Photo by Sean Michael Ham.
For Your Edification* is a weekly Slice of Culture series where staff writer Ed Daniel take topics — Hudson County or national news related — and provides social commentary.
Iconic boxer Manny Pacquiao was supposed to challenge Errol Spence Jr. for the World Boxing’s Council’s (WBC) welterweight title. Spence had to bow out of the fight due to a discovery of a retinal tear in his right eye.
Spence is considered to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. He currently holds the IBF and WBC Welterweight title and has held onto the championship title since 2017.
Pacquiao will still challenge for a welterweight title next Saturday, Aug. 21, but it will be against Yordenis Ugas. We already know about Pacquiao, so let’s get to know his opponent, Ugas, also known as 54 Milagros.
Now if you are just a casual viewer of sports, you may ask yourself who the hell is Ugas?
No problem, we can give you the sparknotes.
Ugas is from Cuba and is 35 years old — seven years younger than Pacquiao.
He won lightweight gold at the 2005 world championships. In 2006, he won the Central American Championships. Also in 2006, he was a part of the Cuban team that won the 2006 Boxing World Cup.
In 2008, he won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics games. He made his pro debut in boxing on July 9, 2010 in a win against Dino Dumonjic.
How he stacks up
Ugas currently holds the WBA championship.
He is 26-4 and has had impressive wins over Omar Figureoe Jr. who he dominated against and won every round in the fight.
He defeated Abel Ramos for the vacant WBA world welterweight title. His masterful use of the double jab against Ramos was a sight to see for boxing fans.
At the 1:30 minute mark you can see how strong 54 Milagros double jab is.
The ability to use double jabs helped Ugas land more than double the amount of punches on his opponent, which helped in his split decision win for the WBA welterterweight title.
Even in an arguable decision loss to Shawn Porter for the title in 2019, we see the punching power of 54 Milagros.
Can he win?
In 26 of his wins, 12 have been by knockouts, which is also served by his killer double jab. He also has a big body for welterweight, which can wear on his opponents.
He stands 5’9” to Pacquiao’s 5’6”, and has a 69-inch reach to Pacquiao’s 67 inch reach.
Pacquiao is fighting for the first time since 2019. With all that being said he is still the underdog going into this fight. The Filipino boxer is favored -310 by the oddsmakers to win this fight.
Pacman is still a great fighter — despite not being in his prime — and Ugas’ unorthodox fighting stance does give opponents open shots, leaving him vulnerable to being knocked out by Pacquiao.
We will see next Saturday Aug. 21 on pay-per-view.
If you want Ed to tackle a specific topic please email hello@sliceofculture and firstname.lastname@example.org.