Manny Pacquiao is indisputably one of the greatest boxers to ever set foot in the ring and on Saturday, August 21, he’ll fight in his first bout in over two years, as he takes on Yordenis Ugás from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. While his longtime antagonist Floyd Mayweather Jr. is fighting social media celebrities in unsanctioned exhibitions, this fight will be for the WBA super welterweight title. The 42-year-old Pacquiao has already said that this could be the last fight of his career, and you can order it on Sling for $74.99. To get you ready for what could be the final fight from a boxing legend, here’s what you need to know.
Ugás Steps Up
Until about a week ago, Pacquiao wasn’t even scheduled to fight Ugás. But after his original opponent, WBC and IBF welterweight title-holder Errol Spence, suffered a retinal tear that required surgery, Ugás was promoted from the undercard to take on Pac-Man.
"It's an honor to fight the great multiple division world champion, Manny Pacquiao, as I am more than ready to take on this challenge,” Ugás said when the change was announced. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Pacquiao, but I am coming to win this fight."
The 35-year-old Cuban may be a last-minute replacement, but he’s no slouch. With a 26-4 record, including 12 KOs, Ugás is hitting his prime just in time for this fight. He holds height and reach advantages over Pacquiao and unlike the south-pawed Spence, fights right-handed. What’s more, many boxing experts feel that he was robbed in his 2019 split-decision loss to Shawn Porter. As a Cuban defector who came to the U.S. to pursue his boxing dreams, Ugás has plenty of motivation to earn the respect that comes with defeating a legendary fighter like Pacquiao.
Last Fight for a Legend?
Pacquiao’s accomplishments outside of the ring are almost as impressive as his results inside it. He’s played professional basketball in the Philippines, hosted TV shows, and performed his music on Jimmy Kimmel. But of all his extracurricular activities, his career as a politician has been the most meaningful. He served in the Philippines’ House of Representatives and Senate (a seat he still holds), and until last month, was the Acting President of the PDP-Laban party.
His involvement in politics has led to speculation he may run for President of the Philippines in 2022, a rumor that Pacquiao himself hasn’t snubbed out. In fact, his spokesperson and political advisor Monico Puentevella told CNN last month that he is “going to run for President,” and that his longtime friends and advisors “were already working on his candidacy” before Pacquiao left to train in the U.S. in early July.
While this is still hypothetical, his political responsibilities would obviously preclude his boxing career, adding even more weight to the possibility that this could be the last time we see Pacquiao in the ring.
Going Over the Undercard
Pacquiao-Ugas may be the main event, but there will be plenty of action ahead of the big fight. According to Premier Boxing Champions, the prelims will feature “unbeaten lightweight contender Frank Martin battling Ryan Kielczweski in a 10-round attraction, rising lightweight prospect Jose Valenzuela competing in an eight-round fight against Esteban Sanchez and heavyweight prospect Steven Torres squaring off against Justin Rolfe.”
Three other fights fill out the card. A pair of 10-round featherweight fights open the main telecast, first with undefeated contender Carlos Castro taking on Oscar Escandon, followed by a bout between unbeaten featherweight contender Mark Magsayo and former champ Julio Ceja. The last fight before the main event features a pair of 147-pound southpaws, as Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero squares up with former world champ (and Dancing With the Stars veteran) “Vicious” Victor Ortiz.
The Pacquiao-Ugás PPV gets underway at 9pm ET on Saturday, August 21. To order for $74.99—with or without a Sling subscription—visit the "Rentals" tab.