Early in the fight, Pacquiao flashed superior speed with his hands and feet, diving into punching range, unloading combinations and darting out of danger. But Ugas boxed like a pitcher who changes speeds and arm angles to keep batters off balance. As rounds progressed, Ugas increasingly set the tempo with his left jab, bouncing it off Pacquiao’s forehead and spearing him to the body. Often he paired those jabs with right hands — straight ones to Pacquiao’s face, roundhouse blows to the temple and heavy shots to the stomach.
Ten seconds from the end of the 11th round, Pacquiao set his feet and cocked his left hand, and in the split second before he could throw his punch, Ugas landed a roundhouse right to the side of the head. The passage encapsulated Ugas’s plan, to control distance and tempo with his length and accurate punching.
“I knew I had to do my job, and not his job,” said Ugas, who is now 27-4. “I’m happy. I showed what kind of fighter I am.”
Two judges scored the bout 116-112, and a third scored it 115-113, all for Ugas.
According to CompuBox, Pacquiao threw 815 punches and landed 130, a rate of 16 percent. Ugas threw just 405 punches, but landed 151, for a 37.3 percent success rate. Ugas also landed 59.1 percent of his power punches, compared with 25.9 percent for Pacquiao.
Those numbers illustrate efficiency from Ugas, and highlight Pacquiao’s trouble both avoiding punches and landing his own. For Roach, the statistics portend trouble for Pacquiao’s future as an elite boxer.
“I’m a little bit worried about it, yes,” Roach said at the news conference. “I’d hate to see that day when he retires, but this could be it.”