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Ugas upsets Pacquiao, retains belt in a signature win against a legend


PhilBoxing.com




LAS VEGAS - To be a legend, you have to beat the legend. Yordenis Ugas did just that and he hits the big time in the Fight Capital of the world and the glitzy lights of Las Vegas. It was the biggest victory of his career, defeating Filipino ring legend Manny Pacquiao in a 12 round Unanimous Decision with scores of 115-113 and two scores of 116-112 from the three judges at ringside of a packed T-Mobile Arena.

A big 4:1 underdog and a late replacement against one of boxing’s most decorated fighter, the former Olympian bronze medalist shocked the world when he executed a masterful performance against Pacquiao to retain the disputed title that was awarded to him and stripped from Pacquiao by the World Boxing Association (WBA).

The crafty Cuban utilized his biggest asset on the veteran boxing icon- his lengthy reach and an authoritative right hand. He peppered his opponent with jabs that stopped Pacquiao from his aggressive attacks. He followed that jab with right hook and right straight that scored heavily. His looping right hook was on point and it swayed Pacquiao’s head back when it hits.

A fast starter, Pacquiao moved in quickly in the initial round, he unloaded brisk combinations with the aim of catching Ugas early. He landed but not solid enough to surprise the champion.

Ugas set the tempo of the fight in the 2nd round, he jabbed, double jabbed and then unloaded his right hand in what has been the theme of the night.

Despite getting caught early, Pacquiao did not halt his assault on the Cuban champion. He would jab and lunge in to get close to his tall and lengthy opponent. He threw rapid combinations that has been his trademark in his last 71 fights. But he would pay dearly for his aggression because Ugas did not rattle under his constant pressure and countered effectively and strongly.

There was an eerie silence and uneasiness from the crowd by the middle of the fight. Pacquiao was still fast but not lightning fast anymore, he was slowing down as the fight progresses. He was still throwing rapid punches but it was not hard enough to present any danger to Ugas. He hurt him briefly in the 10th, but the Cuban wisely held Pacquiao to stop further incursion from the Filipino

Pacquiao isn’t dominating and worse, he is getting hit plenty and squarely in the head, in the face and the body. It was a stark contrast to his last outing against Keith Thurman in 2019 in this same city.

Ugas finished the fight strong in the 12th, his right hand was a moneymaker for him against a favored ring legend and a crowd of 17,000 plus that expected to see him get slaughtered by the great Pacquiao. As the fight gets close to the end, Ugas sensed the upset already. He did a shoulder shimmy in the final seconds of the bout in a final show of confidence and domination.

Yordenis Ugas, a last minute replacement, a massive underdog, a name not recognized outside the boxing world managed to do the impossible. He beat a legend.

You can reach the author at rrmaze24@aol.com.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rich Mazon .


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