One of boxing’s legends is back in the ring this weekend as Manny Pacquiao takes on Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas.
The Filipino fighter is challenging Ugas for his WBA welterweight belt, and we have the latest betting odds and picks right here.
Pacquiao’s original opponent was supposed to be Errol Spence Jr, but the unbeaten American pulled out of the fight last week with an eye injury.
Ugas was originally due to fight on this card in the co-main event but stepped up at short notice to defend his belt against the former holder.
Ironically, Ugas only got elevated to welterweight champion in January of this year after Pacquiao was stripped of the belt due to inactivity.
The top sports betting sites make Manny Pacquiao their betting favorite for Saturday’s fight. The Filipino is -350 to win his 63rd bout this weekend.
Let’s take a look at the two boxers, starting with the Pac-Man.
Pacquiao is one of the all-time greats of boxing.
This will be his 72nd professional fight, and at the age of 42 he is set to break more records should he win again.
This will be the eight-division champion Pacquiao’s first fight since he defeated Keith Thurman in July 2019 to win this same belt.
That fight was determined in Pacquiao’s favor via split decision. Most observers felt the veteran fighter won, but some dissenting voices argued that Thurman should have got the decision.
At the ripe old age of 40, the victory over Thurman seen the Pac-Man become the oldest welterweight to win a world title in boxing history.
Before that fight, Pacquiao had beaten American Adrian Broner. That result was far less contentious, with the Filipino winning by unanimous decision.
A result that even Broner’s most ardent followers couldn’t contest!
At the tender – compared to his opponent – age of 35, the Cuban fighter is no ring novice himself. But put his record next to Pac-Man’s, and it tells a different story.
Ugas has been in the ring as a professional on 30 occasions. His record reads 26 wins, to 4 losses.
The most recent fight for the Cuban was a split decision win over Abel Ramos in September of last year.
Before that, Ugas beat Mike Dallas Jr back in February 2020, forcing the American to retire.
That fight came after he beat Omar Figueror Jr by unanimous decision in July 2019.
Ugas’ most recent defeat came in his welterweight world title showdown with Shawn Porter in his 27th fight.
The Cuban lost that bout via split decision back in March 2019 in California.
This will be Pacquiao’s third fight since January 2019, while it will be Ugas’ 5th fight in the same period.
The Filipino isn’t as young as he once was, or even as young as his opponent. Will the lack of recent fights help or hinder the veteran boxer?
With his older legs, he can’t fight as often as before. But with just 2 fights in the last 30 months, will rustiness be Manny’s biggest enemy?
Pacquiao is also seemingly just one fight away from retirement. The originally planned fight against Errol Spence looked a lot more dangerous than this one, so the Pac-Man won’t want to go out on anti-climax this Saturday.
In his mind, he will expect to win this and then have one more big fight again against Errol Spence Jr or maybe Amir Khan in the UK.
I don’t expect a man of Pacquiao’s standing to take his eye off the ball for this fight. Yes, he will be planning for a big fight next up. But he is way too long in the tooth to not be focussed enough on winning this contest.
Ugas is a dangerous opponent and despite Pacquiao training for a more difficult one in Spence, he will still be required to adapt.
The same has to be said for Ugas. He wasn’t planning for what is now the biggest fight of his career. He’s got a massive and unexpected shot at a huge prize, and he won’t want to miss it.
When you look at the two men’s records, there can only be one winner though. In the boxing betting odds, I’m taking Pacquiao to win at -350. He is just too ring-wise.
Will the Cuban go for broke and try to stop the Filipino legend?
That would represent a change in tactics for Ugas though. In his 30 fights to date, 18 have gone to decision. And in his most recent five fights, four have gone the distance.
He must know that to have any chance of beating the Pac-Man, he needs to force a stoppage. I don’t see Ugas winning on points.
Ugas is better betting odds with BetOnline to win by KO or TKO though. To win by these methods, Ugas is +1100, compared to odds of +350 to win by points or decision.
For Pacquiao, he is the master when it comes to winning on points. He knows what impresses the judges, and he has a 23-4 record when the judges get involved.
Pacquiao is +140 to win on points or decision, and I wouldn’t be against that bet.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: