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Pacquiao-Ugas rematch in peril?



MANNY Pacquiao (right) wants revenge following his unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF WENDELL ALINEA

It doesn’t look as if Manny Pacquiao will get the opportunity to avenge his loss to Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas in case the Filipino icon decides to fight again.

Reports the Daily Tribune got from the United States reveal that Ugas, who scored a 12-round unanimous decision in Las Vegas, is on a collision course with Errol Spence in a three-belt welterweight title showdown.

Spence was originally booked to face Pacquiao last month at T-Mobile Arena but he pulled out ten days before the match after failing to pass a routine eye examination conducted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Since Ugas’ victory, he has been travelling a lot around the country, partying and just chilling as he awaits for the call to show up for training camp in Las Vegas.

A Daily Tribune source said Ugas, 35, is going to do just that very soon.

“It’s (going to be) Spence (for Ugas’ next fight). 1,000 percent,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao is neck-deep in his political plans but is likewise keeping an eye on a return fight, most probably his farewell, in December or January.

Pacquiao, who turns 43 on 17 December, insists he probably burned himself out during training as he didn’t listen to his trainers’ advice to slow down in the final days leading up to the Ugas clash.

That move turned out to be very costly as Pacquiao, the only fighter to ever win eight world titles in as many weight classes, suffered leg cramps all night long, a malady he has been suffering from since 2006.

Following the Ugas loss, Pacquiao sounded off that he might hang up his gloves, a sentiment that was likewise shared by his longtime trainer Freddie Roach.

But there were those who firmly believed that the Ugas defeat was nothing but a freak accident.

Among them were local trainers Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri, who both lamented the fact that Pacquiao didn’t bother to listen to their pleas in the final days of the preparation.

If indeed Ugas is being groomed to take on Spence, Pacquiao has no choice but to look elsewhere for a dancing partner in his bid to cap his Hall of Fame career with a big bang.

Sean Gibbons, who runs the Pacquiao-owned MP Promotions, admits Ugas’ style posed major problems and it is not advisable for Pacquiao to meet him head-on in his planned comeback bout.

The names of British banger Amir Khan and American slugger Mikey Garcia have been mentioned as early candidates since their styles appear to be ideal.

Still, it would all depend on Pacquiao, who will be making the call about his future.

An announcement is going to be made in the next few weeks in relation to his boxing career.