Yordenis Ugas bludgeoned Manny Pacquiao ever nearer to retirement on Saturday, upsetting the veteran Filipino boxing icon with a complete defeat.
In his first struggle after a two-year absence from the ring, Pacquiao was made to look each little bit of his 42 years because the youthful Ugas dominated with a stinging jab and cleaner punching to retain his WBA welterweight crown at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena.
Ugas, 35, had solely been drafted in to face Pacquiao earlier this month after the eight-division world champion’s unique opponent Errol Spence Jr, suffered a watch harm in coaching.
But the defending champion from Cuba seized his alternative brilliantly to win on all three playing cards, with one choose scoring it 115-113 and two others 116-112.
A deflated Pacquiao mentioned afterwards he’ll take his time earlier than deciding on his future, however admitted the boxing world could nicely have seen him within the ring for the final time.
“In the future you may not see Manny Pacquiao fight in the ring,” Pacquiao mentioned. “I’ve finished so much for boxing and boxing has finished so much for me. I sit up for spending time with my household and desirous about my future in boxing.
“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 the champion tonight is still Ugas.”
It was a candy victory for Ugas, who had been awarded the WBA title after Pacquiao was stripped of the belt by the sanctioning physique earlier this 12 months for inactivity.
“We only had two weeks of training but I listened to my corner and it all worked out,” mentioned Ugas, who improves to 27-Four with 12 knockouts.
“I’m a warrior. I’ve been doing this since I used to be six years outdated. I knew deep down inside he wasn’t going to beat me tonight. I felt it coming to the struggle and that is what occurred.
“I need to thank Manny Pacquiao for sharing the ring with me. He’s a legend, one of many biggest fighters that ever lived.
“I’ll always respect him not only as a great fighter but outside the ring.”
Pacquiao’s coach Freddie Roach additionally thinks the loss might nudge the Filipino into retirement.
“I’ll hate to see the day Manny retires, but this could be it. We’ll see what Manny decides,” Roach mentioned.
If Saturday’s struggle seems to be his final, Pacquiao can have few complaints in regards to the eighth defeat of a profession that has encompassed 72 fights spanning 26 years since 1995.
Although the Filipino was aggressive all through, advancing with flurries of punches from the opening spherical, few of his blows inflicted vital injury on Ugas, who cleverly used his benefits in reach and top to frustrate Pacquiao.
Ugas in the meantime scored persistently with crisper punches that usually rocked Pacquiao again on his heels.
Ugas’s jolting left jab brought about issues for Pacquiao all through, and he repeatedly did injury with a collection of highly effective rights.
After a cagey opening spherical, Ugas shortly asserted himself within the center rounds, startling Pacquiao with a left-right mixture within the fifth earlier than ending the sixth with one other onerous proper.
A T-Mobile crowd of 17,438 tried to rally Pacquiao with chants of “Manny, Manny” all through however the Filipino’s legion of admirers grew steadily extra subdued because the rounds wore on.
Pacquiao, with a cluster of purple marks on his cheek and brow a testomony to Ugas’s growing accuracy and effectiveness, continued to come back ahead as he sought a giant spherical to vary the complexion of the competition.
But Ugas wouldn’t be denied, and he had Pacquiao scrambling onto the defensive as soon as once more after touchdown a double left jab and a proper hook in fast succession within the 10th, earlier than closing out the ultimate rounds to win.
The Cuban fighter’s higher accuracy was mirrored within the post-fight stats, which revealed that Pacquiao landed simply 130 of a complete of 815 punches thrown. Ugas landed 151 of 405 thrown.