Manny Pacquiao's loss to Yordenis Ugas left boxing fans around the world shocked. But sports journalists and fellow boxers alike lauded the two fighters' performance in the ring—some of them also honored the 42-year-old Pacman and pondered if this match would be his last.
On Twitter, Ugas graciously thanked Pacquiao for the fight, naming the Filipino boxing icon as one of his inspirations in the ring.
#PacquiaoUgas Thanks to @MannyPacquiao for giving me the opportunity to share the ring with him, he is still one of the best fighters in history. Much respect. Thanks to everyone who supported me. I hope we gave a great fight to all the fans. Thanks?? #ThankGod #teamugas— Yordenis Ugas (@YordenisUgas) August 22, 2021
The Cuban boxer referred to Pacquiao as "champion" in his tweets and said how it was an honor to fight against the Hall of Famer.
#PacquiaoUgas I always said it, if it was the last fight of a legend. He was doing it against a worthy fighter. My best wishes to you champion. Thanks. Sharing the ring with you was an honor that I will never forget. Blessing. #ThankGod #teamugas #elmilagro pic.twitter.com/m56YuHOUzn— Yordenis Ugas (@YordenisUgas) August 22, 2021
Meanwhile, Pacquiao's supposed opponent, Errol Spence Jr., also tweeted after the iconic fight. Spence didn't say anything directly about Pacquiao, but he did applaud Ugas' performance.
Man ?— Errol Spence (@ErrolSpenceJr) August 22, 2021
Good shit @YordenisUgas— Errol Spence (@ErrolSpenceJr) August 22, 2021
Other boxers also applauded Pacman's performance and illustrious boxing career.
They will never be ANOTHER Manny Pacquiao— Rougarou (@RPrograis) August 22, 2021
Pacquaio will forever be my favorite fighter and inspiration— RYAN GARCIA (@RyanGarcia) August 22, 2021
Manny will always be one of my favourite fighters ever, I was lucky enough to be on his undercard. If that was the last time we were to see him box, just be happy you got to witness greatness over the last 20 odd years! What a legend of a man & fighter ?? #Pacquiao pic.twitter.com/SLAWjtnQKU— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) August 22, 2021
Ugas fought a great fights. Props to manny for taking on a tough challenge still a legend.— Danny 'Swift' Garcia (@DannySwift) August 22, 2021
In a quick interview with Little Giant Boxing, Pacquiao's old rival Erik Morales said: "Age caught up to Pacquiao, the Ugas fight was complicated."
During the post-fight press conference, coach Freddie Roach addressed Pacquiao's retirement. "He’s boxed for a long, long time and he’s boxed with me for a long-time," the trainer said.
“He’s the best customer I’ve ever had. He’s the best guy, the best fighter. You know, I hate to see the day that he will retire but this could be it. And we didn’t have a great performance tonight but we’ll see what Manny decides," Roach added.
Sports journalists have also been discussing whether or not the 42-year-old Filipino should hang up his gloves.
If this is it for Manny Pacquiao, he leaves the sport with an incredible resume:— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 23, 2021
? Only boxer to win a title in eight different weight classes
? Only boxer to hold titles in four different decades
? Only boxer to win the welterweight title four times pic.twitter.com/Szx9WkmjWv
"Pacquiao’s amazingly muscular legs betrayed him. He couldn’t catch up to Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas, nor could he evade the younger man’s hurtful responses," wrote Lance Pugmire of The Athletic.
"If this truly is it for him, the sport of boxing will miss Pacquiao, a fighter who has evolved in so many ways over the years. When he catapulted to the top of the pound-for-pound lists in the early 2000s, Pacquiao was blasting opponents out left and right. It wasn't just the brutality he displayed in the ring; it was the way he juxtaposed that violence with an easygoing demeanor and perpetual smile outside of it," chronicled ESPN reporter Mike Coppinger.
Yes, Manny Pacquiao clearly lost to Yordenis Ugas. And yes, he should retire before he turns 43. No matter what he chooses, his legacy is secure. Not just one of the all-time greats, but one of the biggest stars in boxing history. An ode to the legendhttps://t.co/sKsxY9y8Mx— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) August 22, 2021
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports wrote about why the Hall of Famer should step out of the ring, saying his role as a politician deserves more attention.
"He has a job that is more important than boxing now. The Philippines is rife with problems. As a politician, it’s his job to help fix those. And he can’t do it effectively as a part-timer," Iole wrote. "He owes his people 100 percent of himself in his new line of work, whether that means remaining in the senate, seeking the presidency, or just working as a civilian for human rights."
"He had a fantastic run and is clearly one of the greatest fighters who ever lived. He has nothing to prove and no one to impress," Iole continued.
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