WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas says he will not show Manny Pacquiao any respect when he gets him inside the ring this Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) respects Pacquiao as a legend, but he’s not going to let up on him because of that fact.
At the weigh-in earlier on Friday, Ugas weighed in at 147 lbs to Pacquiao’s 146 lbs for their headliner bout on FOX Sports PPV.
Keith Thurman was interviewed on Friday, and he’s predicting that Ugas could win the fight with his body punching and uppercuts that he throws.
Thurman views the fight as a terrible style match-up for Pacquiao in dealing with the long-armed Ugas.
Also, Thurman suspects that the age of the 42-year-old Pacquiao could show itself in this fight in the later rounds when Yordenis’s heavy shots start taking their toll.
Ugas final words to Manny
“I’ll definitely be in the ring with a legend like Manny Pacquiao. I have a lot of respect for him, so I’m very excited. But all respect for him is finished once I get in the ring tomorrow,” said Yordenis Ugas in saying his final words to Pacquiao after the weigh-in on Friday.
“I’m definitely very emotional and very excited about this opportunity and I have the belt. Whoever wins tomorrow gets the belt. But right now, I’m the champion, and I’m ready,” said Ugas.
Pacquiao is not taking Ugas lightly
“I’m not taking this fight lightly. Of course, I don’t want to be overconfident for this fight,” said Pacquiao in giving his final words to Ugas after the weigh-in. “But tomorrow night, I want to get the victory,” said Pacquiao.
There definitely won’t be any respect from Ugas for Pacquiao because he knows that for him to have a chance of getting a lucrative rematch, he’s got to win this fight.
It doesn’t get any higher than this for Yordenis at 147, as Pacquiao is the biggest star in the division by far.
Ugas must fight as hard because he’s a MASSIVE B-side in this fight, and there’s no way that the judges are going to give him rounds if they’re even slightly close.
Jessie Vargas expects Pacquiao to control early
“Ugas is a competitive fighter; he’s very hungry. He doesn’t come in to give up,” said Jessie Vargas to Fighthype. “He’s going to give a fight, which we don’t know how long it’ll last, but it’ll be a good one.
“I think Manny will take control early on, and if Ugas can’t change the momentum of the fight and can’t time Manny Pacquiao, it could be a devasting fight for him in the later rounds.
“Maybe this might be Ugas’ night. We have to wait and find out. It’ll be a good fight.
“His speed, he’s very agile, and it’s easy for him to move left and right,” said Jessie when asked what he remembers about fighting Pacquiao from their match in 2016.
“His footwork was very surprising. It was difficult to catch him because when you let a punch go, he jumps out of range already,” Vargas said.
It’s a given that Pacquiao will start fast the way he always does and look to pick up a quick lead that will make things difficult for Ugas.
If Pacquiao is able to build a big lead as he did against Keith Thurman, he’ll have a cushion for the second half of the contest if he gasses out.
Considering that Pacquiao has been out of the ring for two years, there’s a high probability that he’s going to fade late as he did against Thurman.
Having an early lead will help Pacquiao avoid a loss, which he can’t afford right now, with him wanting to reschedule with Errol Spence Jr in early 2022.
Yordenis’ reach won’t bother Manny
“Ugas is going to have to take a lot of punches just to land one,” Vargas continued. “That’s the way it works. Yeah, Ugas has the longer reach by a little, but keep in mind, Manny is already used to that.
“Margarito had a longer reach; I had a longer reach; Oscar De La Hoya had a longer reach. He [Pacquiao] was able to use his lateral movement to get in and out of the way left and right to where you really had to reposition yourself quickly in order to land a big punch on him, which ultimately was hard to do.
“Ugas does have great body shots and can work inside really well. Manny Pacquiao doesn’t work inside really well.
“So that’s something to keep in mind. If Ugas does that, he [Pacquiao] might have to sacrifice a little bit of defense for that, and hopefully, for his sake, he’s able to land a punch.
“The angles, speed, and the experience. Manny is special. He’s a unique fighter and a phenom,” Vargas said.
Yordenis doesn’t try and stay on the outside to use his reach against his shorter opponents, so it’s not going to be a problem for Manny to deal with that potential obstacle.
The real problem that Pacquiao will have to overcome is the power, body attack, and the constant pressure he will be put under. This is the most important fight of Ugas’ professional career, and he’s going to be giving it all trying to win.
Manny has been hit hard before in his fights at welterweight, most notably against Keith Thurman, but he hasn’t tasted the kind of power that Ugas will be hitting him with to the body
The Filipino star has been in with Antonio Margarito, Thurman, Miguel Cotto, and Jessie Vargas, but those fighters weren’t throwing body shots the way Ugas will on Saturday night.
Pacquiao looks like he’s 26 says, Jessie
“So it wasn’t easy. Still, at 42, you see him, he’s killing and doing really well,” said Vargas about Pacquiao. “He’s showing that he still has the explosive power, the speed, the agility.
“It surprises me because he’s still fighting as a young man. He looks like he’s 26 when you see him in the ring, but he’s actually 42.
“Whatever he’s doing, we’re going to find out what that magic is. I’m not saying anything negative. He’s got father youth on his side; that’s what he has.
“Him at 42, being able to perform the way he has been doing. Thurman was one of the top guys in the division, as you all know, and you thought he was pound-for-pound on top of Errol Spence, actually.
“He lost that fight [to Pacquiao], and Errol Spence jumped up on top. So Manny is taking all the challenges. I give him my respect for it. He continues to look for more difficult tasks,” said Jessie Vargas.
Manny looks young for a 42-year-old, but we don’t know whether he still has the reflexes, speed, and more importantly, the stamina to beat the younger fighters like Ugas.
In Pacquiao’s last fight against Thurman, he ran out of gas during the championship rounds and almost lost. If Thurman hadn’t given away the first and tenth rounds, he would have won.
After two years out of the ring, you can’t expect Pacquiao to have aged backward and improved.
That’s why there’s a real possibility that things could go badly for Manny on Saturday night if Yordenis can put it on him and land some of his big shots, particularly to the body. Getting hit to the midsection has always been Pacquiao’s weak spot.