LAS VEGAS – If Manny Pacquiao decides he wants an opportunity to avenge the eighth defeat of his Hall-of-Fame career, Yordenis Ugas gladly would grant the iconic Filipino fighter a rematch.
“Two-hundred percent,” Ugas said in reference to a rematch during their post-fight press conference Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. “You know, Manny’s a great legend, great fighter. You know, if he wants a rematch, no question about it. You know, a legend like that deserves it.”
The 42-year-old Pacquiao, who had a rematch clause in his contract, hasn’t determined whether he wants to fight Ugas again or anyone else. The senator said he’ll announce next month if he’ll campaign to become president of the Philippines in 2022.
If the popular Pacquiao takes that political path, it’d require too much of his time for the eight-division champion to completely commit to training for another bout before the presidential election, which is scheduled for May 9. If Pacquiao became president in his homeland, he’d have to serve a six-year term that would end when he is nearly 50.
“In the future, you might not see Manny Pacquiao again to fight in the ring,” Pacquiao said during the press conference. “I don’t know. But for how many decades, I am so happy for what I have done in boxing.”
Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) had a rematch clause in his contract the last time he lost a welterweight title fight, though he didn’t exercise it.
Australia’s Jeff Horn, who upset Pacquiao by what is considered a highly questionable unanimous decision in July 2017, lost the WBO belt he took from Pacquiao in his second title defense. Terence Crawford dominated Horn on his way to a ninth-round stoppage in June 2018.
The 35-year-old Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) beat Pacquiao much more thoroughly than Horn defeated the former champion in Horn’s hometown of Brisbane, Australia.
The 5-foot-9 Ugas’ height and reach kept Pacquiao from getting inside on him and Ugas usually defended himself well throughout their bout. The Cuban-born Ugas’ jab worked well at times, too, and he consistently landed right hands around Pacquiao’s guard.
Two judges – Dave Moretti (116-112) and Steve Weisfeld (116-112) – scored eight rounds apiece for Miami’s Ugas. Judge Patricia Morse Jarman scored seven rounds for Ugas, 115-113.
If Pacquiao doesn’t opt to fight him again, Ugas will remain forever grateful for the opportunity to change his life and the lives of his family by opposing Pacquiao in this FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event. Ugas took full advantage of replacing an injured Errol Spence Jr. on just 11 days’ notice and legitimized himself as the WBA “super” welterweight champion by beating the favored Pacquiao, who went off as a 4-1 favorite.
“I wanna thank Manny Pacquiao for sharing the ring with me,” Ugas said. “He’s a great legend, one of the greatest fighters that ever lived. So, I’m always gonna respect him. I’m always gonna look up to him because not only is he a great fighter, he’s a great human being and a class act.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.