Manny Pacquaio was good however not adequate, not at 42, not towards an opponent as succesful as Yordenis Ugas.
The Cuban didn’t precisely make Pacquiao seem like an previous man however he did reveal the Filipino’s limitations greater than 1 / 4 of a century into his skilled profession, profitable a transparent unanimous resolution to retain his WBA welterweight title Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao fought as exhausting as he ever has, throwing an astounding variety of punches for a person his age – 815, in response to CompuBox. That was the excellent news. The unhealthy information was that he landed solely 16% of his pictures, he didn’t transfer as fluidly as he as soon as did and he was straightforward to hit at occasions. Ugas landed 37% of his punches, 59% of his energy pictures.
Ugas discovered a house for his jab all combat lengthy nevertheless it his large proper hand – which Pacquiao might by no means utterly keep away from – that was the most-effective punch within the combat.
Pacquiao had his moments, darting inside to throw still-quick mixtures after which darting again out as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over time. He was aggressive. However, he merely didn’t do sufficient to win the combat, because the official scorecards point out.
Ugas received by scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 116-112. Boxing Junkie scored it 116-112 for Ugas, who left little doubt that he’s the rightful proprietor of the WBA belt.
Pacquiao received the WBA title by outpointing Keith Thurman two years in the past however he was designated “champion in recess” due to his inactivity, after which Ugas was elevated to full champion.
“Everyone said he was the champion. Now they know who the real champion is,” Ugas mentioned by way of a translator.
Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) was scheduled to combat Fabian Maidana on the cardboard when he acquired a telephone name 11 days beforehand. Errol Spence Jr., Pacquiao’s authentic opponent, had pulled out due to a watch damage. Was Ugas keen to step in?
Absolutely. It was like profitable the lottery, each by way of cash and a chance to report a defining victory. And he took full benefit of it.
Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) got here out aggressively on the opening bell, apparently in an try and construct a lead on the playing cards as he had towards Thurman. And he was in a position to win rounds along with his exercise; he outworked Ugas early within the combat.
However, Ugas remained affected person. He wasn’t as busy as Pacquaio however he constantly landed his jab and sharp follow-up powers pictures, which have been cleaner than the punches his opponent landed.
And ultimately Pacquiao started to look his age. He continued to combat exhausting however his output declined because the combat progressed. At the identical time, Ugas, as contemporary as he was in Round 1, picked up his tempo and took agency management of the combat.
His dominance within the ultimate rounds gave him the victory of a lifetime, one that can certainly result in extra big-money, high-profile fights within the close to future. Fellow titleholders Spence and Terence Crawford are on discover.
“Now the plan is to unify the title at welterweight. … [Spence] is the next one I want to fight,” Ugas mentioned.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao was as gracious as ever in his post-fight interview. He repeatedly mentioned “that’s boxing,” his means of claiming that one fighter wins and the opposite loses. He simply occurred to be the latter on this night time.
One factor individuals shall be speaking about within the coming days was his lack of ability to maneuver in addition to he used to. He addressed that by explaining ominously, “My legs were so tight. … That’s why it was hard to move.”
That’s not an excellent signal for a fighter who turns 43 in December.
And Pacquiao made it clear that he might by no means work out how to deal with Ugas’ jab and fast, correct energy pictures or handle to get inside sufficient to land his personal mixtures.
He was pissed off from starting to finish.
“I had a hard time making adjustments [to] his style,” Pacquiao mentioned. “I think that was the problem for me. I didn’t make adjustments right away. Also, my legs were tight.”
The pure query in gentle of the loss and people feedback: Will we see the dwelling legend within the ring once more?
“I don’t know,” he mentioned. “Let me rest first, relax and make a decision whether to continue to fight or not.”
If that was Pacquiao’s ultimate combat, the actual fact he misplaced will probably be exhausting for the previous eight-division titleholder to swallow whether or not or not “that’s boxing.” At the identical time, he can say honestly that he went out like a champion, preventing with as a lot ardour as he did when he turned professional as a 16-year-old in 1995.
He was warrior to the top.
“I’m sorry we lost tonight,” he mentioned. “You know I did my best.”