Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas fight results, highlights: Cuban champ upsets Filipino legend to retain title

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Two years removed from his last fight, Manny Pacquiao looked all 42 years of his age on Saturday. Now, the living legend must decide whether his boxing future is behind him.

Yordenis Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs), who took the fight on just 11 days' notice after unified champion Errol Spence Jr. withdrew, relied on defense and hard counterpunching to defend his WBA welterweight title and disappoint the pro-Pacquiao crowd inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

A former Olympic bronze medalist from Cuba, Ugas outlanded Pacquiao by a margin of 101 to 88, according to CompuBox, and landed an incredible 59% of his power shots en route to a unanimous decision (115-113, 116-112, 116-112). CBS Sports also scored it for Ugas, 116-112.

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The defeat left Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) unsure about his fighting future as rumors continue to swirl that the Filipino Senator will make a run at the presidency in 2022 for his native country.

"I'm sorry that we lost tonight, but I did my best," Pacquiao said. "I don't know, I don't know. Let me rest first and relax [before] I make the decision of whether I will fight or not. 

"I will make a final announcement [about running for president] next month. I know that I am facing a big problem that's more difficult than boxing but I want to help the people. I want to help them."

Ugas, 35, turned out to be a problem Pacquiao had trouble solving, particularly over the second half of the fight. Fighting behind his high guard, he was defensively responsible enough to prevent Pacquiao from overwhelming him with flashy combinations while slick enough to counter clean with right hands.

More importantly, Ugas was creative and the frustration began to show for Pacquiao, boxing's only eight-division champion, who had trouble picking up Ugas' sidearm body shots and looping right hands, which left the "PacMan" with a cut above his left eye and significant swelling below his right by the end of Round 12.

Ugas made the first defense of the title he was upgraded to as full champion during Pacquiao's 25-month layoff. Pacquiao had captured the WBA title in 2019 by outpointing Keith Thurman while Ugas originally held the interim belt.

"I'm very excited but most of all, I want to thank Manny Pacquiao for giving me this moment in the ring today," Ugas said. "I told you that I'm the only champion of the WBA. He's a great competitor and I have a lot of respect for him but I won the fight.

"The double jab was the lead punch. We only had two weeks of training but I listened to my corner and it all worked out."

Ugas made adjustments throughout to offset the speed advantage of Pacquiao. The living legend blamed the lack of time to prepare for the fight as the reason for his loss after Spence pulled out, needing surgery for a torn retina suffered in training camp.

"I had to make an adjustment for [only] a few days. It's good but that's boxing," Pacquiao said. "I know I was having a hard time in the ring making adjustments about his style. That was a problem for me because I didn't make an adjustment right away and my legs were tight. It was hard to move."

Pacquiao did a good job staying with Ugas in the first half by covering up the difficulties he was having with activity. But his output lowered the more frustrated he got as Ugas dared to play chess with the future Hall of Famer while standing right in front of him at close range.

"Now the plan is to unify the title at welterweight," Ugas said. "Everybody said he's the champion but now they know who the real champion is."

Elsewhere on the card, fellow Filipino Mark Magsayo made a thunderous statement with a vicious 10th-round knockout of Julio Ceja. Magsayo, 26, put Ceja out cold with a pair of punches up against the ropes that left the former champion motionless for several moments before he was helped up onto the stool and eventually out of the ring. Magsayo now sits as the No. 1 contender for the WBC featherweight title, currently held by Gary Russell Jr. Plus, Robert Guerrero took a unanimous decision over fellow veteran Victor Ortiz in the co-main event. Guerrero, 38, has now won four in a row.

CBS Sports was with you throughout the entire way on Saturday, so. be sure to follow along with the live results and highlights below. 

Fight card, results

  • Yordenis Ugas (c) def. Manny Pacquiao via unanimous decision (115-113, 116-112, 116-112)
  • Robert Guerrero def. Victor Ortiz via unanimous decision (96-94, 96-94, 96-94)
  • Mark Magsayo def. Julio Ceja via 10th-round knockout
  • Carlos Castro def. Oscar Escandon via 10th-round TKO

Pacquiao vs. Ugas scorecard, live coverage

Pacquiao 109 9 10 10 99 9 9 9 910112
Ugas (c) 9 10 10 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 9116
Live updates

R12: They both raise their arms in celebration and Pacquiao gets picked up despite cuts around both eyes. Give Manny the final round for pressure and the final minute of landing shots, 10-9 (Overall: 116-112 Ugas)

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Final punch stats

August 22, 2021, 5:15 AM

Scorecards: 115-113, 116-112, 116-112 for Yordenis Ugas. It's unanimous and it's an upset. 


I've got it 116-112 for Ugas. 


R12: Another right from Manny. He's letting it all go now. 


R12: Counter jabs from Pacquiao. Good pressure herein final minute. Left hand from Manny hits. 


R12: Pacquiao blocks a big right hand but can't counter clean. A cut opens on the left eye of Manny. He tries to pump himself up by banging his gloves together but Ugas hits another right and a left uppercut. 


R12: They trade jabs. A right hand from Ugas causes Manny to stumble. Another right hand from Ugas. 


ROUND 12: Does Pacquiao need a KO here? On my card he does. You never know with the judges.


R11: 10-9 Ugas. Cleaner shots. Better defense (Overall: 107-102 Ugas)

@premierboxing via Twitter
August 22, 2021, 4:56 AM

R11: Looping right from Ugas makes Manny take a hard step to the left. Ugas is fighting a better fight. Plain and simple.


R11: Cuffing right hand from Ugas. And a right to the body. Ugas can't miss with the right hand.


R11: Pacquiao keeps coming up short with his combination attempts. Ugas counters to the body. Nice jabs from Manny but one counter right from Ugas made him switch gears. 


ROUND 11: Championship rounds and Pacquiao may need to get dramatic here. Counter jab from Ugas. Pacquiao just can't find an opening. 


R10: Big right hand from Ugas late. He played better chess this round and landed the harder blows, 10-9 (Overall: 97-93)


R10: Pacquiao is flurrying but he's coming up short. Another right cross from Ugas. 


R10: Two jabs and a right hand backs Manny up. Ugas is getting more and more confident.


R10: Ugas has to be weary of punching with Pacquiao and trading too brazenly. Hard right hand counter from Ugas. 


R10: They flurry and Pacquiao lands a clean left hand that forced Ugas to clinch. 


ROUND 10: Both fighters catching punches behind the high guard. Good defense. 


R9: Beautiful counter shots to the body from Ugas. He's doing what he wants out here and showing enough responsibility on defense to not pay for it. Another Ugas round, 10-9 (Overall: 87-84)


R9: Pacquiao looks a bit too tentative. He can't find an opening. Ugas is countering his jab at will. 


R9: Pacquiao is working the jab but he can't land clean. Counter jabs from Ugas hit. Great defense from Ugas as Pacquiao leaps in.


R9: The crowd chants for Manny but Pacquiao hits the canvas on a push. Mora warns Ugas yet again. 


ROUND 9: The two fighters clash heads briefly and touch gloves out of respect. 

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