Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas Judges' Scorecards, Fight Stats and Reaction

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2021

Yordenis Ugas, left, of Cuba, hits Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, in a welterweight championship boxing match Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Yordenis Ugas scored the biggest win of his life with a unanimous-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao thanks to a well-executed game plan in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. 

While Pacquiao came into the bout as a fairly large favorite, it was clearly the Cuban's night and the scorecards reflected that:

Ben Baby @Ben_Baby

Yordenis Ugas pulls off the upset and keeps his belt -- 116-112, 116-112, 115-113 -- in a win over Manny Pacquiao. Ugas, mercifully, doesn't get robbed after a great showing. #PacquiaoUgas

Ugas' jab was the story of the night. He held a three-inch height and two-inch reach advantage and he made it apparent, starting his combinations just outside of Pacquiao's range and often following up double jabs with a blow to the body while the veteran was looking to retaliate. 

BoxingScene provided a breakdown of the CompuBox punch stats:

BoxingScene.com @boxingscene

Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas - CompuBox Punch Stats https://t.co/It2Mdp9rZj https://t.co/89jTu2lEC7

Those body punches were an important tool in earning the decision. Ugas landed an astounding 59.1 percent of his power punches, and his body blows were a big reason for the impressive efficiency. PacMan, by contrast, only landed 25.9 percent of his power punches. 

Famed boxing trainer Teddy Atlas gave the 35-year-old props for his impeccable timing on those power punches. 

Teddy Atlas @TeddyAtlasReal

Timing can beat speed, and counters can work with aggressive fighters, Ugas was well prepared and executed. #PacquiaoUgas

Pacquiao fought with his typical flurrying pace and ferocity. He more than doubled Ugas' output with 815 punches thrown throughout the course of the 12-round fight. The problem was the Cuban still landed more despite throwing 405 punches. 

ESPN Philippines commentator Carlo Pamintuan was another among the many giving Ugas props for carrying out a wise game plan with precision:

Carlo Pamintuan @carlo_pamintuan

All Ugas did was textbook orthodox vs southpaw strategy. Double jab, right straight. He threw in uppercuts here and there but he was disciplined enough to stick to the game plan.

Ugas retained his WBA (super) welterweight title in the process. Pacquiao was the previous owner of the belt before giving it up. Ugas earned the strap by way of a split-decision win over Abel Ramos. It's safe to say defending that title against the likes of Pacquaio gives the title a new sense of legitimacy. 

Originally, this fight was supposed to pit Pacquiao against Errol Spence Jr. When the American was forced to withdraw with an eye injury, Ugas stepped up to the plate.

Given Pacquiao's performance, that was probably for the best for the 42-year-old. With all the necessary credit to Ugas, Spence is even more accomplished and much closer to his prime at 31 years old. The undefeated WBC and IBF champion appeared to be disappointed with the result:

Errol Spence @ErrolSpenceJr

Man 🥺

That's likely because this could be the last time we see Pacquaio in the ring. It was admirable to continue fighting on the title stage this late into his career.

And, as Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports noted, the fight could have gone much worse as originally planned. 

Kevin Iole @KevinI

Hard to imagine Pac fighting again. It would not have been pretty had that been Spence in front of him. He's had a great great career. This should be it, I'd say. H'es walking to dressing room now as crowd roars.

Instead, this result likely sets up a title unification bout between Ugas and Spence. Of course, with Spence's eye injury that could be awhile, and the Cuban could be looking to cash in on this win a little sooner. Terence "Bud" Crawford could be the target in that case. He currently holds the WBO welterweight crown.

Perhaps Ugas has another upset in him, but either way he has set himself up with a nice payday and a chance for further fame. 

If it is the last time Pacquaio steps foot in the ring, he leaves with an incredible resume that makes him one of the greatest fighters of a generation. Having captured championships in eight weight classes, this loss doesn't do much, if anything, to hurt his overall legacy.