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Yordenis Ugas stays as WBA champ after edging Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao tries to connect a right jab to Yordenis Ugas. AFP
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Yordenis Ugas delivered in what could be the biggest bout in his professional boxing career.

The 35-year-old Cuban pug successfully defended his World Boxing Association welterweight super championship after beating former champ Manny Pacquiao 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 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 as he failed to take back the title belt the WBA stripped away from him due to inactivity mainly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This also put the rescheduling of his postponed fight against World Boxing Council 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.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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