Sweet Science Scene: Is Manny Pacquiao done?

Michael Rueda
Pacquiao vs Ugas Sweet Science Scene
Aug 21, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada; Manny Pacquiao is pictured in his corner during a world welterweight championship bout against Yordenis Ugas in at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It’s another week and a lot of news from the world of the Sweet Science. The legend Manny Pacquiao returned to the ring for what could be his last fight. There were a lot of fights that were ordered. We have seen the WBA get into action and start ordering fights to reduce the number of titles they have. It was a busy week and even when things are quiet, the news never seems to slow down.

Sweet Science sunset for Manny Pacquiao?

The legend Manny Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) fought in the ring for what could be his last time. Pacquiao took on WBA champion Yordenis Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) and was defeated by a unanimous decision. Pacquiao got out early and was active as Ugas seemed content to stay at his own pace. Ugas may not have been as active as Pacquiao, but he was more accurate and from round six to 12 and landed many more punches than Pacquiao in each round. Pacquiao seemed to gas out later in the fight, which he later said could be his legs tightening up. Ugas, for his part, has a moment in his career that nobody can take from him.

Manny Pacquiao Sweet Science scene
Yordenis Ugas lands a punch on Manny Pacquiao in a world welterweight championship bout at T-Mobile Arena. Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Ugas now places him firmly among the best welterweights and can now lock down some big fights at 147. If this was indeed it for Pacquiao, then no matter what, he is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. A career that spanned from the late ’90s to 2021 if he retires while at the sport’s top. The only fighter to win a world title in 8 divisions. If this, is it thank you, Manny. The Sweet Science will fondly remember what Manny Pacquiao did for the sport and his everlasting impact on its history.

Crawford vs. Porter dead-end

The much-discussed fight between WBO welterweight champion Terrence Crawford and Shawn Porter hit a snag between Top Rank and PBC. The deadline to have a deal was due August 20th and nothing came of it. A purse bid is now scheduled for September 2nd, but the WBO will live stream the purse bid on its Facebook page in a surprise add-in. The fight has been talked about ad nauseam amongst Sweet Science hardcore fans and has set Crawford up with a marquee opponent at 147. The options of who and what will be bid is interesting as many have wondered aloud. The obvious choices are the PBC and Top Rank, who promote each fighter, but with Matchroom and DAZN have some extra coin, could they bid on the fight since Canelo will not be on this platform for his next fight. The wild card will be triller, who want to be respected in boxing and getting this legitimate title fight could help in that sense.

Canelo vs. Plant set for Nov. 6

The Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant saga seems to be over. Following a failed back and forth negotiation for September 18, both sides have now agreed to a deal for November 6th in Las Vegas. This Sweet Science match-up will produce an undisputed champion at 168. It will also give the Sweet Science its third undisputed match in the men’s side of things. With Plant, it’s a big step up and his highest payday. Many people believe Plant passes the eye test and is the most skilled boxer Canelo has faced in years. For Alvarez, this is an opportunity to become the first undisputed champion in the history of Mexico. The good thing here is that the fight is official, and there is no more talk on social media on either side being accused of ducking the other.

Sweet Science Scene Quick Hits

  • The WBC went to work with ordering fights and some really grabbed the attention of Sweet Science aficiandos. The biggest one was a match up between unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and Marcus Browne. Beterbiev is the reigning champion and with attention seemingly no where near WBA champion Dmitry Bivol a match up with Browne seems solid. Browne has one loss on his resume, but with the opponent Jean Pascal testing positive for multiple PED’s that loss comes into question. It would be a fight worth watching and if the sides can come to an agreement before September 17th, then a purse bid would be avoided.
  • A fight hat came as a surprise was one ordered between Jamie Munguia the former 154 lb. titlist and former title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Munguia has been a rated contender at 160 but has been moved slowly since moving up in weight. In his three-title fight Derevyanchenko has fallen short against both Jermall Charlo, Daniel Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin. This fight seemed to come out of left field as Munguia has been in talks with Veteran Gabriel Rosado. As for Derevyanchenko he has not fought since his lost to Charlo in September of 2020. It is unsure if this fight will go through, but if nothing is brought up by September 17th, a purse bid would be ordered. 
  • The Long-awaited title fight between Teofimo Lopez, and George Kambosos is now supposed to take place October 5th from the Hulu Theater in New York. The bout will take place on pay-per-view on a Tuesday, but the price is $19.99 which is a steep discount from other PPV bouts. This fight has been in the works all year but one thing or another has prevented it. In June, when the fight was supposed to take place, Lopez came down with COVID and the fight was postponed. There was discussion that the fight would happen in Australia, but Lopez refused to go there with the current restrictions in that country. Now that this fight has a place and a date, it seems its all steam ahead. With its Sweet Science fan-friendly price, it has the ability to do well.
  • Elvis Rodriguez was a promising prospect last year and early this year but following a tough fight and a loss in his last fight the steam cooled down. Following the loss, he was released from Top Rank who has a heavy presence at 140 in which Rodriguez fights in, but the issues with his loss led him to be shown the door. He signed with PBC and now becomes a possible player for them as well. In other news with the PBC Gervonta “Tank” Davis was asked by the WBA what weight he will continue to fight in. He holds the super title at 130 and the regular versions of the belt at 135 and 140. Any of those weights would produce possibly intriguing options for Davis specifically 135.
  • Heavyweight Contender Joe Joyce has signed an extension with Promoter Frank Warren. Warren will soon be the next Mandatory for the winner between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk. Joyce established himself with solid wins and now with the extension signed waits for the winner to become a title challenger.

Not to Be Rueda…but

Let’s stop downplaying or exaggerating a win. With Yordenis Ugas picking up the win over Manny Pacquiao, some Sweet Science fans have tried to downplay it and say Pacquiao is old and, therefore, the win not as big as it truly was. While we know it wasn’t the Pacquiao of old, it’s still no reason to diminish Ugas’ accomplishment. He has now gone 12-1 in his last 13 fights and has a victory over a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Others like to say Ugas received the call for the fight and got up off the couch to pick up the win. He indeed took the fight on 11 days’ notice, but he was in camp and training for a fight on the same card, so he was moved up to the main event – it was not a last-minute call. Ugas deserves all the credit for the win as he stuck to his game plan and picked up the biggest victory of his career. In the world of the Sweet Science, fans and media seem to over-hype a win and downplay one as well. This is something that needs to change. Give credit where credit is due. Stop looking for the negative in what is an amazing and positive story for the entire Sweet Science world.