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Manny shrugs off Ugas’ tactics


PhilBoxing.com




LAS VEGAS. In a typical class act, Manny Pacquiao declined to comment on the underhanded tactics that WBA welterweight super champion Yordenis Ugas employed in hacking out a win by unanimous decision to retain his crown at the T-Mobile Arena here Saturday night.

In the first round, Pacquiao motioned to Ugas to keep his punches up and before the bell to end the stanza, the Cuban pushed him down to the canvas in a crass show of physicality. Referee Russell Mora stepped in to warn Ugas for another low blow in the second. Another low blow by Ugas in the fifth should’ve prompted Mora to deduct a point but was let go. In the ninth, Ugas pushed Pacquiao down once more. And whenever Pacquiao worked his way close to within striking distance, Ugas did his version of a slow drag with a tight embrace.

MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons said Mora, working his second Pacquiao fight after Adrien Broner, should’ve taken a point away from Ugas “after 10 low blows and his rough stuff.” Pacquiao smiled through Ugas’ tactics and even held out his gloves in a gesture of sportsmanship after every foul. Once, before the bell rang to start a round, Ugas fired, Pacquiao smiled and extended his arm to touch gloves.

Ugas’ history has been marked by violations. Against John Williams in 2013, he was docked a point for a low blow. In 2017, Ugas was deducted a point for a low blow in a fight against Levan Ghvamichava. Against Omar Figueroa in 2019, a point was taken from Ugas for holding. Ugas wasn’t exactly clean in imposing his physicality on Pacquiao. He outmuscled Pacquiao in close quarters, using his elbows and shoulders to wear down the smaller challenger. Stats showed Ugas enjoyed a two-inch advantage in reach but ringside commentators mentioned at least a six-inch edge in terms of arm length.

Asked to comment on Ugas’ style, Pacquiao said he wasn’t surprised. But the problem was he couldn’t move like before because of tightness in both legs. He said he was prepared to battle Ugas on even terms but was hampered by the lack of mobility in his legs. Without movement, it was difficult for Pacquiao to create angles and find the opening to land. He couldn’t engage a bigger, taller and longer fighter straight up without movement. That made it impossible to execute his fight plan.

“With good legs and if the fight were held two years ago, it would’ve been a different outcome,” said Gibbons. “I agree the Senator was a class act to not bring up Ugas’ dirty tactics. Ugas’ style ended up being very bad for the Senator’s style and it didn’t mesh as it made for a difficult fight. The length and size just weren’t good.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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