Yordenis Ugás wins a unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao

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The 35-year-old Yordenis Ugás wins a unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao, but his blows were more precise and more effective.

Yordenis Ugás retained his WBA welterweight title via a unanimous decision against Manny Pacquiao in what some predicted could be the Philippine senator’s final bout, bringing an end to a great boxing career.

Pacquiao said he hasn’t decided whether or not to fight again after an unsatisfactory performance in his return to professional boxing on Saturday night after the longest layoff of his quarter-century career.

He also refused to say whether he will run for president of the Philippines, as is widely predicted. Next month, he plans to make an announcement.

After the fight, a deflated Pacquiao stated, “That’s boxing.” “It was difficult for me to make modifications in the ring. My legs were squeezing. I’m sad I didn’t win tonight, but I gave it my all.”

It was a nice triumph for Ugás, who had been given the WBA championship after Pacquiao was stripped of it earlier this year for inactivity by the sanctioning body.

“No excuses, my best wasn’t good enough tonight. “I wanted to fight for the title in the ring, and the champion tonight is Ugas,” Pacquiao remarked. “I’ve given a lot to boxing, and boxing has given me a lot. I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and planning my boxing career.”

Surefire draw

Ugás (27-4) took advantage of his late injury replacement for Errol Spence Jr, vexing Pacquiao (67-8-2) throughout what could be the 42-year-old Filipino senator’s final fight.

T-Mobile Arena appeared to be packed out, as the 17,438-strong crowd cheered loudly for its Filipino hero. Pacquiao is a definite draw and a bankable celebrity in a sport that lacks both at the highest levels, even after an extended absence in the latter stages of his career.

Ugás, who is 35 years old, delivered fewer punches than Pacquiao, but they were more precise and effective. Pacquiao struggled to get inside against Ugás’ strong jab, and Ugás’ right hand hit with increased frequency in the later rounds.

Ugás received 116-112 from two judges, and 115-113 from the third.

The victory marked the end of a long journey for Ugás, who left Cuba two years after winning a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Ugás had a clear game plan despite the short notice, working hard in the early rounds with an effective jab and body shots [Stephen R Sylvanie/USA Today Sports via Reuters]

Ugás had a two-year break from boxing in the middle of the last decade, but resurrected his career and took advantage of this rare opportunity to battle one of the era’s best fighters, gaining his 12th victory in 13 matches.

Through a translator, Ugás remarked, “He’s a fantastic opponent, but I came in here to prove I’m the WBA champion.” “I have a lot of respect for him, but I came out on top in this fight.”

Despite the short notice, Ugás had a clear game plan, pushing hard in the early rounds with an efficient jab and body blows. Pacquiao was more aggressive, and his combos occasionally brought the fans to its feet, but he didn’t find a consistent means to get inside the jab right away.

In the middle rounds, Ugás’ confidence grew, and at the seventh-round bell, he replied to some action with a defiant shimmy-shake of his shoulders in Pacquiao’s direction.

For lengthy stretches, Pacquiao threw approximately twice as many punches as Ugás, but Ugás displayed his defense and precision against the Filipino’s activity.

In the tenth round, Pacquiao got Ugás with a combination and knocked him back as the crowd erupted in applause, but Ugás recovered and rallied with massive blows.

The loss is likely certain to reignite worries about Pacquiao’s future in the sport he has graced for the past 26 years, covering 72 fights.

Ugás celebrates with his corner team after defeating Pacquiao on Saturday night [Stephen R Sylvanie/USA Today Sports via Reuters]
Yordenis Ugás wins a unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao.

Source: Aljazeera

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