Yordemis Ugas has never been knocked out. And his trainer, Ismael Salas, doesn’t believe Manny Pacquiao will be the one to do it.
“To fight Pacquiao is an honor,” said Salas, a former coach of the vaunted Cuban national team as well as the Thais. “To me, he’s a legend and a person who is an inspiration for millions of fighters.
“But when you look back at his recent fights, he hasn’t delivered a knockout in a long time. He’s dropped guys, but it’s been a while since he’s knocked someone out.”
Pacquiao’s last knockout victory came against Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur in 2018. He was able to drop Keith Thurman in the first round in 2019 but eventually settled for a split decision.
No wonder, Salas isn’t worried about Pacquiao dropping his ward on Saturday, August 21 (Sunday, August 22, Philippine time) when they tangle for Ugas’ World Boxing Association super welterweight belt at T-Mobile Arena here.
According to Salas, Ugas has a strong chin that can withstand Pacquiao’s pounding.
For another, Salas believes Ugas’ vast amateur experience of over 500 international fights and that Olympic stint would offset Pacquiao’s edge in the number of pro fights (71 for Pacquiao, 30 for Ugas).
Pacquiao boasts a 62-7-2 slate with 39 knockouts while Ugas is 26-4 with 12 knockouts.
Ugas, in fact, has beaten World Boxing Organization champion Terence Crawford on points in 2007 and lost to former world champion Amir Khan in 2004.
Having defected to the United States in 2010, Ugas also fights for his pride and for his love of the sport, according to Salas, who has worked with the likes of Danny Green, Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Kauto Ioka.
Salas warned Pacquiao he’s in for a surprise. – Rappler.com