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LAS VEGAS, Aug 22, (AP): Although Manny Pacquiao hasn’t decided what his future holds, the eight-division world champion realizes his 26-year professional boxing career might have ended Saturday night with a disheartening loss. Yordenis Ugás is only seven years younger than the Filipino senator, yet he’s just getting started after seizing this improbable opportunity to knock off one of the greats. Ugás beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision in Las Vegas, putting on an impressive technical performance on 11 days’ notice and retaining his WBA welterweight title. Ugás (27-4) capitalized on this chance as the late injury replacement for Errol Spence Jr.. The Cuban veteran was slightly better than Pacquiao (67-8-2) throughout one of the most frustrating fights in the 42-year-old Filipino senator’s career. A visibly disappointed Pacquiao said he hasn’t decided whether he will fight again after an unimpressive performance in his return from the longest layoff of his quartercentury in the sport.
He also wouldn’t confirm whether he will enter the Philippines’ presidential race, as is widely expected. He intends to make an announcement next month. The 35-year-old Ugás threw roughly half as many punches as Pacquiao, but his blows were more precise and more effective. Pacquiao was the solid favorite before the bout, but he struggled to get inside on Ugás’ effective jab while Ugás landed his right hand to increasing effect in the later rounds. Two judges scored it 116-112 for Ugás, and a third had it 115- 113. The Associated Press also scored it 116-112 for Ugás. Pacquiao also said his legs were cramping from the second round onward. He attributed the problem to a combination of over training and age. Ugás was in the spotlight only because Spence was forced to drop out last week after discovering he had a torn retina during a pre-fight physical.
Ugás had been booked for a bout on the undercard, but he jumped at the type of showcase and payday that had been just out of reach ever since he left Cuba on a small boat bound for Mexico 11 years ago. On the undercard of Ugás’ victory at T-Mobile Arena, Robert Guerrero returned from a 23-month ring absence with a unanimous decision over fellow veteran Victor Ortiz, winning 96-94 on all three cards. The 38-year-old Guerrero (37-6-1) had a strong second round and persevered with a high punch volume to beat the 34-year-old Ortiz (32-7-3), who hadn’t fought in 42 months. Ortiz was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault in 2018, but the charges were dismissed late last year. Filipino featherweight Mark Magsayo (23-0, 16 KOs) also preserved his unbeaten record with a dramatic 10th-round knockout of Julio Ceja, who was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards