Cuban champion Yordenis Ugás showed nothing but respect for Manny Pacquiao, after stunning the Filipino boxing legend in their welterweight fight in Las Vegas.
A massive underdog despite entering as the defending WBA champion, Ugás shocked the world as he comprehensively outboxed Pacquiao to secure a unanimous decision victory.
The Cuban expressed his delight at legitimizing his reign as WBA welterweight champion, having been elevated to "super" champion status in January when Pacquiao was stripped of the belt.
But he also expressed his gratitude to the "Pacman" for giving him the opportunity of a lifetime.
"Thanks to Manny Pacquiao for giving me the opportunity to share the ring with him. He is still one of the best fighters ever. Much respect," Ugás said in an Instagram post.
Ugás was a late replacement for American Errol Spence Jr., who had to withdraw from the fight with just 11 days to go after a medical examination revealed a torn retina in his left eye.
On Twitter, Ugás admitted that he was surprised to have gotten the opportunity, but did not hesitate to grab it even as very few gave him a chance.
"Many made fun of me," he noted. "But (they) don't put me off. I kept working hard for my first defense. I never asked for this fight (but) in 11 days, I prepared myself to beat a legend."
Ugás also expressed his hope that he and Pacquiao gave the crowd at the T-Mobile Arena "a great fight," even though the audience was overwhelmingly in favor of the Filipino ring icon.
"Incredible fight with Manny Pacquiao, one of the best fighters in history," Ugás said. "Go home, and get the champion back. Thanks for being an inspiration. Legend. I respect."