The old adage goes…appreciate the greats while they are still around…and one of the greatest of them all will return to the ring after a 2 year hiatus, for another chance for major glory at age 42. Boxings only 8-division titlist, only 5-division Lineal World Champion & 13-time world titlist 🇵🇭Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KO) was originally slated for a blockbuster challenge in going up against a generational great in WBC/IBF Welterweight Titlist Errol Spence Jr. for his titles, but apparently 11 days prior to the fight, a retinal injury was discovered, and Spence had to go under the knife to take care of his injury, thus him pulling out of the fight – and for that, we wish Errol Spence well on his recovery timetable.
Manny’s opportunity for THOSE world titles may have fallen by the wayside, but he is still up for title contention, after securing, and revealing about as good a back-up option as they could’ve had in the chamber, coming in the form of a top-7 Welterweight. Current WBA world titlist 🇨🇺Yordenis Ugas (26-4-0, 12KO) was originally slated to fight on the co-main event of the same Spence/Pacquiao undercard against a lesser opponent, so it made the rollover (after the news broke) rather smooth for Ugas to flip into Pacquiao mode, being that he was already deep in training camp, and physically ready to step in for this particular assignment.
This is the same title that Manny Pacquiao won on July 20th, 2019, when he had a renaissance performance to defeat previously unbeaten Welterweight Keith Thurman, to snatch his belt, and become the oldest Welterweight of all time to win a version of a major title, and becoming the first man to win a legitimate world title in four different decades.
Being that this was the last time that Manny fought, the WBA sanctioning body was forced to strip him of the belt, due to lack of activity, without any interference regarding injury, and instead they rolled Ugas up, elevating him from secondary WBA “regular” title position, to their chief representative.
Ugas always been a very talented boxer, dating back to his amateur days, where he was able to win an ◯◯◯◯◯ Olympic Bronze-Medal, an amateur World Championship, and Gold at the Pan-Am games. Ugas is getting a little bit up there in age as well at 35 years old, but he is the youngster for the assignment of his life.
With strong wins over 🇬🇵🇵🇷Thomas Dulorme, and “the new” Ray Robinson, his best career moment was when he fought tooth-and-nail with noted Welterweight bulldog Shawn Porter, in a fight that was ruled a Split-Decision in Porters favor…though a large contingent of watchers felt like Ugas had the edge in their razor close encounter. Being that Porter has the name, he’s the litmus that verifies Ugas current level, as one of the best Welterweight boxers in the world.
Manny would break two of his own records with a win in this contest, as a 42 year Welterweight Titlist, and being the only man to become a 5-time Welterweight titlist. When someone at this age competes, one has to wonder if this will be the official last stop on the train, especially considering that a victory could have him go out on a high note, as a titlist, presumably with all his faculties in order.
Pacquiao/Spence was to be cast on FOX-PPV, and they made the bold decision to keep it that way for Pacquiao/Ugas, even though the intrigue of the bout is cut in half…I suppose they figure Manny’s Beatle-like status can save the event by himself in terms of the intrigue factor. The bout will happen Saturday, August 21st, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.