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Sports journalists and boxers pour out love and support for Pacquiao after loss to Ugas

By AYIE LICSI Published Aug 23, 2021 1:28 pm

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.

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.

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.

Other boxers also applauded Pacman's performance and illustrious boxing career.

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.

"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.

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.

Thumbnail and banner images by Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES NORTH