WBC super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire was ringside last Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, as he watched countryman Manny Pacquiao lose a twelve round unanimous decision to WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas. (photo by Ryan Haney)
Ugas accepted the fight on only 10 days notice, after Pacquiao's original opponent - WBC/IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence - withdrew from the bout with a serious eye injury that required immediate surgery.
Most observers saw Ugas as the clear winner in the fight.
Donaire felt the contest was close and it could have gone either way.
“It was a close fight. I gotta say it’s a close fight,” said Donaire to Fight Hub TV.
“I can’t say Ugas didn’t deserve it and I can’t say Manny didn’t deserve it. I think it was a very close fight and it was a decision of the judges that could have gone either way.”
There is a rematch clause, which Pacquiao is pondering.
Donaire would not mind seeing that fight again, because he believes the eight division champion may have been rusty after coming back from a two-year layoff.
“But not to make any excuses for any more reasons like that and I thought it was a great fight and I wanna see it again,” Donaire said.
There have been some claims that Pacquiao, now 42-years-old, may have overtrained for the fight.
In the aftermath of his loss, Pacquiao complained that his legs cramped up - which affected his movement.
Donaire, who himself is nearing 40, says a fighter has to train smarter when he gets older.
"When it comes down to it, you have to be smart with training,” Donaire said. “It’s unfortunate what it is but I think there’s gonna be an answer to whether he wants to continue or not. This fight was something to tell him if he wants to fight more.”