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Fight Preview: Pacquiao vs Ugas

Photo: World Boxing News

8-division world champion Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KOs) will look to add another world title to his hall of fame career as he takes on WBA champion Yordenis Ugás (26-4, 12KOs) on Saturday, Aug. 21.

The event will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and will be broadcast live on Fox pay-per-view under the Premier Boxing Champions banner. This will be a 12-round bout in the welterweight division at the weight limit of 147 pounds.

Both boxers are ranked in the top five of The Ring Magazine’s welterweight ratings, with Pacquiao at number two and Ugás at number five.

Ugás will be defending the WBA (super) title in this bout. He will be stepping up to fight after Pacquiao’s original opponent, Errol Spence Jr., pulled out following a retinal tear in his left eye.

Ugás was originally supposed to fight on the undercard of the event against Fabian Maidana. However, Maidana also had to pull out of the fight due to a cut below his left eye.

For Pacquiao, this will be his first fight since July 2019. His last fight saw him capture the WBA (super) title against Keith Thurman by split decision. The WBA later stripped him of the title due to inactivity.

Pacquiao has an elite-level combination of power and speed. In his storied career, he has shown that hand speed makes all the difference.

He has the ability to throw punches at different angles consistently throughout a 12-round fight. In addition to that, Pacquiao is able to change patterns in his movement, footwork and combinations in all directions.

Pacquiao has a powerful lead right hook and strong straight left hand. With him fighting southpaw, the openings to catch Ugás with either of those punches are significantly improved .

His key to win the fight is to implement his own gameplan. Pacquiao has to be first in exchanges and overwhelm Ugás with flurries through the middle of the fight to swing the momentum his way. He also needs to use his lightning-quick footwork to cut angles and catch him with flash punches.

For Ugás, this will be the most important fight of his career. His last fight saw him capture the WBA (regular) title against Abel Ramos by split decision. He was later instated the WBA (super) after the sanctioning body stripped Pacquiao of the belt.

Ugás has an excellent jab that he can double or even triple up. His lead hand is stiff and keeps opponents at a distance.

He likes to pick and choose his openings to throw, and it results in a more accurate punch statline. Although patient, Ugás has proven the ability to slug it out when he has to.

Ugás presses forward in his fights, which could be a disadvantage for opponents as they have to fight off their back foot.

His key to win the fight is to be the aggressor and make it a grind-it-out type of showing. He has to make Pacquiao start reactively fighting so he starts getting reckless. Once that happens and he starts to open up, there will be openings for counters.

This bout will answer the question on if Pacquiao, at 42-years-old, still has enough to compete at the highest level. Will he be able to win another world title at his age? For Ugás, a victory will elevate his status as a boxer and his value in terms of drawing power. Getting a win over a legend of the sport would cement his legacy.

To watch Pacquiao vs Ugás, tune in Saturday, Aug. 21 on pay-per-view at 9 p.m. EST.

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