After loss to Ugás, what's next for Manny Pacquiao?

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 22 2021 02:24 PM

Manny Pacquiao (right) fights Yordenis Ugasin a world welterweight championship bout at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Manny Pacquiao (right) fights Yordenis Ugasin a world welterweight championship bout at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

MANILA, Philippines -- Manny Pacquiao will have some tough decisions to make in the coming days.

The Philippine boxing icon absorbed a shock loss to Cuba's Yordenis Ugás in their welterweight match in Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), putting the future of his boxing career in question.

Even before the opening bell rang, there was already the possibility that the Ugás bout would be Pacquiao's last, due to the Filipino boxer's age as well as his political aspirations in the Philippines. 

That possibility only grew brighter after Pacquiao's inefficient performance where he struggled to break through Ugás' guard and landed just 16% of his punches.

"I don't know, I don't know," Pacquiao said, when asked about his boxing future, shortly after the end of their match.

Ugás won via unanimous decision, with scores of 115-113, 116-112, 116-112, to retain the WBA welterweight championship.

"Let me rest first and relax, and make a decision if I'll continue to fight or not," Pacquiao added.

If it was the end of his boxing career, Pacquiao will exit as a surefire Hall-of-Famer, the only boxer to win championships in eight different weight divisions. 

It's not the only decision he has to make, however.

The "Fighting Senator" was also asked about his political plans, specifically if he intends to run for president of the Philippines. In a recent Sports Illustrated feature, Pacquiao implied that the presidency was his "destiny."

"God has a plan for me. I want to be a legend in boxing and a legend in politics. That is my legacy," he told Greg Bishop.

After losing to Ugás, Pacquiao did not make a concrete announcement about his political future. Instead, the Filipino people will have to wait for a while.

"I will make a final announcement next month," he said when asked if he will run for president.

Pacquiao, who in recent months has earned the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte, admitted that he is in for a difficult fight in the political arena, a situation tougher than any he has encountered inside the boxing ring.

"I don't know. I know that I'm facing a big problem and more difficult works than boxing, but I want to help the people. I want to help them," he added.


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