Yordenis Ugas defeats boxing legend Manny Pacquiao to retain WBA championship
Taking a fight against a boxing legend on just about two weeks’ notice, Yordenis Ugas pulled off an amazing upset by defeating Manny Pacquiao in an ultimately close, but unanimous decision to retain the WBA (Super) welterweight championship.
This bout was supposed to be Pacquiao challenging IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., but Spence was injured earlier this month, elevating Ugas into this main event matchup.
This marks Pacquiao’s first fight in two years, last competing in July 2019, where he dropped Keith Thurman and went on to score a split-decision victory to become the new WBA (Super) welterweight champion.
He was stripped of the belt due to inactivity in January, having never defended the title — thanks, at least in part, to the coronavirus pandemic. The WBA named Pacquiao “champion in recess.”
At the time of challenging Thurman, Pacquiao was WBA (Regular) welterweight champion. Ugas claimed that title with a split-decision win over Abel Ramos in September. Upon the stripping of Pacquiao, Ugas was declared the new “Super” champion.
Twitter gives props to Yordenis Ugas, Manny Pacquiao after Ugas won by decision to retain WBA (Super) welterweight title
After a feel-out first round, Ugas worked his jab well and landed some notable body shots in the second round. The third and fourth were close and could have fallen either way, with the two doing some trading in the middle of the ring.
By the halfway mark, neither man seemed to be standing out and be firmly in the lead. Pacquiao landed several good shots in the seventh round, but Ugas continued to work his jab well and give Pacquiao some difficulty with his rhythm.
Pacquiao had a better time with his output in the ninth round, but Ugas continued to give him issues. Pacquiao threw all he could in the 10th, but Ugas didn’t seem to be slowing down.
Ugas seemed to take the 11th round off but fired off as much as he could in the 12th, completely outpacing Pacquiao for the final three minutes and leaving what could be a controversial decision in the judges’ hands.
All three judges ended up scoring the bout for Ugas, with two totaling 116-112 and the third scoring the bout 115-113.