Pacquiao lost! The drama of a 42-year-old legend at the very end of his career
In the early morning of August 22 Moscow time in Las Vegas (Nevada, USA), a professional boxing tournament ended, which had the status of one of the most anticipated boxing shows of the summer. And the reason for such a stir around him lay in only one person – the ex-world champion in eight weight categories Manny Pacquiao . The Filipino returned to the ring after 25 months of inactivity. Initially, his rival was to be WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence . But the American faced health problems. Nonetheless, the organizers of the show saved the fight for Manny, picking up a replacement in the person of WBA Super World Champion Yordenis Ugas , who was supposed to play on the undercard with Pacquiao and Spence.
Taking into account the change of the opponent, Pacman has ceased to be an outsider among the bookmakers. On the contrary, he received the status of a clear favorite. Yes, age and a long downtime played against the Filipino. Still, the level of skill, colossal experience and, of course, status, forced many experts to bet on Manny. Recall that he spent the previous fight already in July 2019, having managed to defeat at that time the WBA Super welterweight champion Keith Thurman. Thanks to this, he became then the oldest champion in welterweight history. Today he had a chance to update his own achievement.
But Ugas had his own plans. The 35-year-old Cuban had to finally make himself known. Over the years of his career, he has always been underestimated. And he received the status of the WBA champion with the Super prefix only as a result of the bureaucracy of the World Boxing Association, and not in the ring, and before that he only owned the WBA Regular belt. So the boxer from Liberty Island had something to prove.
With the entry of the boxers into the ring, it was noticeable that Ugas had a noticeable advantage in size. However, this 42-year-old Pacquiao was definitely not intimidated. Over the course of his more than 20-year career, he often fought very large boxers and managed to break them. And now, from the first minutes, he began to work as the first number.
I must say that it turned out quite well. Manny skillfully went into close range and punched his trademark multi-hit combinations. But even at the start of the fight, it was noticeable that the speed of the Filipino was far from the same, and the proprietary shuttle from Pakman was not seen as often as always. The Filipino took pauses and waited, but due to the not very high activity of Ugas, they managed to take the first quarter of the fight. Yordenis acted at a low pace, and even received a reprimand from the referee for hitting below the belt. The Cuban hit too often on the edge. However, it also had its own successful episodes. Pacquiao especially suffered from punches from the right, which pierced his defense over and over again. In the fourth round, the Filipino took on too much.
In the next three minutes, Manny decided to hack to death, but Ugas accepted the challenge, as a result, the audience saw a very bright segment. Well, then Yordenis gradually began to take the initiative into his own hands. His strong jab was a real test for the 42-year-old Pakman. Thanks to him, he skillfully kept his opponent at a distance. In addition, Pacquiao increasingly began to miss weighty punches from the right. Manny remained active and threw a lot of punches, but Yordenis was much more effective.
So, in the eighth round, the judges probably most of all remembered two powerful blows to the right of the Cuban. In the ninth segment, Pacman’s fans could even have a heart beat, their favorite was on the canvas, but the referee figured out the episode. Manny just slipped. In the tenth three minutes, the annoying right hand again disturbed the Filipino, so much so that he chattered, nevertheless, even at 42 he withstood a tough attack. The ex-champion in eight categories also tried to look for happiness in the attack, but it seemed that Pacquiao’s punching power did not become a serious problem for Ugas. In the 11th round, Yordenis again and again opened up the enemy’s defense with punches from the right.
The final three minutes passed in the cut. Fading away, fearing that Manny’s activity could negate all his efforts, went ahead and attacked a lot. Pacman tried to maintain that pace. But the Cuban also looked better in these episodes. Together with the final bell, both boxers threw up their hands in triumph. It was felt that the waiting for the announcement of the verdict for Ugas became really tense. But in the end, all the judges gave the victory to him – 115: 113, 116: 112, 116: 112, which was natural.
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Yes, Pacquiao hit twice as often (threw over 800 punches) and tried his best, but at the same time he was half as accurate. Manny’s hit rate this time was disastrous. The boxing legend did not dispute the defeat, but simply said that he did “everything he could”.
“This is boxing. It was not easy for me, I made adjustments. My legs were very tense. I’m sorry that I lost. But I did everything I could, ”said Manny after the fight. For his fans, it all looked like a real drama.
Well, perhaps the defeat from Ugas will still be the catalyst that will make the Filipino understand that it’s time to retire. There is no doubt that in the old days he would have crushed Yordenis, but now Pakman’s best time is over. Unfortunately, the end of a career turns out to be unsuccessful and how can you not remember the simple truth that you need to leave on time.
Be that as it may, Manny deserves only admiration and praise. To hack to death at 42, as he hacked to death in a fight with Ugas, is beyond the power of almost anyone. Thanks for your career, Pacman!