By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao (File photo)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– Manny Pacquiao failed to reclaim the World Boxing Association welterweight title that was stripped away from him after falling prey to Cuban pug Yordenis Ugas in their showdown at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday (Philippine Time).
In a battle pitting boxers who saw their original opponents backing out due to various eye injuries, the 42-year-old Pacquiao looked sluggish in his first bout in two years, and the 35-year-old Ugas banked on his reach advantage to connect jabs eventually swelled Pacquiao’s face a bit early on.
The fighting senator would put up a gallant fight, even turning the jets early into Round 10, but Ugas closed out the match on a strong note, delivering haymakers to Pacquiao in the final two periods.
Two judges had it 116-112, while the third juror scored the bout 115-113 all in favor of Ugas, who moved up to 27-4.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, fell to 62-8-2.
This also put the rescheduling of his postponed fight against World Boxing Council (WBC) and International Boxing Federation champ, Errol Spence, in further peril as a possibility of an Ugas-Spence bout for the undisputed welterweight king status now surfaces.
Meanwhile, Mark Magsayo inched closer to a world title shot by stopping Mexican opponent Julio Ceja in an undercard match.
Magsayo knocked Ceja out in the 10th round of their scheduled 12-round WBC featherweight title eliminator.
Magsayo actually showed glimpses early on as he knocked Ceja down in Round 1.
Ceja bounced back and delivered crisp body shots to Magsayo that knocked him down in the fifth round.
The bout was close until Magsayo went on a series of strikes to the head that set up his knockout right hook on Ceja.
Magsayo, who scored his 16th knockout win of his career even as he remains unbeaten 23 fights in, is now on track of facing Gary Russell next for the WBC belt. (PNA)
Promoter says Pacquiao’s old moves no longer there
Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao (File photo)
DAVAO CITY – Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao failed to show his old forms as he lost to Yordenis Ugas of Cuba by a unanimous decision in the battle for the World Boxing Association super world welterweight title at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas on Sunday (Philippine time).
“His old moves never came back, of course he’s getting older,” boxing promoter and manager Brico Santig of Highland Promotions.
For referee-judge Silvestre Abainza, it is time for Pacquiao to retire, saying the boxer-turned senator has brought so much honor for the country.
“It’s really time to retire. He is old. Eighth division world champion even maybe 100 years unmatched by Manny Pacquiao,” Abainza said. “Manny Pacquiao is just one. It’s time to concentrate on politics.”
Abainza said the 42-year-old Pacquiao should have not fought Ugas since the Cuban fighter is seven years younger than him.
“Filipinos love him dearly. He is the only one who has given honor to the Philippines that no one else can match. That is already imprinted in the hearts of Filipinos for even a thousand years. Manny Pacquiao is in history,” Abainza said.
Pacquiao’s defeat was his 8th in 72 fights with 62 wins, including 39 knockouts that made him one of the most decorated fighters in the world.
Ugas, a late replacement for Pacquiao’s original undefeated opponent Errol Spence Jr. who suffered a retinal tear in his left eye, improved his ring record to 27 wins against four defeats and retain the WBA crown. (PNA)