age even though he still performed well in losing. If this was indeed his last fight, this was a good send-off.
Quotes from Manny Pacquiao at the post-fight conference:
“Congratulations to Ugas and his team. Thank you to all of you. I want to thank all my fans and the media. For many decades, the press, media, and boxing fans were always behind us, supporting us.
That’s why we’re here, why we became popular and why we accomplished our dreams as a fighter. I am a fighter outside and inside the ring. I look forward to returning to the Philippines and helping them during this pandemic.”
“In the future, you may not see Manny Pacquiao in the ring. I don’t know. Let me rest first, relax and make a decision if I’ll continue to fight or not.”
Quotes from Yordenis Ugas at the post-fight conference:
“I’m very excited but, most of all, I want to thank Manny Pacquiao for giving me this moment in the ring today. I told you, I am the champion of the WBA, and I showed it tonight.”
“I’m very emotional. A lot of people say Cubans can’t win the big fight. So, I’m very proud that I got this win for Cuba and showed what we are all about.”
The co-feature was a battle of former champions in the welterweight division between Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero. This seemed like a good fight to be made in 2012 but not in 2021.
Still, the two fighters still performed well and did provide some thrills. Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (37-6-1, 20 KO’s) of Gilroy, California, scored a ten round unanimous decision over “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (32-7-3, 25 KO’s) of Garden City, Kansas.
The opening round was a feeling out round, which was expected as both fighters were rusty and had been out of the ring for a while. The second round picked up as both fighters traded punches.
Guerrero landed two left uppercuts that jolted the head of Ortiz. For the remainder of the fight, both fighters took turns exchanging punches in a close fight.
At times, the fighters would hold quite a bit which prompted some boos from the crowd. However, it was not too bad as the fighters were always punching each other in the clinch.
It was a grueling fight, and both fighters showed it in their faces. Ortiz had a cut above his right eye, while Guerrero had a swollen left eye. At the end, the fight was close and could have gone either way.
Guerrero edged Ortiz in the decision. The scores were all 96-94, and the judges favored the busier work rate of Guerrero. It was nice to see these fighters give it a go one last time but let’s hope this will be the final fight of their careers.
The fight and knockout of the night took place in the featherweight title eliminator bout where Mark Magsayo (23-0, 16 KO’s) of Tagbilaran, Philippines, knocked out Julio Ceja (32-5-1, 28 KO’s) of Mexico in the tenth round.
It was a great fight that provided drama. Magsayo got to a fast start in the opening round. He dropped Ceja with a left hook. Ceja managed to get up and finish the round.
Ceja got himself back together and applied a lot of pressure on Magsayo going forward. Ceja focused on the body, which was affecting Magsayo. Ceja was starting to pick up rounds with his body attack.
In the fifth round, Ceja landed body punches and then got a knockdown in his favor this time.
Ceja dropped Magsayo with a left hook. Magsayo got up and was able to finish the round. The fight was going in Ceja’s favor. Ceja kept the body attack, but then the fight shifted.
Ceja started to get tired, and Magsayo started to pick up the pace. In the tenth round, Ceja was backing up, and Magsayo landed a right hand that froze Ceja.
Then Magsayo landed one more right hand that knocked Ceja out cold. The stoppage time was 50 seconds of the tenth round.
Magsayo was behind on all the scorecards and needed the knockout. It was a dramatic ending to an entertaining fight.
In the opening bout of the PPV telecast, Carlos Castro (27-0, 12 KO’s) of Phoenix, Arizona, stopped Oscar Escandon (26-6, 18 KO’s) of Ibague, Colombia, in the tenth round.
It was a good action fight between the two featherweights. Escandon had a strong opening round. He applied pressure and caught Castro cold.
He landed a left hook that stunned Castro at the end of the round. Castro was able to recover, and he started to exchange punches with Escandon. Both fighters kept trading punches back and forth.
However, it was Castro who was landing the more cleaner punches.
In round seven, Escandon got staggered with a right hand, and Castro tried to finish him off.
However, Escandon battled back and hurt Castro. In the last round, Castro closed the show and hurt Escandon again.
Castro then landed a flurry of punches which prompted the referee to stop the fight. The time of the stoppage was 1:08.
Escandon was a tough and durable opponent that gave Castro all he can handle. As far as Castro, I think a battle between him and Mark Magsayo would be a great fight between two undefeated fighters.
Prelim Bouts (streamed on social media platforms)
In an eight round featherweight fight, Angel Contreras (11-5-2, 6 KO’s) of Monterrey, Mexico, gave John Dato (14-1-1, 9 KO’s) of Bangar, Philippines, his first loss by scoring a unanimous decision in an entertaining fight.
Dato started the fight well early on and used his jab well. Things would change in round three. Contreras landed a right uppercut that dropped Dato.
Dato was able to get up and fight bravely. Throughout the fight, it was non-stop action but with Contreras getting the better of the exchanges.
In round seven, Dato’s face was starting to show damage, and Contreras picked up the pace more. In the final round, Dato decided to finish strong, and both fighters traded to the final bell.
The scores were 78-73, 77-74 (twice), all for Contreras. This was a good fight right before the FOX PPV card got underway.
In a four round lightweight bout, Mickel Spencer of Linden, Michigan, made a successful pro debut with a unanimous decision over Eliseo Villalobos (1-1) of Simi Valley, California.
Both fighters didn’t waste any time and traded punches. The difference was that Spencer was the quicker of the two fighters.
Even though Villalobos was doing his best to hold his own with Spencer, it was Spencer whose punches were cleaner.
In the final round, Spencer landed a left hook that stunned Villalobos and Spencer tried to finish him, but Villalobos was able to survive. Spencer went on to win a unanimous decision.
In a super middleweight swing bout, Burley Brooks (6-2-1, 5 KO’s) of Dallas, Texas, and Cameron Sevilla Rivera (9-6-4, 6 KO’s) of Fife, Washington, battled to a split draw.
Prelim Bouts (televised on FOX)
In the main event of the FOX televised card, lightweight prospect Frank “The Ghost” Martin (14-0, 10 KO’s) of Detroit, Michigan, stayed undefeated by defeating Ryan Kielczweski (30-6, 11 KO’s) of Quincy, Massachusetts, by a ten round unanimous decision.
It was a one-sided fight where Martin totally dominated the fight from beginning to end. Martin showed us his speed and skills.
He stood out with his body punching, which was hurting his opponent. Kielczweski tried to open up in rounds three and four, but he was still out landed by Martin.
Towards the end of the fight, Martin went for the knockout, but Kielczweski was durable and made it to the final bell. In the end, all three judges had it 100-90 for Martin in a complete shut-out. Martin is a young lightweight prospect to look out for.
In the second bout of the night, heavyweight prospect Steven Torres (5-0, 5 KO’s) of Reading, Pennsylvania, made short work and stopped Justin Rolfe (6-3-1, 4 KO’s) of Fairfield, Maine, in the first round.
Rolfe started quickly in the fight, but Torres quickly reversed everything. The 6’7” Torres landed a bunch of punches and landed hard right hands on Rolfe. This prompted the referee to stop the fight with a time of 2:33.
In the opening bout of the night, Jose Valenzuela (9-0, 6 KO’s) of Los Mochis, Mexico, stopped Donte Strayhorn (12-4, 4 KO’s) of Cincinnati, Ohio, in the fourth round.
In the opening round, Valenzuela landed a left hook that dropped Strayhorn in the first round. Strayhorn got up and finished the round. Strayhorn fought tough, but Valenzuela continued his onslaught.
Finally, Valenzuela finished Strayhorn in the fourth round after the referee stepped in to stop the fight. The time of the stoppage was 1:29.