Even legendary warriors fade away, eventually.
Manny Pacquiao failed to turn back the clock again and yielded to Yordenis Ugas by unanimous decision on Saturday, August 21 (Sunday, August 22, Philippine time) before a sellout crowd of 17,438 at T-Mobile Arena here.
Unable to display the lateral movement he’s noted for, Pacquiao proved vulnerable to Ugas’ long jabs and wound up behind on all scorecards, 115-113, and 116-112 twice.
Pacquiao graciously accepted the defeat and announced during the post-fight conference he’s leaving the sport for a while.
“I did my best tonight but my best wasn’t good enough. No excuses. I wanted to fight for the title in the ring and tonight the champion is named Ugas,” said Pacquiao.
“I’ve done a lot for boxing and boxing has done a lot for me. I look forward to spending time with my family and thinking about my future in boxing.”
Though he didn’t offer it as an excuse, Pacquiao bared his legs were cramping from the second round onward, making it even more difficult for him to pierce Ugas’ tight defense.
This was evident throughout the bout as the once springy legs deserted Pacquiao, reducing him to an ordinary come-forward fighter against a master defender in Ugas.
Though Pacquiao fired more bullets, Ugas was more accurate.
Exploiting his longer reach, Ugas landed more punches than Pacquiao overall, 151-115, despite throwing less (405 to 815).
The discrepancy was even more glaring in power punches as Ugas outlanded Pacquiao, 101 to 88, on account of a high connection rate of 59.1%.
No wonder, Pacquiao bore more marks on the face than Ugas.
Pacquiao, whose record fell to 62-8-2 with 39 knockouts, sustained welts on both sides plus a bloodied small cut, while Ugas, now 27-4, 12 knockouts, had only two visible lumps.
In beating Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, Ugas proved the World Boxing Association super welterweight belt is truly his.
Pacquiao held the crown after besting Keith Thurman by split decision in 2019, but the WBA stripped the belt away from him due to inactivity in January and handed it over to Ugas, the regular welterweight champion.
In handing Thurman his first defeat then, Pacquiao became the oldest 147-pound king ever at 40.
At 42, Pacquiao wanted to reclaim the throne but Ugas, who accepted the biggest fight of his career on a short 11-day notice, proved equal to the task.
He was able to throw rapid combinations in the first round, but by the second, Pacquiao knew he couldn’t go side-to-side nor do zig-zag attacks.
This time, even the incessant “Manny, Manny, Manny” chants of the predominantly Filipino crowd couldn’t prop up Pacquiao.
His heart and spirit were willing, but his body wouldn’t respond. – Rappler.com