Manny Pacquiao is on a mission to reclaim his WBA welterweight title when he takes on Yordenis Ugas in their hotly anticipated fight on Sunday (AEST).
The 42-year-old boxing icon hasn’t fought since 2019 but is the clear favourite to defeat Ugas, who is the current WBA welterweight champion.
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Pacquiao was originally set to fight IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr, but he pulled out of the fight only a couple of weeks ago after sustaining a torn retina to his left eye.
Ugas was already on the fight card and was elevated to the main bout with Pacquiao, which has been billed as a grudge match.
In his most recent fight back in 2019, Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman via split decision, before taking the rest of 2019 and all of 2020 off.
Due to the long gap between fights, the WBA appointed Pacquiao “Champion in Recess”, effectively stripping him of his championship and leaving the title vacant.
Manny Pacquiao lost his welterweight title during a two-year hiatus from boxing. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
During that time, Ugas won three consecutive fights and was elevated to the full titleholder in the WBA’s welterweight division.
The manner in which that decision came about had Pacquiao fuming and he expressed his desire to win back his title from the man that took it off him.
“I didn’t like that someone took my belt without challenging me in the ring,” he said at the pre-fight press conference.
The former eight-division world champion had some more fighting words for Ugas, saying he will look to knock him out if the opportunity arises.
“If there’s a chance for a knockout, then I’ll go for it because that’s what I want to give to the fans,” Pacquiao said. “Both of us are champions, but we’ll see who has the belt after (the fight).”
Ugas is ready to take on one of the most successful fighters in boxing history.
“Let’s see if he’ll get the belt,” he said. “I’m ready to go and there are no excuses.”
Manny Pacquiao is the favourite for Sunday’s fight against Ugas. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
The 35-year-old’s trainer Ismael Salas took a thinly-veiled swipe at Pacquiao’s claim he will be able to knock Ugas out.
“To me, he’s a legend and to me, he’s a guy who is inspiration for a new generation of fighters really, so much respect,” Salas said.
“But look back, he’s talking about knockout, he’s long never KO’d anyone.
“He’s been dropping people, but never a KO for a long time.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the fight.
When is the fight on?
Coverage of the fight will start at 11am on Sunday (AEST), with Pacquiao and Ugas set to get into the ring after lunchtime.
Where is the fight being held?
The fight will take place in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in front of a capacity crowd. It’s the same venue where Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier’s recent UFC trilogy fight was held.
How can I watch the fight?
You can stream the fight live on Kayo by purchasing the pay-per-view for $49.95. The bout will also be shown on Foxtel’s Main Event channel.
Manny Pacquiao and WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas face off ahead of their grudge match in Las Vegas. Photo: Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP
What are the betting odds?
Pacquiao goes into the fight as the clear favourite, paying $1.22 for a head-to-head victory, while Ugas is at $4.
Here are some other markets for the method of victory.
Pacquiao Points or Decision: $2.20
Pacquiao KO/TKO: $2.74
Ugas Points or Decision: $4.50
Ugas KO/TKO: $15
Tale of the tape
Pacquiao is by far the more experienced fighter with a record of 62-7-2 compared to Ugas’s 26-4-0.
He is seven years older than Ugas and 7.6cm shorter. Both fighters weigh 66.67kg.
Full fight card
Main event: Manny Pacquiao vs Yordenis Ugas — WBA welterweight title (12 rounds)
Co-main event: Mark Magsayo vs Julio Ceja — featherweight bout (12 rounds)
Victor Ortiz vs Robert Guerrero — welterweight bout (10 rounds)
Carlos Castro vs Oscar Escandon — featherweight bout (10 rounds)
Frank Martin vs Ryan Kielczweski — lightweight bout (10 rounds)
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