Friday, March 24, 2023  |


Yordenis Ugas open to rematch, says Pacquiao will be better prepared next time

Ugas' jab was on point all night vs. Pacquiao. Photo by German Villasenor

Yordenis Ugas is brushing aside Manny Pacquiao’s words following his upset decision loss last weekend.

In an interview with The Athletic, Pacquiao dubbed Ugas as “one of the easiest opponents” of his 26-year professional career. The former eight-division titlist subsequently blamed the loss on his legs cramping from the second round, which hampered the 42-year-old’s movement.

The WBA welterweight titleholder Ugas stepped in to replace an injured Errol Spence Jr. on just eleven days’ notice and outboxed the living legend en route to a 12-round unanimous decision win in their August 21 Fox Sports Pay-Per-View main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs), who defected from Cuba in 2010 after capturing a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympic Games, took the opportunity to praise Pacquiao and even offered a rematch if the southpaw were still up for it.

“I admire Manny Pacquiao,” Ugas stated during a Zoom media conference call following his signature victory. “I remember the epic battles against [Antonio] Margarito, [Juan Manuel] Marquez, and so many other great fighters.

“If he said those things about me in spite of my great performance and the win I was able to achieve, all that I can say about him is that I respect his opinion.”

Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) landed just 16 percent of his punches during the fight, while the 35-year-old Ugas landed over 59 percent of his power shots against the Filipino.

Ugas made the first defense of his title after he was elevated to the position earlier this year. The move came after the sanctioning body moved Pacquiao to “Champion in Recess” due to inactivity. He was initially slated to appear on the Fox card against Fabian Maidana, who was forced to withdraw after suffering a nasty cut below his left eye.

Now that Pacquiao has hinted at the possibility of seeking revenge while contemplating a run for the presidency in his native Philippines, Ugas is ready for another dance if it happens.

“I [would] be honored to face him again,” Ugas noted. “The main difference is if there’s a rematch, he would have a better preparation for the fight. That would be a very important aspect of the fight.”


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