A welterweight title is on the line on Saturday night in the latest boxing PPV event. Ageless wonder Manny Pacquiao is back to take on current WBA titleholder Yordenis Ugas in the main event for the title Pacquiao earned two years ago in a win over Keith Thurman. Now, the two will unify their titles after WBC and IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. was forced to withdraw from the bout with Pacquiao after suffering a torn retina in training camp.
Ugas vs. Pacquiao may actually be a better fight than Pacquaio vs. Spence, if less of a box office attraction. Pacquiao remains one of the biggest stars in the sport after rolling off three straight victories heading into this matchup.
Ugas, meanwhile, is not someone who can be looked over. At 35, the Cuban has just one defeat in 12 trips to the ring since 2015 with the lone loss coming by disputed decision to Shawn Porter for the vacant WBC title. He's taken on some of the best in the world at 147 pounds, including victories over Jamal James, Thomas Dulorme, Ray Robinson, Omar Figueroa Jr. and Abel Ramos.
The undercard fills out nicely with a good mix of veteran and prospective talent. Robert Guerrero takes on Victor Ortiz at lightweight, Mark Magsayo battles former champ Julio Ceja in a featherweight title eliminator and Carlos Castro faces Oscar Ecandon at featherweight to kick things off.
There's nothing that can spice up a big fight night like having a little bit of money on the line and Caesars Sportsbook has you covered with every angle of Pacquiao vs. Ugas to get in on the action. We're going to give you a few options to consider with this card with picks for the main event and an undercard clash featuring some familiar names. Let's take a closer look at those picks now.
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Robert Guerrero -130 vs. Victor Ortiz
There's no denying how odd it is that this fight was made at all. Guerrero and Ortiz are both roughly a decade past their prime. Guerrero has fought three times since 2017, though he has won all three of those fights against low-level opponents. Ortiz has not fought since February 2018, where he battled Devon Alexander to a majority draw in a spirited effort that went against Ortiz's reputation to give up on himself in tough fights.
In reality, this is a tough fight to call because of the variety of unknowns. Ortiz has been out of the ring for quite some time, as has Guerrero, even if he has fought more recently than Ortiz. It is, to be frank, the kind of fight where the best option in regards to gambling is likely to just stay away. But with Ugas called up to the main event, the pickings are slim for undercard fights with intriguing odds.
Guerrero at -150 seems to be the safer play here. Even at his peak, Ortiz was a volatile fighter, prone to good action and spectacular implosions. Guerrero has been more active and his most recent scheduled fight wasn't canceled due to allegations of sexual assault, as happened to Ortiz. With all that in mind, the Guerrero moneyline is the play here if you're dying to pay a little extra money to enjoy the circus.
Manny Pacquiao via decision +120 vs. Yordenis Ugas
Pacquiao is nowhere near the fighter he was at his best. In fact, he may not be as good as he was when he beat Keith Thurman to become WBA welterweight champion in July 2019. Even so, Pacquiao is an exceptionally good fighter who is used to world title fights on the big stage. Pacquaio currently sits as a -360 favorite to regain the WBA title from Ugas, who was promoted from "regular" to "super" champion by the WBA through a combination of Pacquiao's inactivity and the WBA's attempts to put together a three-belt unification fight between Ugas and Spence.
Ugas has plenty of talent and certainly has the skills to pick up a win over Pacquiao. Ugas could -- and maybe should -- be on a 12-fight winning streak. His lone loss in that span came in a debated split decision loss to Shawn Porter. The judges not giving Ugas the cards against Porter are indicative of something of a nagging problem for Ugas. In his most recent fight, Ugas won a split decision against Abel Ramos in a fight where the scorecards read 115-113 Ugas on two, and 117-111 Ramos on the other. In all reality, Ugas won at minimum 10 of the 12 rounds of that fight.
The sad reality in boxing is that close -- and sometimes not-so-close -- rounds are often shaded to the fighter with the bigger name and stronger promotional support. If Ugas struggled to get rounds he deserved against Porter and Ramos, it's easy to see the same happening against Pacquiao. That's enough to put a little extra value on the already enticing line of Pacquaio via decision at +120.