Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas fight predictions, odds, undercard, expert picks, date, preview

For no matter it misplaced from the standpoint of economic attraction because the blockbuster pay-per-view occasion of the summer season, Manny Pacquiao’s return on Saturday following a two-year layoff nonetheless presents an extremely intriguing model matchup.  

After unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. was compelled to withdraw simply 11 days out following surgical procedure for a torn retina, reigning WBA titleholder Yordenis Ugas was bumped up from the PPV foremost card to face Pacquiao in the primary occasion of a Premier Boxing Champions card at T-Cellular Area in Las Vegas. 

Though Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) lacks the specter of fight-ending energy on the identical stage because the unbeaten Spence, the 35-year-old brings the technical know-how from his time as a adorned Cuban beginner and nice measurement for the division. He is additionally snug exchanging firepower at shut vary behind his excessive guard because of his defensive proficiencies.  

However most necessary for the 42-year-old Pacquiao, and one of many main causes the Filipino icon was so prepared to simply accept such a tough combat on brief discover to avoid wasting the cardboard, Ugas has the WBA title that Pacquiao gained in his final combat from 2019 when he handed Keith Thurman his first defeat. Ugas was upgraded to full champion amid Pacquiao’s layoff, which did not sit properly with boxing’s solely eight-division champion.  

“I did not like that somebody took my belt with out difficult me within the ring,” Pacquiao mentioned at Wednesday’s closing press convention. “Each of us are champions, however we’ll see who has the belt after Saturday. 

“It solely took me two days to regulate to preventing Ugas. I’ve fought numerous proper handed fighters earlier than. It might have been tougher switching from making ready for a proper hander to a southpaw. Most of my opponents have been right-handed, so there’s nothing to fret about.” 

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Ugas, who was initially scheduled to defend his belt towards Fabian Maidana this weekend, is driving the most effective wave of his profession having gone 11-1 since 2016 with victories over the likes of Jamal James, Ray Robinson, Thomas Dulorme, Omar Figueroa and Abel Ramos. But it was Ugas’ lone defeat that may have produced his most spectacular efficiency thus far.  

Whereas difficult for Shawn Porter’s WBC title in 2019, Ugas surged within the second half and introduced the combat on to his equally aggressive foe. Not solely did Ugas land the cleaner photographs, he appeared to flooring Porter in Spherical 12, though it wasn’t dominated a knockdown. Porter went on to take a disputed majority determination in a combat many felt Ugas ought to’ve gained.  

Porter used the springboard from the shut win to problem Spence in a PPV conflict later that 12 months whereas Ugas was compelled to combat on the undercard of Pacquiao-Thurman. But the persistence Ugas has confirmed in taking what he has been given and taking advantage of it paid off when the cellphone rang providing a late improve towards Pacquiao.  

“This has been an extended street for me,” Ugas mentioned. “Clearly, it’s brief discover that I discovered I used to be preventing Pacquiao, however I am grateful for the chance and I am able to benefit from it. We made the changes we needed to within the final two weeks in order that I am prepared for Pacquiao. We have carried out every thing we needed to and we’re 100% able to go Saturday night time. 

“There are not any excuses heading into this combat. I have been on this place taking a short-notice combat earlier than, though clearly by no means towards a fighter the caliber of Pacquiao. I’ve no issues although, and I imagine each of us are going to be ready for this combat.” 

Pacquiao reiterated all through combat week that he is not underestimating the problem that Ugas brings though his prediction remained the identical because it was for Spence: victory by knockout. It is a potential consequence that Ugas vowed won’t occur.  

“I am sure that he can not knock me out,” Ugas mentioned. “I’ve carried out all of the preparation over these previous six years to get on this place, I’ve hit my stride and I simply do not imagine I might be stopped by Manny.”

Three extra bouts fill out the undercard in Las Vegas on Saturday night time. Most notably, a pair of veterans meet within the co-main occasion when Robert Guerrero and Victor Ortiz meet at welterweight. Guerrero, 38, is again after his personal two-year hiatus and enters on a three-fight win streak. This comes after a quick retirement in 2017 following a three-fight skid. Ortiz, 34, has not fought since February 2018 whereas going through sexual assault allegations that had been dismissed in December 2020. He has not gained since a July 2017 knockout. Plus, Filipino prospect Mark Magsayo will get his likelihood to maneuver nearer to gold when he takes on former champion Julio Ceja in a WBC title eliminator at featherweight.

Magsayo, 26, has been on a tear since turning pro with 15 knockouts in 22 fights. He picked up a pair of victories within the U.S. in October 2020 and April, however Ceja represents the most important step up in competitors in his profession. Nevertheless, Ceja has not gained a combat since 2017 and was stopped in two of his final three bouts.

Beneath is the newest odds from Caesars Sportsbook together with a pair of predictions for the primary occasion from our specialists.

Struggle card, odds

  • Manny Pacquiao -360 vs. Yordenis Ugas +280, WBA welterweight championship
  • Robert Guerrero -125 vs. Victor Ortiz -105, welterweight
  • Mark Magsayo -280 vs. Julio Ceja +230, WBC featherweight title eliminator
  • Carlos Castro -1100 vs. Oscar Escandon +700, featherweight


Campbell: When evaluating the talents of Spence and Ugas, it might be tough to not shade the benefit towards the pound-for-pound ranked Spence in nearly each class. That is why the betting odds shifted so shortly from Pacquiao as an underdog to a 3-1 favourite following the change of opponent. 

However make no mistake, it is a combat Ugas ought to nonetheless win so long as he understands the gravity of what is at stake at this stage and what’s required of these coming to Las Vegas to tackle such an enormous identify. Not solely will Pacquiao undoubtedly have the group’s favor as a beloved star, he’ll possible have an analogous default favor from the judges on condition that he fights with such a excessive output by always amping up his ahead strain.  

Ugas definitely has the power to neutralize a few of what Pacquiao does greatest given his measurement, protection and approach, alongside along with his power as an correct counterpuncher. However in contrast to a few of his Cuban contemporaries, like Erislandy Lara and Guillermo Rigondeaux of their largest fights, he’ll must be aware of preserving his output excessive sufficient to have a shot on the scorecards. 

Matching Pacquiao’s effort and aggression can clearly be a harmful proposition. Though the results of his layoff will likely be attention-grabbing to see within the early going, Pacquiao seemed as match and recent towards Thurman as he had in years. He saved up his stamina late into the combat and remained the aggressor by unleashing his patented mixture punching from awkward angles.  

This ought to be an amazing check of Ugas’ chin and his willingness to combat his manner out of hassle ought to Pacquiao penetrate his excessive guard. Many fighters have entered with concepts of how they could overwhelm Pacquiao solely to be compelled into passivity by the specter of fast punches they by no means noticed coming.  

The fighter’s contrasting expertise and the questions concerning each Pacquiao’s layoff and his incapacity to arrange at size for Ugas’ model may produce an attention-grabbing chess match with ebbs and flows as each fighters take turns implementing their will in alternating rounds. However for Ugas to greatest Pacquiao in that kind of combat, he’ll must not solely stroll the tight rope of avoiding knockdowns, he’ll must be fast in how he adjusts on the fly together with Pacquiao, who holds an intensive benefit by way of expertise towards elite foes of all shapes and types.  

Let’s simply say there is a purpose why solely Floyd Mayweather has been in a position to outthink and out maneuver Pacquiao at welterweight for a full 12 rounds. 

The combat’s consequence is perhaps so simple as this: If Pacquiao has misplaced a step, Ugas is expert sufficient to impose his will and have a shot at profitable a choice. But when “PacMan” seems something just like the whirling dervish he nonetheless was towards Thurman, the oddsmakers obtained this one proper.  

Choose: Pacquiao through UD12 

Brent Brookhouse, author: Pacquiao is nowhere close to the fighter he was at his greatest. Actually, he will not be nearly as good as he was when he beat Keith Thurman to develop into WBA welterweight champion in July 2019. Even so, Pacquiao is an exceptionally good fighter who’s used to world title fights on the massive stage. Pacquaio at the moment sits as a -360 favourite to regain the WBA title from Ugas, who was promoted from “common” to “tremendous” champion by the WBA by way of a mix of Pacquiao’s inactivity and the WBA’s makes an attempt to place collectively a three-belt unification combat between Ugas and Spence.

Ugas has loads of expertise and definitely has the talents to select up a win over Pacquiao. Ugas may — and possibly ought to — be on a 12-fight profitable streak. His lone loss in that span got here in a debated cut up determination loss to Shawn Porter. The judges not giving Ugas the playing cards towards Porter are indicative of one thing of a nagging downside for Ugas. In his most up-to-date combat, Ugas gained a cut up determination towards Abel Ramos in a combat the place the scorecards learn 115-113 Ugas on two, and 117-111 Ramos on the opposite. In all actuality, Ugas gained at minimal 10 of the 12 rounds of that combat.

The unhappy actuality in boxing is that shut — and typically not-so-close — rounds are sometimes shaded to the fighter with the larger identify and stronger promotional assist. If Ugas struggled to get rounds he deserved towards Porter and Ramos, it is simple to see the identical taking place towards Pacquiao. That is sufficient to place just a little additional worth on the already engaging line of Pacquaio through determination at +120.

Choose: Pacquiao through determination

Who wins Pacquiao vs. Ugas? And what’s the technique of victory? Visit SportsLine now to see Brandon Wise’s best bets for Saturday, all from the CBS fight sports activities specialist who was throughout Jamel Herring’s win, and discover out. | Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas combat predictions, odds, undercard, knowledgeable picks, date, preview


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