We are only a few days away from the highly anticipated showdown between boxing's only eight-division world champion, Manny Pacquiao, and WBA welterweight world champion Yordenis Ugas. Both men have arrived in Las Vegas and are eager to push all pre-fight pageantries aside and face each other in the ring.
It's not the fight fans expected, with Manny Pacquiao's original opponent Errol Spence Jr. having to pull out due to a recently discovered torn retina in his left eye. But the fight with Ugas still promises to be an exciting one.
At 42 years of age, and with nearly two decades of competing at the sport's highest level, this could very well be the last time we see Manny Pacquiao in the ring against elite opposition. It has certainly been a wild ride for the Filipino icon.
Sportskeeda checked in with a few trusted voices in the boxing community and asked them to break down this fight and predict a winner.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas predictions:
Nissi Icasiano (Editor, International Business Times)
"Stylistically, this fight against Yordenis Ugas favors Manny Pacquiao. One of the reasons [for that] is because I see Ugas being too tentative inside the ring. He may have the height and the length, but his movement is limited to two directions. It will be a big problem for him when Manny starts to press the action, moving in and out with ease. It's safe to say that this will be an uphill battle for Yordenis Ugas. I don't see [in Ugas] the [same] qualities of boxers who were able to solve the pesky style of Manny Pacquiao. What I mean by that is that he doesn't have the counterpunching, chin, or the grit of Juan Manuel Marquez. He doesn't have the finesse of Floyd Mayweather, though he is a product of a lauded and proud Cuban amateur boxing program. It's hard to tell if he has a real fighting chance against Manny Pacquiao, especially since he floundered against the likes of Shawn Porter. But I think by making it a dog fight, as rough as Jeff Horn did a few years ago, it's the only chance he has to at least keep up with the Filipino. But again, I still doubt if he can hold out when he decides to engage at that kind of pace. I wouldn't be surprised if Pacquiao gets the finish within six rounds, or at least dominates the fight like he did against Chris Algieri."
Pick: Pacquiao by KO or Unanimous Decision
Robert Belen (Editor, Fight Game Asia)
“Yordenis Ugas, an orthodox fighter, has a decent right hand and might come out aggressively to try to snatch a few rounds from the opening bell. But his lack of power and inferior technique will play a big factor against the eight-division world champion who has faced the very best throughout his fighting career. At 42-years old, Pacquiao will outpace the younger Cuban with his dazzling footwork, and overwhelm him with his relentless attacks.”
Pick: Pacquiao by Unanimous Decision
Drian Francisco (Former Boxing World Champion)
“Ugas is a very busy fighter with a solid right straight and a decent body attack. But he tends to fight wide open, and is at a considerable speed disadvantage. He leaves himself too vulnerable when he goes to the body, and that’s going to be a huge mistake against Manny. Manny will use his speed and power to hurt Ugas, landing that bullet-like left straight down the middle to great effect. For every one punch Ugas throws, Manny will come back with four or five of them. One thing going for Ugas, however, is that he’s bigger and taller than Manny. He could use his range to stay away, and he has a thick body to absorb shots better. Manny needs to hurt him early to put him on the defensive. If Ugas is unable to withstand the power and the pressure, Manny knocks him out late. Otherwise, he shuts him out in a decision.”
Pick: Pacquiao by Late Knockout
Eduard Folayang (Former MMA World Champion)
“I think this is going to be a tremendous fight. It’s youth versus experience. Ugas is the younger man, but Manny has seen it all in the ring. Being a Filipino, I am confident Manny Pacquiao will win this fight. He is an incredible sports hero and the achievements he’s had throughout his career are legendary. Look for Manny to come out vintage, and get that knockout victory fans long for. I have Manny Pacquiao winning by knockout in the seventh round.”
Pick: Pacquiao by Knockout in Round Seven
Lito Adiwang (ONE Championship Strawweight)
“I think we’re in for another legendary performance from Manny Pacquiao. He’s the people’s champ, and I can see Pacquiao winning this fight by total domination. I think that if Ugas tries to stand and trade with Pacquiao, I see a stoppage between rounds 7-10. But if Ugas plays it safe and tries to box, I see an easy unanimous decision for Pacquiao.”
Pick: Pacquiao by Unanimous Decision
Marco Garcia (Boxing Analyst and Historian)
“The safe bet is to pick Manny Pacquiao by decision. He’s capable, and even at 42 years old, still a top welterweight. I don’t see any way Ugas can upend Pacquiao. It’s not that he lacks talent, he just doesn’t have the tools necessary to pull it off. So the safe bet is Manny by decision, but I have a feeling we’re going to see the classic Manny Pacquiao in this fight, and he stops Ugas late. Ugas is going to come out confident in the early rounds, looking to outbox the aggressive fighter. But he will quickly realize that he can’t do that. Manny will be too quick on his feet, nailing Ugas with the left straight and that solid right check hook. The lead left, step to the right, which has become a Manny Pacquiao signature, will also be very effective in this fight. Manny Pacquiao is too crafty for Ugas.”
Pick: Pacquiao by Decision or Late Knockout
Overall Tally: Pacquiao - 6, Ugas - 0