There was just one big card dominating all of the boxing headlines this past weekend. It was the return of a legend, it was supposed to be a triumphant return that either was a swansong or set up one last mega-fight before walking away. However, one man who is no stranger to being a last-minute replacement ruined all of that. As Yordenis Ugas finally got the career-defining victory that long evaded him. Ugas’s dominant 12 round UD victory of the iconic Manny Pacquiao, propels him to the elite of the elite in the welterweight division moved his record to 27-4, solidifies him as the legitimate WBA Champion, whatever than means, and makes him our Fighter of the Week award winner.
Ugas stepped into the ring a sizeable underdog but among hardcores’ a very live underdog but was going to have to be able to deal with the speed and firepower of Manny Pacquiao and his speed and combination carried the opening stanza for him. However, Ugas found answers in the second and moving forward landing perfect counter right hands that kept Pacquiao at bay. The ab from Ugas stabilized Pacquiao, who couldn’t overcome the reach disadvantage and came up short time and again and would then eat a counter right hand, while Ugas was landing cleaner shots but was reserved in his punch output. Seemingly falling behind on the cards early on, the former 8 division world champ came firing back and rocked Ugas with right hands and closed out his best round of the fight with a three punch combination just before the bell. Ugas was not phased and got back to firing the stick and closed out an uneventful sixth round by landing a big right hand. The Cuban would dominate the seventh and eighth before Pacquiao rallied for a closer ninth round. However, the writing was on the wall, and Ugas closed out the final three rounds landing thudding right hands and answering everything Pacquiao offered up securing the unanimous decision by scores of 116-112 x2 and a much, much to close 115-113.
Ugas has long been on the outside of the welterweight bubble looing in. Just on the outside of the elite discussion, in the sports other glamour division. The impressive victory at the T-Mobil Arena removes any doubt and puts the Cuban squarely in the discussion among the best welterweights in the world. He is now in a really good shot to call his next fight which will be a massive draw and big money fight. His options will include a rematch with Pacquiao, who is hinting at coming back, or a rematch with Showtime Shawn Porter who narrowly and controversially beat Ugas by split decision in 2019 or a fight with Errol Spence. Spence called the winner of the Pacquiao-Ugas fight when he had to pull out due to a torn retina. All fights have massive appeal are easily makeable, are winnable for Ugas, and will come along with a massive payday.