What a great performance from WBA Super World welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) in upsetting the odds to defeat the superstar Manny Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) in winning a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman turned out to be dead-on correct with his prediction of pure trouble for Pacquiao in facing Yordenis, who he repeatedly said last Friday that this is a “bad style match-up for Pacquiao,” and boy was he right.
Further, Thurman predicted that Ugas would go to the body of Pacquiao and weaken him with heavy shots, which is exactly what he did tonight.
Ugas was able to nail Pacquiao repeatedly with powerful punches to the breadbasket when he was coming in, resulting in him being cautious when coming forward.
To avoid being knocked out, Pacquiao had to change the way he normally fights by being less reckless and more cautious because he was getting tagged with massive punches from Yordenis whenever he came forward.
The talented former Cuban amateur star Yordenis used his boxing skills, which were superior to Pacquiao’s, to outbox him to win a highly entertaining fight.
The judge’s scores: 115-113, 116-112, 116-112. This writer had it 117-111 for Ugas. Sorry, folks. Pacquiao didn’t do enough to win more than three rounds because he was getting hit WAY too hard by Ugas throughout the contest.
There honestly wasn’t one round in which Pacquiao landed the more clean and effective shots. All 12 rounds, Ugas was landing the harder shots, leaving Pacquiao to try and steal the rounds with his shoeshine punches and his weak jabs. The difference in power between the two fighters was too much.
All in all, it was good that Ugas got the decision wasn’t on the receiving end of another controversial loss, as we saw in his fight with Shawn Porter in March 2019. Most boxing fans that saw the Porter-Ugas fight thought Ugas was given the short end of the stick in a fight that he deserved to win by a wide score.
It’s unclear what Manny is going to do at this point, as the way he fought tonight, he’s aged something fierce since his last fight in July 2019 against Keith Thurman.
The way Pacquiao looked, he won’t change anything in a rematch with Ugas to try and avenge the loss. If Pacquiao wants to continue fighting, he’d be better off going for a cash-out fight with Errol Spence Jr or Terence Crawford rather than mixing it up with Ugas a second time.