Ugas upsets Pacquiao by decision to retain title


LAS VEGAS — This night was supposed to be a celebration, a culmination of all the great Manny Pacquiao has accomplished — a champion in eight divisions in four decades, a superstar the world over.

Yordenis Ugas wasn’t here for the Pacquiao party, though — he was here for his own arrival. And he made good on his promise to bring all his respect for Pacquiao into the ring.

Ugas, who accepted the assignment on 11 days’ notice, scored a unanimous decision over Pacquiao on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena to retain his WBA “super” welterweight title, spoiling the festivities in an upset victory that establishes him as a major player in boxing’s best division.

All three judges scored it for Ugas: 116-112, 115-113 and 116-112. ESPN had it 116-112 for Ugas.

“I’m very excited, but most of all, I want to thank Manny Pacquiao for giving me this moment in this ring today,” said Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs). “We only had two weeks of training, but I listened to my corner and it all worked out.”

Ugas, a 35-year-old Cuban, won as a +310 underdog, according to Caesars William Hill. He outlanded Pacquiao 151-130 in total punches despite Pacquiao throwing more than twice as many punches, 815-405.

Ugas has won four straight fights since losing a split decision to Shawn Porter in March 2019, a fight many thought he won.

Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs), 42, was fighting for the first time since July 2019, when he took a split decision over Keith Thurman.

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