November 30, 2021

Pacquiao fails to reclaim WBA title after bowing to Cuban fighter

MANILA – Manny Pacquiao failed to reclaim the World Boxing Association welterweight title that was stripped away from him after falling prey to Cuban pug Yordenis Ugas in their showdown at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday (Philippine Time).

In a battle pitting boxers who saw their original opponents backing out due to various eye injuries, the 42-year-old Pacquiao looked sluggish in his first bout in two years, and the 35-year-old Ugas banked on his reach advantage to connect jabs eventually swelled Pacquiao’s face a bit early on.

The fighting senator would put up a gallant fight, even turning the jets early into Round 10, but Ugas closed out the match on a strong note, delivering haymakers to Pacquiao in the final two periods.

Two judges had it 116-112, while the third juror scored the bout 115-113 all in favor of Ugas, who moved up to 27-4.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, fell to 62-8-2.

This also put the rescheduling of his postponed fight against World Boxing Council (WBC) and International Boxing Federation champ, Errol Spence, in further peril as a possibility of an Ugas-Spence bout for the undisputed welterweight king status now surfaces.

Meanwhile, Mark Magsayo inched closer to a world title shot by stopping Mexican opponent Julio Ceja in an undercard match.

Magsayo knocked Ceja out in the 10th round of their scheduled 12-round WBC featherweight title eliminator.

Magsayo actually showed glimpses early on as he knocked Ceja down in Round 1.

Ceja bounced back and delivered crisp body shots to Magsayo that knocked him down in the fifth round.

The bout was close until Magsayo went on a series of strikes to the head that set up his knockout right hook on Ceja.

Magsayo, who scored his 16th knockout win of his career even as he remains unbeaten 23 fights in, is now on track of facing Gary Russell next for the WBC belt. (PNA)

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