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Erstwhile-confident Pacquiao admits struggling to adjust vs Ugas

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Erstwhile-confident Pacquiao admits struggling to adjust vs Ugas
Manny Pacquiao (L) takes a punch from Yordenis Ugas during their WBA welterweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena on August 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
STEVE MARCUS / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Despite earlier statements from himself and his camp about adjusting well to Yordenis Ugas, Manny Pacquiao conceded he had a hard time with the last-minute opponent change.

After absorbing a unanimous decision loss where his age looked like it was catching up to him, Pacquiao was forced to admit that there was trouble on his end in adjusting to Ugas' style.

"It's a big adjustment for a few days," Pacquiao said with Ugas only stepping up has his foe 11 days before fight night after Errol Spence Jr.'s eye injury.

"[I had] a hard time in the ring, making adjustments for this fight," he added.

Pacquiao's team had previously made light of the opponent change, with training associate Buboy Fernandez calling Ugas a "tune-up" compared to Spence.

READ: Pacquiao camp solves mystery of last-minute foe

"The moment I was told that there was a chance in opponent, I immediately checked YouTube (for Ugas' fights)... It's a tune-up at least," said Fernandez last August 11 (August 12, Manila time).

Even longtime trainer Freddie Roach had low expectations of the Cuban.

"He (Ugas) does not make good use of his height," said Roach.

Ugas proved a point against Roach come fight night, though, as his superior height and reach proved to be crucial in keeping distance between him and Pacquiao, while also making his jabs hit the target.

The Cuban made a statement to Team Pacquiao, and to the rest of the world that he is no pushover.

"I told you, I am the champion of the WBA and I showed it tonight," said Ugas.

"A lot of respect for [Pacquiao], but I won the fight," he added.

BOXING MANNY PACQUIAO
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