world boxing

Pacquiao feels like 24, vows better version than one who beat Thurman

Roy Luarca
Pacquiao feels like 24, vows better version than one who beat Thurman

READY. Manny Pacquiao shares he’s in incredible shape during the final press conference for the Pacquia-Ugas fight.

Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions

‘Let's see if he'll get the belt,’ says Yordenis Ugas of Manny Pacquiao, who claims to feel a lot younger than his actual age of 42

Manny Pacquiao sent a subtle warning to Yordenis Ugas on Wednesday, August 18 (Thursday, August 19, Philippine time).

The Pacquiao who will show up for their title duel on Saturday, August 21, will be better than the Pacquiao who handed Keith Thurman his first defeat two years ago.

Gamely answering questions during the final press conference of the Pacquiao-Ugas bout, the eight-division world champion said he feels a lot younger than his actual age of 42.

“Sorry, I’m 24,” said Pacquiao, who offered his training regimen for Thurman and Ugas as proof.

According to Pacquiao, he did 25 to 28 rounds daily during the Thurman camp.

In his just-concluded preparations, Pacquiao bared he went as high as 30 to 32 rounds to attain optimum form for the PBC pay-per-view bout set at T-Mobile Arena here.

Apparently, his two-year forced ring layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic, did Pacquiao wonders.

His battle-ravaged body recovered and his hunger to fight escalated.

No wonder, a recharged Pacquiao posted two knockdowns in his sparring sessions at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.

Roach leaked the information last week at the height of Pacquiao’s preparations for Ugas, who substituted for Errol Spence Jr.  after the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation champion sustained a torn retina on the left eye.

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Though Ugas holds an inferior record (26-4, 12 knockouts) compared with Spence’s (27-0, 21 knockouts), the Cuban is deemed capable of posing problems due to his orthodox stance.

Spence is a lefty like Pacquiao, hence both have to make adjustments.

With his vast experience of 71 fights  (62-7-2, 39 knockouts) against elite opposition, however, Pacquiao is deemed to have the edge in this aspect.

The perception turned out to be right as it took Pacquiao only two days to get used to the switch.

With videos of Pacquiao in incredible form in training being leaked, it’s hardly surprising bettors are siding with the three-time Fighter of the Year.

As of Wednesday, Pacquiao is listed as a 375 favorite and Ugas a +295 underdog by BetMGM. It means a $375 bet on Pacquiao nets just $100 if he wins while a $100 wager on Ugas becomes $295 if he prevails.

While Ugas – who was originally set to defend the title against Fabian Maidana had Pacquiao-Spence pushed through – is aware of the big step up in competition, the former world amateur champion is also confident of pulling off a major upset.

“Let’s see if he’ll get the belt,” said Ugas. I’m ready to go and there are no excuses.”

Ugas knows by just fighting Pacquiao he’s already a winner.

And if he can pull off the stunner, he’ll become one of Cuba’s greatest boxers ever. –

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