Pacquiao vs. Ugas: Tale of Tape, Fight Records and More for Both Boxers

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2021

Manny Pacquiao, left, of the Philippines, and Yordenis Ugas, of Cuba, pose for photographers during a news conference Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, in Las Vegas. The two are scheduled to fight in a welterweight championship bout Saturday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Twenty years ago, Manny Pacquiao got a big break in Las Vegas. He was chosen as a late replacement for a fight against then-IBF super bantamweight champion Lehlo Ledwaba and ended up winning by TKO. It was his first fight in Sin City and helped springboard his legendary career.

On Saturday, Pacquiao will be on the other side of the equation in Las Vegas, as Yordenis Ugas steps in to replace an injured Errol Spence Jr., offering him a chance to get a signature win against the Filipino superstar in a pay-per-view showdown.

It's not a complete role reversal because Ugas is the one with some hardware in this fight, having been awarded the WBA welterweight title earlier this year. Of course, Pacquiao believes the WBA title should still belong to him, as he won it off Keith Thurman in 2019 but had it stripped from him because of inactivity.

So Pacquiao is looking to right a perceived wrong and add yet another title to his impressive ledger. Ugas has the opportunity to score a massive upset in his highest-profile bout to date. It's not quite as compelling as Pacquiao taking on the undefeated Spence—who holds the IBF and WBC titles and is in the prime of his career—but it could still be an entertaining contest.

Here's a look at how the two fighters stack up.


Tale of the Tape and Fight Stats

Manny Pacquiao

John Locher/Associated Press

Age: 42 

Height: 5'5 ½"

Weight: 146 pounds (weigh-in results via Bad Left Hook)

Reach: 67"

Stance: Southpaw

Record: 62-7-3 (39 KOs)

Pacquiao's record speaks for itself. He's been fighting professionally since 1995, with only a handful of losses scattered across a Hall-of-Fame worthy career. He's the only boxer to win world titles in eight divisions, defeating the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales and more along the way.

Pacquiao is 5-1 since losing a superfight to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015, which came when both were already past their in-ring primes. He's done well for himself during the final run of his career. Even the lone loss, against Jeff Horn in 2017, is deceptive because many felt Pacquiao deserved to win the fight.

A whirlwind of fists at the height of his career, Pacquiao has slowed down with age, but not by much. The southpaw still does a great job of throwing difficult combinations and keeping his opponents off balance. He also still flashes some power, having scored a TKO win over a worn-out Lucas Matthysse in 2018 and knocking down Thurman in the first round en route to a split-decision victory that was more comfortable than the scorecards indicate.

Perhaps the most important number to take away from Pacquiao's tale of the tape is the first one listed: 42. Boxing is a brutal sport, and few prizefighters have found success against quality opponents at Pacquiao's age. The fact that he hasn't retired is something of a miracle. Pacquiao looked good against Thurman two years ago, but we won't know how much of that version of him is intact until he steps in the ring.


Yordenis Ugas

John Locher/Associated Press

Age: 35

Height: 5'9"

Weight: 147 pounds (via Bad Left Hook)

Reach: 69"

Stance: Orthodox

Record: 26-4 (12 KOs)

Ugas' list of career highlights isn't nearly as long as Pacquiao's, but to be fair, he was just eight when Pacquiao turned pro.

His biggest fight to date was against Shawn Porter in 2019, and the WBC welterweight title was on the line. Ugas pushed an excellent Porter to his limit in that bout but lost via split decision. Since then, he's gotten back on track with wins against Omar Figueroa Jr., Mike Dallas Jr. and, most recently, Abel Ramos.

Ugas has the advantage of youth—relative to Pacquiao, at least, since he's very much a veteran at 35—and he has a longer reach, which could help him establish the jab and try to keep Pacquiao at bay while he gets his timing down.

Even though he's taking on Pacquiao with just a couple weeks' notice, he should be in prime fighting shape considering he was originally set to fight on the undercard. He's promising to make things difficult for the legend standing across from him in the ring.

"I have prepared for 12 hard rounds," Ugas said, per Greg Beacham of the Associated Press (h/t Yahoo Sports). "If this is Pacquiao's final fight, then he's going to be up against a guy who brought his best and who is a world-class fighter."



Ugas suggested this might be Pacquiao's final fight, and the superstar himself has also indicated that he could call it quits after Saturday night's title bout. Then again, Pacquiao suggested he can still see himself taking on the top names in the 147-pound division before hanging up his gloves.

"I don't know if this is going to be my last [time in the ring]. We are going to see fight by fight," Pacquiao said, per ESPN's Salvador Rodriguez. "But if I have the possibility of making one more fight, then I would like to face the best—either Terence Crawford or Errol Spence."

To get to Spence or Crawford, Pacquiao will have to take care of business against Ugas. Expect this fight to be more difficult for Pacquiao than the one against Thurman simply because of the age factor and the long gap between fights.

Ugas might have some success with his jab in the early rounds but won't have the power to control the entire fight. Pacquiao will figure him out, get in shots to the body and put together some combinations that sway the judges and help him win a couple of swing rounds.

Prediction: Pacquiao wins via split decision.


All stats courtesy of BoxRec.com unless otherwise noted.