One of boxing’s greatest careers may have finally come to a close. Eight-division world champion, Manny Pacquiao, 42, took a heavy beating after losing to WBA Welterweight title-holder Yordenis Ugas, a replacement-level fighter who only had 11 days to prepare, during their bout this Saturday.
Pacquiao’s game plan was clear from the start: hurl a flurry of combinations and attempt to make quick work to his less conditioned opponent. The problem was that it was more than apparent that Pacquiao has lost a step or five having spent most of the night punching air or Ugas’ gloves while eating jabs all night. After all was said and done, two judges scored the fight 116-112 for Ugas, one judge scored the fight 115-113 Ugas, while the Associated Press scored it 116-112 Ugas.
After the loss, Pacquiao told ESPN that he is leaning 60/40% toward retiring but after a fight like that, that number really needs to be closer to 100%.
Don’t get me wrong: Can Pacquiao still fight? Absolutely. But that’s not the point for a boxer who has been at the top for this long. The point of putting your body through the kind of special hell it needs to go through in any combat sport is to compete for meaningful titles which in turn, more times than not, means more PPV buys. Having been unable to get passed a hurriedly prepared Ugas, there is absolutely no way Manny would have gone the distance with a prime and prepared Errol Spence, Jr., his original opponent in this bout. There’s no way he’d stand a chance against Terrance Crawford, Shawn Porter, or even Keith Thurman (in a rematch) in his division. Manny moves down in weight and he’s not giving Josh Taylor or even the smaller Gervonta “Tank” Davis any trouble.
However, with the tax issues that have crept up over the last 7 years between the IRS and the Philippines’ own BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), one could see why retiring may not be in Pacquiao’s best financial interest. It’s not completely far fetched for Manny to consider that an exhibition bout against a random Paul brother may be in his future. Bottom line, however: Pacquiao’s legitimate contending days are well behind him.
Father Time is undefeated and Manny Pacquiao is just his latest W.