Yordenis Ugas stunned the boxing world with his win over the iconic Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao was originally supposed to fight Errol Spence Jr. for the IBF and WBC world welterweight titles, but Spence had to pull out because of an eye injury. Ugas stepped in on short notice and used a stiff jab, great counterpunching and sharp defense to earn a unanimous-decision victory over Pacquiao to retain his WBA welterweight title.
The judges scored the bout 115-113, 116-112, 116-112 in favor of Ugas. NBA superstar Damian Lillard felt they made the right call:
The Philippine Star tweeted a note of support for Pacquiao:
Fox Sports' commentator Skip Bayless thought Pac-Man might have a chance on the cards because he was the more active fighter:
Pacquiao's work rate was impressive considering he's 42 and was more than two years removed from his most recent fight, a split-decision win over Keith Thurman. He tried to throw punches in bunches and work his way inside on Ugas, but the latter held his ground, commanding the center of the ring with his jab and an increasingly potent right hand.
American boxer Regis Prograis noted that Pacquiao was taking some hard shots during the fight:
ESPN Philippines' Carlo Pamintuan loved what he was seeing from Ugas:
Based on this tweet, it seems like Spence was wishing he could have been in the ring Saturday night:
Ugas was an underdog coming into the bout, but you couldn't tell that from the way he fought. He looked calm and confident in his game plan despite only having a couple of weeks to prepare for Pacquiao. After securing the win, former boxer and current analyst Andre Ward suggested the Cuban could have a big payday ahead of him:
The big question for Pacquiao was whether he would retire after the loss. His legs and footwork weren't up to his usual standard against Ugas, and he's also reportedly considering a run for president in the Philippines.
"I don't know. Let me relax and make a decision," he said when asked about retiring after the bout, per TalkSport's Michael Benson.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports and Bayless reacted to the possibility of Pacquiao calling it quits after 26 years in professional boxing:
If this is it for Pacquiao, he can walk away with pride. He's the only eight-division champion in boxing history and once held world titles across four weight classes at one time. He's a surefire Hall of Famer, one of the best to ever do it. This loss doesn't change any of that.
For Ugas, he should be angling for a unification fight with either Spence or Terence "Bud" Crawford, the WBO welterweight champion. Spence might have a long recovery from his eye injury, but Crawford would be a compelling option. If those fights can't be made, Ugas can rest assured there will be a solid challenger awaiting in the 147-pound division.