Mendoza: Against Pacquiao, Ugas on the brink of greatness

·2 min read

Every fight now against Manny Pacquiao is a shot at his multiple records in boxing history.

And Yordenis Ugas is the latest, lucky guy to have a crack at Pacquiao’s plethora of treasures.

Ugas is defending today (August 22, PHL time) his ill-gotten World Boxing Association welterweight crown against Pacquiao at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sorry, but the 5-foot-9 Cuban is on the wrong side of history.

He got his title outside the ring when WBA officials stripped the 5-foot-6 Pacquiao of his title in January for being inactive.

The craziest decision I’ve ever seen. But I was not surprised. Stranger things have happened in this sport described aptly by Jimmy Cannon as the red light district of sports.

Of course, the injustice has infuriated Pacquiao no end. That’s why ingat (beware) Ugas. The fighting senator seethes with vengeance.

But still, as I said, Ugas has got nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

Thrust suddenly into a dream fight of a career that is as forgettable as Roque’s previous pseudo foray into human rights lawyering, Ugas is on the brink of, well, greatness.

He defeats Pacquiao and he becomes the first to win against someone who has won a record 12 major world titles since 1995.

He defeats Pacquiao and he becomes the first conqueror of the only fighter to win eight world division plateaus.

For the record, Pacquiao’s unprecedented eight world titles in different weight categories are flyweight, super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight.

Call him a freak of nature and it suits him fine.

And, yes, if Ugas defeats Pacquiao, he becomes boxing’s first conqueror of someone who became the first to achieve titles in four successive decades — the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s.

With a so-so record of 26-4, 12 KOs, chiseled out against no-name fighters, Ugas is, frighteningly, facing a living legend in Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).

The 35-year-old Ugas is said to be a toe-to-toe fighter. Good. That’s his only chance to sneak in a lucky punch that, hopefully, could translate into a knockout punch.

Upps! Careful, though. In his 26-year career, Pacquiao, already 42 but ageless as ever, has thrived on slugfests.

C’mon down, Ugas, and Pacquiao will gladly say, “Come to my parlor.”

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