By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
After a minute of breather before the scorecards were being prepared, everyone in T-Mobile Arena was screaming their lungs out shouting “Manny! Manny! Manny!”
Well, it might be the last cheers we will hear for the only eight-division world champion in boxing, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
The boisterous crowd would eventually be silenced as legendary ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. started his proclamation of the winner with “and still!”
With that, the crowd fell silent and hurriedly made their way to the exits, shock draped on their faces. The upset was complete.
Current WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas did enough to hand Pacquiao his eighth career loss and defended his championship belt successfully after landing 59 percent of his power punches.
The size and length disparity between the two boxers was very evident in the fight as Ugas, who had all the physical advantages, landed his jabs at will against Pacquiao.
Cuba’s boxing product used his reach advantage to score easy points and landed his jab-hook combinations cleanly and effectively almost every round.
Pacquiao was still the same aggressive and fast fighter but the defensive and technical approach of Ugas paid off big time.
Every time Pacquiao would engage and attempt to cut the distance to send in his flurry of punches, Ugas would wisely step on the side or backpedal to keep the distance in his favor.
However, as the middle rounds started, Pacquiao became more patient with his attack and decided to setup his combinations with his jabs.
Pacquiao tried to level Ugas’ punching efficiency by staying aggressive until the 12th and final round but it wasn’t enough as three of the judges scored the bout in favor of the defending champion.
After suffering his first loss since 2017 against Jeff Horn, retirement talks suddenly floated around Pacquiao’s corner as he was about to exit the venue.
Embracing his fans and donning his usual smile in front of the crowd while exiting the venue, Las Vegas once again shouted “Manny! Manny! Manny!”
That may be the last time an arena will shout that name.