Boxing Tips: Your big hitting best bets for Pacquiao v Ugas on Saturday

Our tipster Matt Gipon delivers his knockout punts.

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

The one good thing about having four world titles in each division is that there’s always one champion having a scrap. Manny Pacquiao was supposed to be facing two-title holder Errol Spence this weekend, but when the American got injured, up stepped WBA boss Yordenis Ugas for a fight with the boxing legend.

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Sunday 4am: Manny Pacquiao v Yordenis Ugas

Yes, Pacquiao is 42, and yes, he is a long-serving politician back in the Philippines, but last time we saw the maestro he still looked mustard, and he’s favourite to win another belt this weekend at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Two years ago Pacman won this strap against highly regarded welterweight king Keith Thurman but because of inactivity the belt became vacant and Cuba’s US-based 147-pounder Ugas won it via the judges cards last year.

This trinket is the first world championship the classy Cuban has collected in his 30-fight, 11-year career, but he’s been knocking off contenders in the welterweight division since 2016. His only loss in that period came at the hands of elite former champ Shawn Porter in 2019 by a narrow split decision.

Ugas was scheduled to be defending his title on the undercard of the Pacquiao-Spence showdown but Spence suffered a stomach-churning torn retina in sparring. With Pac needing an opponent and Ugas needing a big-name rival to really launch his career, making the match was a no-brainer.

Manny Pacquiao v Jeff Horn

It’s been a full 25 months since we’ve seen Manny do his thing but in the year before that he sparkled with three wins against current or former world champions. The inactivity has got to be a slight worry for the eight-weight world champion but when you’re a veteran of 71 contests, with 62 wins, performing in the squared-circle is second nature.

Of course, age is a factor too, but then Pacquiao has always lived a disciplined life and he’s managed to avoid big injuries and layoffs. The man in the opposite corner is no spring chicken either, having turned 35 last month, although he’s another fighter who’s never far from a gym.

Ugas’ late run at championship-level professional boxing is a result of his extensive amateur career. In 2005, “54 Milagros” won the world championships in the vested-code and he went on to take a bronze at the 2008 Olympics. Boxing in the paid ranks hasn’t always been plain sailing for Yordenis who lost three times in close, controversial contests when he was competing at 140lbs earlier in his career.

Pacquiao on points

Other than Floyd “TBE” Mayweather, Pacquiao has only ever struggled slightly with opponents who could land shots in-between his lightning fast combinations – Tim Bradley had some success because he was brave and threw so many punches, while Juan Manuel Marquez had incredible timing and accuracy.

Ugas is quality and can do a bit of everything in the ring, but I don’t think he has the ability to catch the southpaw supremo mid-combination. Pacquiao only has one KO win in over a decade but in virtually every contest he’s dominated the punches thrown and landed – the man might be in his forties but I think he still has plenty left to take another world title and I think we’ll see Pacquiao Win on points.

Ugas to be knocked down in rounds 1-6

Of course, with #WhatOddsPaddy we aren’t restricted to the traditional boxing betting markets, and the odds that are catching my eye are the ones involving Ugas getting knocked down. Pacman may not have many knockouts in the last 11-and-a-bit years but he has put plenty of opponents on the canvas.

The Filipino phenom has knocked down the likes of Thurman, Bradley, Marquez, Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley, and he even dropped Chris Algieri six times. On the flip side, Ugas has taken a tumble in at least two fights.

Pacquiao is at his sharpest in the early rounds and Ugas might have some trouble getting up to speed with the best boxer he’s ever faced. Ugas to be knocked down in rounds 1-6 is a great price and well worth picking out from the #WhatOddsPaddy options.

Tips for Pacquiao v Ugas

Pacquiao on points
Ugas to be knocked down in rounds 1-6

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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