Tag Archives: Manny Pacquiao

Freddie Roach: “I Wish We Had Fought Spence Instead Of Ugas”

Posted on 04/24/2022

By: Hans Themistode

Getty Images

Although Freddie Roach has learned to live with the results, the Hall of Fame trainer is still contrite with the way things ended for his former starfighter, Manny Pacquiao.

The former eight-division world champion was determined to prove that even at the age of 42, he was still the top dog at 147 pounds. While initially, many were taken aback by Pacquiao’s decision to test his skills against a younger, fresher, and bigger Errol Spence Jr., the Filipino native was eager for the challenge.

With the two scheduled to face off on August 21st, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2021, Roach salivated as he constructed what he believed was a bulletproof game plan. Yet, despite Roach’s bravado, his Hall of Fame pupil was given unfortunate news.

With roughly a week and a half remaining before the two pugilistic stars shared the ring against one another, Spence Jr. was forced to withdraw, citing a torn/detached retina in his right eye. As the Dallas product reluctantly underwent surgery, Yordenis Ugas, who was set to appear in the co-main event, stepped in to replace him.

In spite of the change in opponent, oddsmakers believed that Pacquiao’s experience and overall explosive power would prove to be too much. Nevertheless, Ugas rose to the occasion, scoring a fairly wide unanimous decision victory, which would subsequently, usher Pacquiao into retirement.

Although hindsight is 20/20, Roach admits that it wasn’t auspicious to take on the former Olympic bronze medalist on such short notice.

“I wish we had fought Spence instead of Ugas,” said Roach to FightHype.com. “We ended up taking that fight on two days’ notice. There’s no way you can get ready for a big fight on two days’ notice. He has a long reach and a little bit awkward. I wish we would’ve waited for Spence to get healthy.”

Ugas’s reward for usurping Pacquiao, was an immediate date with the man he just replaced. Both Spence Jr. and Ugas engaged in a back and forth war in front of nearly 40,000 fans at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 16th.

Though Ugas believed that his victory over Pacquiao would serve as his guide to defeating Spence Jr., the powerful southpaw presented Ugas with an unsolvable puzzle. While the Cuban product had his moments, Spence Jr. would eventually break his man down, forcing a ringside physician to call a halt to their bout.

Regardless of Spence Jr.’s dominant showing, Roach is sticking to his guns. Nevertheless, the longtime trainer has been thoroughly impressed by Spence Jr.’s ability to look catastrophe squarely in the face and never blink.

In October of 2019, one month following his split decision win over Shawn Porter, Spence Jr. was involved in a horrific car wreck. The Dallas native was thrown violently from his sports vehicle, resulting in several facial lacerations.

Needing well over one year to recover from his injuries, Roach initially believed that the once-dominant fighter and pound-for-pound star would never be the same. Yet, undeterred by the words of Roach, Spence Jr. continues to steamroll his competition.

Admittedly, due to Spence Jr.’s ability in the ring and unwillingness to fold when faced with adversity outside of it, Roach has become a big-time fan.

“I like Spence a lot. What he’s been through, the car accident, I didn’t think he would come back that well. In his last two fights, he’s looked very good. He’s back to where he was.”

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Errol Spence Jr.: “Watching Pacquiao Fight, I Was Like Man, I Could’ve Hurt This Man”

Posted on 04/06/2022

By: Hans Themistode

Normally stoic and stone-faced, Errol Spence Jr. couldn’t stop himself from smiling when Manny Pacquiao inked his name on the dotted line.

Having watched Pacquiao fight as a youngster, Spence Jr. believed that a matchup against the surefire future first ballot Hall of Famer was exactly what he needed to take his career to the next level.

With the pair officially set to square off on August 21st, 2021, Spence Jr. underwent a grueling eight-week camp in preparation to take on the former eight-division world titlist. But as Spence Jr.’s time in camp began winding down, he was given heartbreaking news.

With only one week left before taking on by far the most notable opponent of his career, Spence Jr. was informed that he would be unable to participate due to a partial detachment in his right retina. So, with the Dallas native officially forced to withdraw, Yordenis Ugas, the current WBA welterweight champion, was given the call.

A despondent Spence Jr. watched from his palatial estate as Ugas banked round after round on the night. With each passing second, Spence Jr. could only shake his head as Pacquiao missed with wild punches and often paid the price as Ugas landed countless blows on the then, 42-year-old.

Ultimately, the unified welterweight star has grown to live with the lost opportunity. However, after witnessing the beating Ugas dished out to the future Hall of Famer, Spence Jr. believes that Pacquiao would’ve endured a thrashing like no other had he been able to face him.

“Watching Pacquiao fight, I was like man, that should’ve been me,” said Spence Jr. during an interview with Brian Custer on ShowTime Sports. “Man, I could’ve hurt this man. I was like damn but it is what it is.”

Now that Spence Jr. has recovered fully from his eye injury, he’ll look to end the momentum of Ugas. The pair will participate in a three belt unification in less than two weeks on April 16th, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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Errol Spence Jr. Shrugs Off Yordenis Ugas Victory Over Manny Pacquiao: “I’m A Better Fighter Than Pacquiao”

Posted on 03/17/2022

By: Hans Themistode

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Errol Spence Jr. is patiently watching the sand in the hourglass as he anxiously awaits his upcoming showdown against Yordenis Ugas on April 16th. The IBF and WBC unified welterweight titlist has sat unwillingly on the sidelines since scoring a fairly wide unanimous decision victory over Danny Garcia in December of 2020.

Although Spence Jr. is pegged as a sizable favorite to strip Ugas of his WBA title, both pundits and fans believe that Ugas has more than a puncher’s chance to spring the upset. In addition to Ugas picking up victories in 12 of his past 13 contests, his shining moment came just a few months ago.

On relatively short notice, Ugas stepped in to replace, ironically enough, Spence Jr., to take on future first ballot Hall of Famer, Manny Pacquiao. Spence Jr. could only sit back despondently as Ugas proved oddsmakers wrong by registering a unanimous decision victory.

Thanks to his efforts against Pacquiao, Ugas finds himself thought of highly in the mind of many in the boxing world. However, regardless of his career-changing victory, Spence Jr. shrugs his shoulders at those who believe a victory over Pacquiao will equate to a win over himself.

In fact, as Spence Jr. rummages through the annals of boxing history, he can point to a long list of former great fighters who came up short at the tail end of their careers.

“With all respect to Pacquiao, I’m a way different fighter than Pacquiao,” said Spence Jr. during a recent press conference. “At this point right now, I’m a better fighter than Pacquiao. Y’all keep bringing up Pacquiao but that’s like Larry Holmes fighting [Muhammad] Ali or Terry Norris beating up Sugar Ray Leonard or [Marcos] Maidana beating up Erik Morales. Pacquiao is way past his prime.”

As Spence Jr. eludes to, Ali, Leonard, and Morales, all ended their careers following devastating defeats. In 1991, Leonard suffered a one-sided unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Norris before retiring. Ultimately, he would return to the ring six years later at the age of 40 against Hector Camacho, losing via fifth-round stoppage.

Ali, at the age of 38, hung up his gloves following back-to-back one-sided beatings against the previously mentioned Holmes and Trevor Berbick in 1981. And as for Morales, on the back end of his career, he would go on to lose three of his final four contests, one of which came against Maidana.

More than anything, Spence Jr. refuses to get too involved in the recent performance of Ugas against a 42-year-old Pacquiao. The unified titlist, has, however, acknowledged that the split decision defeat Ugas suffered against Shawn Porter in 2019, was completely bogus.

But, regardless of Spence Jr. believing that Ugas’s victory over Pacquiao is a bit overblown, he does view Ugas as an incredible fighter and one who will give it his all come fight night.

“He’s a great fighter, he’s going to come to fight and he’s a real warrior but I’m a put on a great showing and I’m hungry too.”

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Manny Pacquiao Officially Announces Retirement: “Goodbye Boxing”

Posted on 09/29/2021

By: Hans Themistode

For nearly three decades, Manny Pacquiao calmly entered the ring, and more times than not, he gave fans their money’s worth.

Yet, like all good things in life, it comes to an end.

With a Presidential run in his native land of the Philippines now in his immediate future, Pacquiao has opted to walk away from the sport of boxing. Like always, the humble 42-year-old made sure that the first bulletin on his list in his heartfelt goodbye was to the fans who continued to watch and support him each step of the way.

“To the greatest fans and the greatest sport in the world, thank you,” said Pacquiao on his social media page. “Thank you for all the wonderful memories.”

Pacquiao’s poignant goodbye to the sport he’s loved for so long comes just over a month after he was upset in his final ring appearance. After originally signing up to face unified welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr., Pacquiao was forced to change course as the Dallas native given no choice but to withdraw due to a severe eye injury.

Replacing Spence Jr. on the night was Cuban native Yordenis Ugas. While many were expecting Pacquiao to pick up the victory, Ugas proved to be far too much, winning a close unanimous decision victory.

While Pacquiao tipped his cap in the direction of Ugas, he mulled over the possibility of an immediate rematch. Those thoughts, ultimately, fell by the wayside as Pacquiao is now hanging up his gloves for good.

The story of Pacquiao is a unique one in every sense of the word. Growing up in his native land of the Philippines, Pacquiao struggled with extraordinary penury. Although things appeared bleak, he eventually found the sport of boxing and would go on to etch his name in the record books as one of the greatest the sport has ever seen.

With world titles spread across eight separate weight classes, along with incredible wins against Juan Manuel Marquez, Keith Thurman, Tim Bradley, Miguel Cotto and a slew of others – Pacquiao has carved out the sort of legacy that makes him one of a kind.

As the 42-year-old reached the latter stages of his career, he turned his attention more and more towards political issues in his native land. With a seat in the senate office, Pacquiao has decided to take another step forward in his battle toward improving the lives of his Filipino people as he attempts to make a run for President.

Ultimately, the choice to leave the boxing world has not been an easy one. With that said, Pacquiao believes it was a sagacious decision. But, before he made his exit, Pacquiao urges everyone to take a close, hard look at his own unlikely rise to the top of the sport. With the future first ballot Hall of Famer reaching such lofty heights, he believes everyone can do the same.

“This is the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but I’m at peace with it. Chase your dreams, work hard, and watch what happens. Goodbye boxing.”

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Errol Spence Jr.: “It’s Freaking Manny Pacquiao, I Drop Out Of A Fight With Him Two Weeks Before? That Don’t Make Sense”

Posted on 08/26/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Errol Spence Jr. felt every emotion. From apoplectic, to incredulous to despondent, Spence Jr. dealt with it all.

With just a few weeks left until his mega showdown against Manny Pacquiao on August 21st at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Spence Jr. was given no choice but to pull out of their contest due to a retinal detachment in his left eye. From there, the unified welterweight champion immediately dropped his gloves and entered the surgical room.

As doctors began working on the Dallas native’s eyesight, rumors emerged that Spence Jr. was never hurt in the first place. Bernard Hopkins, a former two-division titlist and 2019 Hall of Famer, was amongst those who raised a cautious eyebrow to Spence Jr. and his entire injury claim.

“If you tell me something, now you got to show me,” said Hopkins during an interview with Fight Hub TV when the news first broke. “I’m a showman person. I’m not going to tell you what happened and you got to take my word for it. Not that I’m saying you should. But if I show you, I don’t have to do much speaking.”

Never known as the loquacious type, Spence Jr. has remained mostly mum since his surgical procedure. However, given the chance to address Hopkins and whomever else doubts the legitimacy of his injury, Spence Jr. simply points to Pacquiao’s stature amongst the all-time greats and the boatload of money he would have accrued for facing him.

“It’s freaking Manny Pacquiao,” said Spence Jr. during an interview with ESPN. “Future Hall of Famer, future legend, undoubtedly top 10 all time. One of the greatest fighters of all time. And I drop out of a fight with him two weeks before the fight? That don’t make sense. Not to mention all the money we would make off pay-per-view.”

Even with his departure from the event, the show ultimately still went on without him. Stepping in to replace Spence Jr., was WBA 147 pound titlist, Yordenis Ugas. Spence Jr. sat idly by as Ugas cashed in on the opportunity of a lifetime.

The massive underdog went on to frustrate Pacquiao on the night, before winning a close but clear unanimous decision. With the former eight-division world champion unsure if he’ll ever step foot inside a boxing ring again, Spence Jr. is coming to grips with the fact that he may never face Pacquiao before he rides off into the sunset.

Considering his frustrations, and his audacious call-outs of Pacquiao over the years, Spence Jr. is still shaking his head at anyone who believes he didn’t want to compete on the night.

“I called him out two years ago in the ring. Not like he handpicked me. I been asking to fight him.”

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Yordenis Ugas: “Going Into The [Manny Pacquiao] Fight, My Arm Remained Swollen But I Didn’t Feel Any Pain”

Posted on 08/26/2021

By: Hans Themistode

There was something incredibly odd about Yordenis Ugas.

The Cuban native removed his shirt during last weekend’s weigh-ins for his contest against Manny Pacquiao and revealed an unbelievable physique. But while Ugas appeared to be in the best shape of his professional career, something seemed off.

Although Ugas is one of the bigger welterweights in the division, the WBA 147 pound champion appeared bigger than normal, particularly to his left bicep.

Numerous video footage surfaced of Ugas grimacing in pain. Several fans and media members took the time to examine the footage closely and came to the conclusion that Ugas mostly likely tore his bicep muscle, something his camp vehemently denied. While Ugas went on to not only defeat Pacquiao but he ultimately used his left hand effectively, landing an indefensible jab all night long, and proving that his left arm was just fine.

With constant rumors and speculation surrounding his grotesque left bicep, Ugas revealed that he did, in fact, suffer an injury. But, it took place long before he entered the ring.

“I injured my bicep several weeks ago during sparring,” said Ugas during an interview with Ringsideviews. “I wasn’t scheduled to fight Pacquiao yet. I continued training but I did stop sparring.”

Not only did Ugas produce a severely left swollen arm but during their final staredown, the 35-year-old appeared to wince in considerable pain on several occasions. Despite that, Ugas went on to frustrate the future Hall of Famer on the night.

Numerous jabs upstairs, followed by left hands to the body and over the top of Pacquiao’s guard, seemingly left him puzzled on what to do next. Although Ugas was more reserved in his offensive output, throwing more than 400 fewer punches than Pacquiao, he was ultimately the more efficient of the two, landing over 37% of his total shots to the 16% of Pacquiao. Nevertheless, his decision to choose quality over quantity, had nothing to do with his left bicep.

On the outside looking in, Ugas is fully aware that he appeared to be a one-armed fighter. But, he assures everyone, that while it was ostensible his arm was in bad shape, he felt no level of discomfort whatsoever.

“Going into the fight, my arm remained 100% swollen but I didn’t feel any pain.”

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The Advantage of Being Lesser-Known, and “What Now, Pacquiao?”

Posted on 08/25/2021

By: Charles Jay

This is what Yordenis Ugas tweeted the other day:

“All the comments that I read that it was very slow for Pacquiao and they were going to destroy me. Where are they?? I took the biggest fight of my life 10 days in advance. And thank God I had the biggest victory of my career against a future Hall of Fame.”

Well, I have some thoughts on that, and there are some other smart folks around boxing who feel the same way:

I’m sure that Ugas has spent quite a bit of time over the last few years thinking about how he would fight Pacquiao. That’s often the case when there’s a guy out there who’s a rock star, and against whom you could conceivably pick up your biggest career payday.

And I bet Pacquiao spent all of ten days or so thinking seriously about how to fight Ugas. 

Now, it would be one thing if you’re just digging some opponent out of the lower rungs of the top ten or 12 or 15. This was someone with ability, and in fact a “super” champion as designated by the WBA. Not only that, but he was training for his own tile fight on the undercard, so he was in top shape. And if an opponent like that is pretty good, and you are 42 and haven’t fought in two years, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to deal with him on short notice.

So IMHO the guy who is lesser-known can extract something of an advantage in this situation – again, if he has enough talent to pull it off. 

Anyway, that’s my theory. 

And congratulations to all of you who took the underdog price. 

So what else?

Should the fight date have been moved back? 

I believe so. I’m not talking about three, four, five months. I’m talking about a month or two. Just enough time for Pacquiao to put together more of a game plan. Not to say that it would have made all the difference in the fight, because it would have given Ugas extra time as well. 

In communicating with Sean Gibbons, the president of Pacquiao’s MP Promotions, Manny had to fight and was “comfortable” with Ugas as the opponent, even with short notice.

But there is another angle to look at here. Errol Spence wasn’t necessarily a household word for the casual boxing fan, but Ugas had much less in the way of name recognition. If you’re promoting a fight like this and you’re asking the boutique price of $74.99 on the pay-per-view, the most judicious course of action would be to take some extra time to “sell” the new opponent. 

This promotion was under the auspices of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), as well as Fox Sports. But Pacquiao, by way of the aforementioned MP Promotions, had substantial “back-end” interests just as he did when dealing with Top Rank. So in effect, he’s a co-promoter, as well as the star of the show. 

So he had enough leverage to do it. As a businessman, I’m thinking he may well have left quite a bit of money on the table. 

I’d be interested in seeing a reliably-sourced tally on the pay-per-view take on this fight. 

Will Ugas become boxing’s next “superstar”?

I doubt that. It didn’t work out that way for some of the previous people who beat Pacquiao. Timothy Bradley, who won by a disputed decision the first time around, got two more bouts with Pacquiao and beat Juan Manuel Marquez, but did he become a major draw on his own? Jeff Horn obviously attained lofty status in his homeland of Australia, but on the world stage he sort of came and went, losing to Terence Crawford, Michael Zerafa, and then Tim Tszyu. 

The likelihood is that this win earned Ugas another nice payday, maybe two, but he’ll have to register more victories over recognizable opposition. 

Should Manny Pacquiao retire?

Whether Pacquiao should retire or not is a decision that is entirely up to Pacquiao. His status dictates it. He has put in enough time, generated enough revenue and achieved enough in the way of accomplishment to make that call independently of anyone’s opinion. 

There are so many cries from the media about the need for Pacquaio to hang up the gloves. I don’t know if these people consider themselves the guardians of his “legacy” or not, but it kind of looks like it. He doesn’t need any strategic career advice.

And if it’s a matter of people who are “looking out for his health,” I think Manny Pacquiao is plenty equipped to look after himself. 

I kind of chortle when I see writers droning on and on about how they don’t want to see a famous and /or legendary fighter take too much punishment. Yet they’ll slobber over every would-be contender who is moving up the ranks, seemingly without any awareness that the opponent-types he’s rolled over earlier in his career have probably been taking unnecessary punches for years. 

I don’t notice the concern for the health of THOSE guys. It’s funny the way that works. 

WILL Manny Pacquiao retire?

Those of you who have been around long enough to remember Flash Gordon, a cult figure who published an “insider” newsletter years ago, know that he always referred to someone announcing he’s hanging ’em up as “retired…. until their next fight.”

That’s been a custom in boxing. So excuse me for applying my own rule – that until about five years pass, I remain skeptical. 

Maybe there’s something with big money attached to it that pulls him back. An exhibition with Floyd Mayweather? A fight against an MMA competitor; if not Conor McGregor, then someone else? Who knows. Running for president of the Philippines – as appears to be the running story – requires bankroll. So he can flip on the switch and create some kind of money-maker. 

Who knows.

If and when that happens, those who would urge him to quit for good can just boycott it, right?

Somehow, I don’t think that would be the case.

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Manny Pacquiao: “In My Entire Career, Ugas Was One Of The Easiest Opponents”

Posted on 08/25/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Most of the boxing world was expecting a somewhat vintage performance.

As Manny Pacquiao stepped into the ring this past Saturday night against Yordenis Ugas at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer was pegged as the heavy favorite. With Pacquiao originally scheduled to face Errol Spence Jr. before the unified welterweight titlist was ultimately forced to pull out due to injury, Ugas was mostly considered a step down in competition.

Yet, as the two clashed in front of over 17,000 thousand fans, Pacquiao simply had no answer for the long jab and right hand that Ugas placed in his face all night. While Pacquiao may have suffered the eighth defeat of his career, in no way, shape or form does he consider Ugas one of his more challenging opponents.

“In my entire career, Ugas was one of the easiest opponents,” said Pacquiao during an interview with The Athletic. “He only had one style and I should’ve been able to easily move away.”

Immediately following his defeat, Pacquiao looked both dejected and despondent with what took place. Normally elusive and bouncing up and down on his toes, Pacquiao appeared more stationary than ever before. While he seemed to be in terrific physical shape, Pacquiao pointed to his trustworthy legs as the reason why he lost.

“My two legs were cramping,” said Pacquiao following the loss. “That’s why I can’t move around.”

Pacquiao’s so-called cramping issues proved to be his detriment, as he was forced to sit in the pocket and trade shots with a much larger man. While he was able to throw 815 total shots, he was incredibly inefficient, landing at only a 16% clip. Ugas, on the other hand, was more reserved in his punch output, throwing less than half of Pacquiao’s total, 405. Still, the Cuban native made his punches count as he connected on 37.3% of his total shots.

Although almost no one will fulminate that Pacquiao should have been given the victory, the 42-year-old is still adamant that if his legs were underneath him, the outcome would have been far more different.

“You’ve seen how I have moved in my fighters before. I couldn’t move in this fight. My legs just stopped.”

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Terence Crawford: “Looks Like Errol Spence Jr. Gone Need Me After All”

Posted on 08/23/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford have never quite seen eye to eye. The two welterweight belt holders have failed to hammer out a deal that would see them face off in the ring. They also have a hard time believing that anyone, other than themselves, should be considered the number one 147 pounder in the world.

Despite their differences, both Crawford and Spence Jr. felt the same emotions this past Saturday night.

In front of a crowd of over 17,000 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Yordenis Ugas effectively shocked the world as he outmuscled and overpowered former eight-division world champion, Manny Pacquiao.

As Ugas raised his hand in victory, Spence Jr. replied “man” on his social media account. Shortly after, Crawford wrote “only if” on his. Both fighters appeared to be eluding to missing out on the chance to face Pacquiao in the ring, as the future first-ballot Hall of Famer is pondering retirement.

Earlier this year, Crawford revealed that he was deep in negotiations to face Pacquiao in the Middle East before their deal fell by the wayside. Spence Jr. on the other hand, landed a mega showdown with Pacquiao but was forced to withdraw less than two weeks before their contest due to a torn/detached retina.

With both fighters watching from the sidelines, Crawford decided to look on the bright side.

All along, Spence Jr. had his game plan right in front of him. After taking care of business against Pacquiao, Spence Jr. eyed a long-awaited showdown against Crawford. If the pair weren’t able to work out a deal, then, the Dallas native stated that he would move up in weight, seemingly closing the chapter on their rivalry for good.

Now, however, with both himself and Spence Jr. losing out on the chance to take on Pacquiao, the WBO titlist would love it if the pair finally laced up their gloves and faced off in the ring.

“Looks like Errol Spence Jr. gone need me after all,” said Crawford. “I know you mad about that fight because I was. But not in a hating way, just in a missed opportunity way. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Get well champ.”

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Manny Pacquiao Offers Explanation As To Why He Lost To Yordenis Ugas: “My Two Legs Were Cramping”

Posted on 08/22/2021

By: Hans Themistode

On its face, everything appeared to be the same.

Despite the birth certificate of Manny Pacquiao collecting considerable more dust, the 42-year-old seemed to be in terrific shape. The hard work that the former eight-division world champion endured during a long and arduous training camp, was evident the moment he removed his shirt during Friday’s weigh-ins.

With a chiseled physique and all of the confidence in the world, Pacquiao appeared certain that he would dethrone Yordenis Ugas and reclaim his WBA welterweight title. However, as their showdown was underway, things never went the way Pacquiao envisioned it.

The future first-ballot Hall of Famer struggled with the persistent jab of Ugas, as well as his inside work. Through 12 rounds, Pacquiao stood stoically as all three judges scoring their contest from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, gave the edge to the 35-year-old Cuban.

Immediately following his defeat, Pacquiao reluctantly answered when asked what exactly went wrong. While he did his best not to take away from the victory of Ugas, Pacquiao also offered insight to an injury that prohibited him from taking charge in the ring.

“I’m not saying this is my excuse but my two legs were cramping,” said Pacquiao. “That’s why I cannot move around.”

If Pacquiao was, in fact, hampered, Ugas took full advantage. The former Olympic bronze medalist applied constant pressure throughout but remained disciplined behind the jab. Although Pacquiao attempted to make up for his lack of movement with high volume, throwing more than double the number of punches of his opponent, 815-405, Ugas traded in a high work rate for efficiency.

The Cuban product was more effective in every department. He landed 21.4% of his jabs as compared to the 8.8% of Pacquiao. He also had the edge in power punches. Not only did he outland Pacquiao 101-88, but his percentages in that area far overshadowed that of Pacquiao, 59.1% to 25.9%.

Regardless of Pacquiao pointing a blaming finger in the direction of what he describes as “cramps” he appeared cautious of how he came across.

As the Filipino senator paused to find his words, he seemingly flashed back to the days when issues such as cramps, were nonexistent. With the curtain call on his career possibly upon us, Pacquiao juxtaposed what would have happened if this fight took place approximately a decade ago.

“In my early days, I can easily move and outbox him. This time around, it’s like my two legs were tight and hurting me in the second round until the 12th round. I’m not making excuses but that’s the reason why I can’t move.”

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Manny Pacquiao – The Most Exciting Fighter in PPV History?

Posted on 08/20/2021

By: Hector Franco

We are just one day away from the return of eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) to the squared circle, as he will face Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) for the WBA welterweight championship at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, on FOX Sports PPV.

Initially, Pacquiao was going to take on unified IBF and WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.; however, that was derailed due to Spence suffering from a retinal tear that was later found to be a retinal detachment in his left eye.

Fans and boxing pundits alike were looking forward to Pacquiao-Spence as one of the major events of the year but will have to settle for more of a title defense against Ugas. This isn’t to say that Ugas won’t be a challenge and can’t come out with his hand raised in victory on August 21; however, the intrigue and anticipation have gone down tenfold from where it was beforehand.

Should Pacquiao come out victorious, he will have beaten his own record as the oldest welterweight champion in history and the only 5-time welterweight champion.

Regardless of the outcome, August 21 may be the last time the boxing world sees Pacquiao in a boxing ring. Nearing 43 and a probable presidential run in his native Philippines, the Filipino senator, may not be able to make room in his life for the sweet science anymore.

“This could be my last fight, or there could be more,” Pacquiao said during the Grand Arrivals press conference at the T-Mobile Arena. “I’m turning 43 in December, and my plan has always been to just go one fight at a time. I encourage the fans all over the world to watch this fight because you never know.”

The match with Ugas will be Pacquiao’s 26th fight on Pay-Per-View (PPV) as the headliner. Since 2005, Pacquiao has sold over 20 million buys on PPV, generating $1.2 billion in revenue. He is second only to Floyd Mayweather in total earnings on PPV as the undefeated and divisive pugilist turned promoter made upwards of 25 million in PPV buys, generating over $1.7 billion in revenue over 17 fights.

While Pacquiao may not have been the biggest PPV attraction of all time, and it is contentious if he is the greatest PPV fighter of all time, what is not up for debate is that he is without question the most exciting fighter in PPV history.

When it came to fans getting what they paid for on a consistent basis on PPV, it’s hard to imagine anyone surpassing the eight-division champion. Only Mike Tyson and, to a lesser extent, Evander Holyfield, have an argument for consideration.

But the number of memorable moments and Fight-of-the-Year candidates Pacquiao participated in on PPV make this somewhat of a blowout for the Filipino.

Starting in March 2005, when Pacquiao took on Hall-of-Famer and four-division champion Erik Morales, it was easily one of the best fights of the entire year, only behind the first Diego Corrales-Jose Luis Castillo bout.

Pacquiao would famously drop a decision to Morales in their first encounter; however, the following year in January 2006, in another exciting match, the Filipino would get his revenge, stopping Morales in the 10th round.

Pacquiao-Morales 2 would be remembered for the action inside the ring, but most notably in the crowd, you can see Floyd Mayweather openly rooting for Pacquiao. Mayweather likely put a bundle of money on the Filipino, but the visual of Pacquiao having his future rival cheering him on stands out.

Pacquiao would ultimately fight Morales three times, selling over 1 million in PPV buys overall.

The next significant test on PPV for Pacquiao came in a rematch with his fiercest rival, Juan Manuel Marquez, in March 2008. Their second fight would be the first of their four eventual battles that would be on PPV.

Arguably, the second meeting between Pacquiao and Marquez may have been the best of their quartet of fights, with both fighters in their prime competing for the number one spot in the junior lightweight division.

Pacquiao would escape with a narrow split decision over Marquez with a knockdown in the third round, making the difference on the judge’s scorecards.

At the time, Pacquiao-Marquez 2 was the highest-grossing PPV event for a fight under the welterweight division selling 400,000 PPV buys.

Once again, a Pacquiao PPV fight was only surpassed for Fight of the Year honors by another all-time great bout, this time in the third fight between Israel Vasquez and Rafael Marquez.

2008 was a paramount year for the fighting Senator, as it would change him from being known as an exciting international fighter to a bona fide box office superstar.

Following the fight with Marquez, Pacquiao would make a pit-stop at lightweight, stopping 1996 Olympian David Diaz in nine rounds in what many still believe is one of the Filipino’s finest performances.

In December 2008, Pacquiao took a calculated risk and moved up two weight classes to take on Oscar De La Hoya at welterweight. Beforehand, De La Hoya was awaiting a rematch with Mayweather, even going as far as taking on Steve Forbes in a 150-pound catchweight bout in preparation.

Mayweather would temporarily retire, possibly to get out of a contract that forced him to rematch De la Hoya, allowing for Pacquiao to get an opportunity against the then PPV king.

To this day, Pacquiao still considers his fight with De La Hoya the most vital to his career.

“The fight that had the biggest impact on my career was against Oscar De La Hoya,” Pacquiao stated to The Sun. “Everything changed for me after that one.”

De La Hoya-Pacquiao would end up being a passing of the torch moment in the sport as the six-division champion would retire and become a full-time promoter. With the fight selling 1.25 million PPV buys, it was still up in the air whether Pacquiao would be able to become a PPV star on his own.

“The king is dead,” stated HBO’s Larry Merchant in the post-fight broadcast of De La Hoya-Pacquiao. “At least the king of box office in boxing. And the new king is here. I don’t know if Americans will respond to Manny Pacquiao the way they have to Oscar De La Hoya. And we have to move on to whatever is next.

“Manny Pacquiao is a fire that can’t be put out.”

Pacquiao would follow the De La Hoya fight with wins over Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto in 2009 that further cemented him as a PPV star. He was also recognized then as the best fighter in the world, pound-for-pound.

The second-round knockout over Hatton was the most significant knockout of Pacquiao’s career. To follow it up with another magnificent performance over Miguel Cotto to win titles in a record-breaking seventh division only catapulted the Filipino’s name further on the world stage, making him a household name.

2008 and 2009 were pivotal in Pacquiao being awarded the Fighter of the Decade award in 2010 for his accomplishments through 2000-2009.

Throughout the 2010s, Pacquiao would continue to entertain on PPV. The headlines in the 2010s were primarily consumed with anticipation of a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather. However, before and after that fight eventually took place in May 2015, Pacquiao participated in numerous memorable contests.

In 2010 in what may have been the last time Pacquiao was at his absolute peak, he took on the infamous Antonio Margarito for the vacant WBC junior middleweight title. Pacquiao would be outweighed by almost 20-pounds en route to dominating and permanently damaging the Mexican’s right eye to win a record-breaking title in eight weight classes.

The fourth fight with rival Juan Manuel Marquez at the time induced more groans than cheers from fans when first announced for December 2012. However, the two legends proved everyone wrong, providing arguably the most action-packed fight of their four-fight series ending in a dramatic sixth-round knockout in favor of Marquez.

The fourth fight with Marquez won Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year and Knockout of the Year in 2012, selling 1.15 million PPV buys.

From 2008 to 2012, Pacquiao participated in nine fights in a row that would generate over 700,000 buys on PPV. Six of which sold over 1 million buys.

The loss to Marquez signified a downturn in PPV sales for Pacquiao. He would only reach sales above 500,000 again in his second fight with Timothy Bradley in 2014 and the momentous fight with Mayweather in 2015 that sold over 4 million PPVs.

While the sales numbers may have been down for Pacquiao, the level of competition stayed at a high level with fights against Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Adrien Broner, and Keith Thurman all on PPV.

Currently sitting as a -355 favorite over Ugas on the betting odds, Pacquiao maintains his passion for boxing with the opportunity to leave the sport as one of its top practitioners.

“If he wins this fight, I think it’s also one of the best exits that we’ve ever seen at 42 years old,” stated former opponent Keith Thurman during a Fox Sports broadcast.

After almost two decades and over 20 fights on PPV, Pacquiao remains a guarantee that he will give the fans their money’s worth.

In today’s era, it’s easy to be forgetful and dismissive of how crucial it is to be in fights that fans will remember. Boxing is a sport, but also entertainment. It takes fighting and turns it into an art form for our viewing pleasure.

As French painter, Georges Braque once stated, “Art is a wound turned to light.”

The violence and passion Pacquiao brings every time he steps in the ring has left him with many wounds, but left fans with memories they will never forget.

“I never imagined what I would have accomplished in boxing from the beginning of my career leading up to now,” said Pacquiao at the final press conference for the bout with Ugas. “I went from nothing to something in order to be an inspiration for people both inside and outside of the ring.

“This is going to be a good action fight, and I’m going to my best Saturday night because I love to make the fans happy.”

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Manny Pacquiao: 146, Yordenis Ugas: 147, Title Fight Officially On

Posted on 08/20/2021

By: Hans Themistode

With the biggest fight of his life taking place in approximately 24 hours, Yordenis Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) made sure he tipped the scales in appropriate shape.

Despite the Cuban-born native getting the call to face Manny Pacquiao on 11 days’ notice due to Errol Spence Jr. being forced to pull out due to injury, the 35-year-old was already in the midst of training camp as he prepared to make an appearance on the card against Fabian Maidana.

The WBA welterweight titleholder removed his shirt in front of a jam-packed Las Vegas, crowd and revealed his ripped physique. He then stepped onto the scales and officially weighed in at 147 pounds.

Following his weigh-in, the crowd erupted as Pacquiao made his way to the stage. The former eight-division world champion flexed as he removed his shirt. Like always, Pacquiao had little to no trouble with his weight as he checked in at 146 pounds.

With both men making weight, the pair will now battle it out at the T-Mobile Arena in what many believe could be Pacquiao’s last fight. The future first-ballot Hall of Famer is rumored to be eyeing a presidential run in his homeland of the Philippines, where he currently holds a political seat as a senator.

While Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) was hoping to share the ring with Spence Jr., the unified welterweight champion was deemed unfit to face Pacquiao due to a torn/detached retina in his left eye. Regardless of his disappointment, Pacquiao was immediately motivated to face Ugas.

After snagging the WBA 147 pound title from Keith Thurman in July of 2019, Pacquiao remained inactive for a protracted amount of time. Due to his failure to defend his title in over two years, Pacquiao was stripped of his championship status and Ugas, who held the WBA “Regular” championship, was then elevated to full titleholder.

All along, once given the news that Spence Jr. would be unable to compete, Pacquiao saw this as an opportunity to clear up the mess created by the WBA sanctioning body.

“I didn’t like that someone took my belt without challenging me in the ring,” said Pacquiao. “We’ll settle it in the ring.”

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PacMan Is The Favorite, But There Are A Lot Of Ways You Can Bet

Posted on 08/20/2021

By: Charles Jay

Manny Pacquiao gets back into the ring after a couple of years as he takes on Yordenis Ugas for the WBA welterweight title. It’s scheduled for twelve rounds on Saturday night, coming from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The price through Fox Pay-Per-View is $74.99, and yes, you can bellyache about it all you want, but we’re concerned about other “prices.” 

A lot of people are asking by now, “Pacquiao vs. WHO-gas?” But it’s one thing to make a joke or two. It’s no joke when you’ve got money on the line. 

And that’s why the opinions of “experts” don’t mean as much if there isn’t any cash behind it. 

So on what basis can that cash be wagered? Well, for some of the propositions that are on the table, there is relative consensus. But on others, there’s some disparity to take note of.

Yordenis Ugas may be unknown to most of the general public – at least relative to the original opponent, Errol Spence – but he is not being totally disrespected by the betting public.

Pacquiao is the favorite, to be sure, but the prices we’ve seen vary. The worst price we’ve seen on him (i.e., the worst for those looking to back him), which isn’t part of a peer-to-peer exchange is -567 at a British-based sportsbook (we’re not directing you away or toward any individual book). 

The best value we have found on Pacquiao is -330 (which means you will lay $3.30 for every dollar you hope to earn). And then there are a lot of prices of -350 out there. In fact, between -350 and -400, that’s where most of the prices can be found. 

As far as Ugas is concerned, there isn’t a whole lot of room between the high and low. The best price we have seen on him is +300, and that is posted at a lot of sportsbooks. And it goes as low as +260 in a number of places as well. So mostly everything else is positioned in between those numbers. 

There are other kinds of bets, obviously. You can wager on the TOTAL ROUNDS the fight will go. And even though there are outlets at which the number can be adjusted, the most popular total on the fight is 10.5 rounds. 

You may believe the fight is going the distance, or very close to it. If you do, you are looking at an “Over,” and the best price on that, as far as what we’ve observed, is -200. So the betting public “favors” this bout going some rounds. And to give you some perspective, the price that offers the lowest payback is -265, which we have found at a few sportsbooks. 

When it comes to the “Under” (at 10.5 rounds), the worst you’ll get is just +140, but there are better numbers for you out there. We’ve actually seen +215, and if you are following along a little, you’ll see that there is a “scalp” available, which happens when you can take a price that is higher than the price you’d have to lay – on the same bet (referring to the -200 on the “Over” we referred to above). 

Obviously, those bets aren’t with the same sportsbook. You’ll have to do your own shopping, unfortunately; we aren’t going to direct you on how to execute the scalp. 

If you want a greater degree of exactitude, you can wager on the fight to GO THE DISTANCE. Prices range from -162 to -187 to do just that, and from +125 to +138 to end earlier. 

There is a distinction between total rounds and ROUND BETTING, which consists of a wager on the exact round in which the fight will end. 

We’re not going to go over every round and the odds that correspond to it. But we will tell you that in Round 8, you can get as high as 18-1 (+1800) on him to end the fight then. 

And of course, you can bet on him to score a first-round knockout. The consensus price on this is +5000 (50-1), but you can get as high as +6600 on it. 

To sum up things for Ugas, you can place a wager on him to win in any individual round from six (6) to ten (10), and for that you can get odds of 66-1 up to 100-1 on all of them, depending on what sportsbook you visit. 

When you wager on the EXACT RESULT you are combining two events – a winner of the fight and usually whether the fight will end inside the distance. 

So for example, you can wager on Pacquiao by decision (this also might include the instance of a technical decision), and what you’d be looking at is something between +110 and +120, in most cases. And if you like Pacquiao to end the fight inside the 12-round distance (or win by disqualification), and for that, you’ll get a better price. We’re seeing a range between +160 and +180. 

For Ugas to win by a decision, we’re looking at around +450on the high end, and, if you don’t shop around enough, you could find yourself as low as +350. As far as him winning by a KO, TKO or DQ, that can go as high as 14-1 (+1400) or as low as 9-1 (+900).

It can be sage thinking to do the exact result wager, particularly in those instances when you feel very strongly about the favorite because instead of laying a price, you are suddenly taking it.

Remember, as always, that odds can change leading up to the bout, and customarily this happens a lot in the 24 hours or so prior to the bout, as more money comes in. 

And good luck!

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Manny Pacquiao: “If You’re Fighting A Right Handed Fighter But Now It Switches To A Southpaw, It’s Getting Hard For Me, I Would Think Twice”

Posted on 08/20/2021

By: Hans Themistode

After spending numerous months prepping to take on Errol Spence Jr., Manny Pacquiao was taken aback when he was given the news.

The current unified welterweight champion was forced to pull out of their August 21st, showdown due to a torn/detached retina in his left eye. Immediately taking his place is WBA titleholder, Yordenis Ugas.

Their physical dimensions are almost identical. Both Ugas and Spence Jr. stand at 5’9, while their arm reach is fairly similar with Spence Jr. having the edge by three inches. In terms of their fighting styles, both fighters are a bit analogous in that department as well, especially from close quarters.

The biggest difference between Spence Jr. and Ugas, is their fighting stance. With the Cuban native fighting as an orthodox fighter and Spence Jr. as a southpaw, Pacquiao is somewhat relieved with how things played out.

“It’s a matter of two days to adjust,” said Pacquiao during an interview with Mike Coppinger of ESPN. “It’s not hard to adjust because we’ve been fighting right-handed fighters. It would be harder if it was the other way around.”

Pacquiao’s admittance that going from an orthodox fighter to a southpaw is difficult, comes as little to no surprise. While the Filippo native has aggregated over 25 years of experience in the ring, the former eight-division world champion has failed to face a left-hander since 2008 against David Diaz, a fighter he ultimately stopped in the ninth round.

In Ugas, Pacquiao faces an aggressive come forward fighter but one who he’s comfortable fighting on short notice due to his extended history facing orthodox opponents. If for some reason, Pacquiao was originally scheduled to face a right-handed fighter and was now forced to switch game plans to a left-hander, he admits that he would have shown far more reluctance in accepting a fight under those circumstances.

“If you’re fighting a right-handed fighter but now it switches to a southpaw, it’s getting hard for me. I would think twice.”

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Manny Pacquiao: “I Didn’t Like That Someone Took My Belt Without Challenging Me In The Ring”

Posted on 08/19/2021

By: Hans Themistode

LAS VEGAS, NV – AUG 18: Manny Pacquiao and Yordenis Ugas at a press conference at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on August 18, 2021 for their upcoming Fox Sports PBC pay-per-view fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquaio vs Ugas pay-per-view will be on August 21 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Scott Kirkland/Fox Sports/PictureGroup)

There isn’t much that can get under the skin of Manny Pacquiao. Even as the former eight-division world champion stood stoically as past opponents have ripped and ridiculed him to no end, the now 42-year-old has simply continued to smile and heap praise on his antagonists.

While the Filipino native has kept most of his fights purely business, he’s openly admitted that for his upcoming showdown against Yordenis Ugas, he has a bone to pick with him.

“I didn’t like that someone took my belt without challenging me in the ring,” said Pacquiao during the final press conference for his matchup against Ugas this coming Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In July of 2019, Pacquiao stepped into the ring against then WBA welterweight champion, Keith Thurman. After flooring his man in the opening round, Pacquiao grinded out a close split decision win.

Although he picked up the victory, Pacquiao admitted that Thurman gave him one of the most challenging fights of his career, even going as far as to say that Thurman hit as hard as former opponent, Antonio Margarito, a notoriously heavy-handed fighter.

Pacquiao’s normally active schedule was then placed on hold as he took the rest of 2019 off and the entirety of 2020. Ugas, on the other hand, kept active in that period. He reeled off three straight victories in that time frame, including a split decision over Abel Ramos for the WBA “Regular” title.

Just a few months later, Pacquiao saw his title reign truncated as he was stripped of his championship and instead, placed as “Champion in Recess.” Ugas was then subsequently elevated to full titleholder.

Originally, Pacquiao attempted to regain his championship status as his team wrote a letter to the WBA sanctioning body. With the 42-year-old preparing to take on WBC/IBF champion Errol Spence Jr., the Filipino native was seeking to make their contest a full unification. Yet, with the WBA formally turning Pacquiao down, he brushed their unwillingness to crown him under the rug and proceeded to prepare for his matchup against Spence Jr.

With less than two weeks remaining until their showdown, however, Spence Jr. was forced to pull out due to a torn/detached retina in his left eye. Already planning to make an appearance on the card in the co-main event against Fabian Maidana, Ugas was offered to move into the spotlight to take on Pacquiao in the main event on the night, something he accepted with no hesitation.

Now, with both men set to square off, Pacquiao is excited to put to bed the ever confusing question of who is the WBA welterweight champion?

“Both of us are champions, but we’ll see who has the belt after Saturday.”

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