Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has been toppled by Cuban Yordenis Ugas in their world title welterweight showdown.
Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has been defeated by Cuban Yordenis Ugas in their world title showdown at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
Ugas dominated the second half of the thrilling main event bout, securing victory via unanimous decision with the judges scoring the fight 115-113, 116-112, 116-112.
Pacquiao was a heavy favourite with bookmakers heading into the clash and making Ugas’ win even more impressive, the WBA welterweight champion was given just 11 days’ notice for the fight after Erroll Spence was forced out of the main event with an eye injury.
Pacquiao subsequently suffered just the eighth defeat of his professional career and his first since a loss to Jeff Horn in 2017.
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“It was a hard time, making an adjustment about his style and I think that was the problem for me because I didn’t make an adjustment,” Pacquiao said post-fight about the short notice on his change of opponent.
When asked if he would fight again, 42-year-old Pacquiao responded: “I don’t know. Let me rest first and relax and make a decision if I continue to fight.”
How the fight unfolded
Pacquiao walked to the ring with Survivor’s classic hit “Eye of the Tiger” blaring throughout the venue.
The opening round got underway with Pacquiao delivering a flurry of body shots, but Ugas quickly responded with a pair of well-directed jabs.
Pacquiao was undeniably quicker than his rival, but the Cuban wasn’t afraid to take advantage of his long reach and fire in some vicious jabs.
Ugas persisted with the jabs in the second round, but the 35-year-old seemingly had little else in his arsenal as Pacquiao struggled to close the distance.
The Cuban had a 39 per cent success rate with his punches in the opening two rounds, while Pacquiao was only at 17 per cent.
Pacquiao’s blistering hand speed came to the fore in the third round, which the Filipino icon dominated with a series of quick punches.
In the fourth round, boos echoed around the venue when the bout was halted after Pacquiao copped an innocuous low blow. The 42-year-old showed signs of fatigue late in the fourth round, with some swelling forming around his right eye.
Pacquiao refused to take a backwards step as the contest entered a fifth round, throwing almost double the punches as Ugas had attempted according to the broadcast.
Ugas started to take control of the bout in the sixth round as his jab remained an effective method of gradually wearing down his opponent.
The Cuban started putting together more damaging combinations in the seventh round – boxing pundits claiming the fight was evenly-poised at the halfway mark.
Pacquiao couldn’t find an answer for Ugas’ disciplined methods as the bout entered an eighth round, with fatigue starting to take its toll on the boxing legend.
The welterweight showdown was on a knife’s edge as the ninth round drew to a close, Pacquiao needing to muster a miracle in the final stages of the contest.
The Las Vegas crowd howled with delight as the fighters desperately threw wild punches in the 10th round, neither able to deliver the telling blow.
Pacquiao was rarely a threat in the second half of the contest, with pundits claiming Ugas had won every round since the seventh.
As the 12th and final round got underway at T-Mobile Arena, Pacquiao briefly lost his footing after copping a blow to the head. The Filipino needed nothing less than a knockout in the final 60 seconds for any chance of securing a victory, but he was absolutely knackered.
Ugas roared with delight when the final bell rang, knowing he had just defeated a modern boxing legend.
‘Scary’: Champ floored by KO of the Year
Filipino fighter Mark Magsayo has maintained his unbeaten record with a stunning KO victory over Julio Ceja in the WBC featherweight title eliminator on Sunday AEST.
Ahead of Manny Pacquiao’s bout in Las Vegas, Magsayo sent the crowd into a frenzy with a “scary” knockout blow in the tenth round that left Ceja unconscious on the canvas.
The bout was evenly-contested leading into the tenth round, with both competitors dropping each other early in the thrilling encounter.
But Magsayo delivered the telling blow, a massive right hand toppling his opponent and leaving him out cold on the deck.
Ceja thankfully started moving again about 30 seconds later and was helped from the venue in scary scenes.
Magsayo, whose professional record improves to 23 consecutive wins with 16 KO victories, celebrated the triumph with a flip.
Originally published as Manny Pacquiao stunned by Yordenis Ugas in huge upset