Pacquiao fails to solve taller, busy jabber Ugas

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com

INGLEWOOD, Ca. – Manny Pacquiao had trouble getting past Yordenis’ Ugas height and busy jabbing as he lost a unanimous decision and failed to take the title that used to belong to him in their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).

The scores were 115-113 and116-112 (twice) for Ugas, who used an effective jab and tagged Pacquiao with solid right hands to the head to defend his title.

Though the 42-year-old Pacquiao was initially the more energetic fighter, he failed to land his signature left against the 5-foot-9 Ugas, who used his advantage in height well and was able to keep Pacquiao at bay for most of the fight.

“That's boxing,” said Pacquiao. “The problem to me (was adjustment). I didn't make the adjustment right away.”

Ugas, a right-hander, stepped in at the last minute for the injured Errol Spence Jr., a southpaw. And the 2009 Olympic bronze medalist from Cuba made the most of the opportunity, standing his ground and weathering Pacquiao’s aggressiveness with smart counterpunching.

"I told you, I am the champion of the WBA and I showed it tonight," said Ugas, once the “regular” champion of the WBA’s welterweight division until being promoted to “super” status due to the two-year inactivity of Pacquiao — the original holder of the belt.

It was a main marketing angle for Saturday night’s tussle, with Pacquiao expressing his determination to take his old title back and daring Ugas to beat him in the ring to be deserving of it.

But Pacquiao, despite unleashing some early flurries, came up short and Ugas, whose smarts were in clear display, proved himself worthy of the diadem.

The 35-year-old Ugas outlanded Pacquiao in punches, jabs and power blows.

The fighting senator’s boxing career is now up in the air as politics looms.

“I don't know. Let me rest first,” said Pacquiao, considered a contender for the Philippine presidency in next year’s elections.

Pacquiao thus fell to 62-8-2, 39 KOs while Ugas improved to 27-4-0, 12 KOs.



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