Roy Jones Jr. reacts to Ugas’ win over Pacquiao, concerned for Errol Spence Jr.

On Saturday night, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao lost by unanimous decision to WBA 147-pound champion Yordenis Ugas at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The 42-year-old Pacquiao was supposed to fight unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., but he had to withdraw due to an eye injury.

Throughout the fight on Saturday night, Pacquiao had a hard time getting out of the way of Ugas’ jab and right hand.

While some were stunned by the result, the great Roy Jones Jr. was not. 

“It’s what I expected,” Jones said about Ugas’ win. “Pacquiao is not as young as he used to be. If you don’t have legs, you are not going to beat Ugas. Ugas is a very good fighter, a very smart fighter, a very experienced amateur fighter, and a very experienced pro fighter. 

“So, I knew going in, in my opinion, Ugas was going to be a harder fighter than Spence because Spence was going to come right at him… A guy that could box him and use his jab like Ugas did would create more of a problem, and that’s what happened.”

Jones does not think Pacquiao is done, but he believes his team should be smarter with the matchmaking going forward.

Watch below as Jones talks Pacquiao, Spence’s injured eye, and his induction into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.

Jones was on hand in Atlantic City for Sunday’s fifth annual ACBHOF induction ceremony at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Here is a list of the other individuals inducted into ACBHOF on Sunday:

Riddick Bowe, Pernell Whitaker, Al Cole, Ernest Bing, Tony Thornton, Sr., Calvin Grove, Percy Richardson, Tommy Parks, Earl Morton, Steve Weisfeld, Ron Katz, Murad Muhammad, Marc Abrams, Al Bernstein, and Ms. Laoma Byrd. Felix Trinidad, Kelly Pavlik, Simon Brown, Ivan Robinson, Aaron Snowell, Joey Eye, Frank Cappuccino, Ed Keenan, and Nino Delbuno.

For more information about the ACBHOF, go to  www.acbhof.com.

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Ugas: ‘The right hand was a shot I had planned to use on Manny(Pacquiao)’

Yordenis Ugas got the opportunity of a lifetime on Saturday night, and he took full advantage of it. 

Ugas used a beautiful jab, some decent bodywork, and a lovely right hand to outbox and out-work Manny Pacquiao to win a 12-round unanimous decision and retain his WBA 147-pound title in the main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas(FOX PPV).

All three judges scored the bout in Ugas’ favor, one turning in a 115-113 card while the other two had it 116-112. 

“I’m very excited but, most of all, I want to thank Manny Pacquiao for giving me this moment in the ring today,” Ugas said afterward. “I told you, I am the champion of the WBA, and I showed it tonight.”

The 5-9 Ugas, who was elevated to the main event after Errol Spence Jr. had to withdraw due to an eye injury, used all his advantages on Saturday night, including his size and length, which helped him tag the 42-year-old Pacquiao.

“My trainer, Ismael Salas, and I had a plan,” Ugas said. “We were going to move him around; we were going to use the jab and keep him off balance. That was the whole game plan.”

Ugas, 35, also discussed the right hand that Pacquiao could not avoid, which helped open up a cut near Pacman’s left eye.

“The right hand was a shot I had planned to use on Manny,” Ugas said. “It kept working, so I kept using it.”

Pacquiao, who was trying to get the belt back that he won in 2019 against Keith Thurman and could run for president in the Philippines in the near future, was unsure what he would do next, but according to him, he will take some time to think about it.

“In the future, you may not see Manny Pacquiao in the ring,” Pacquiao said. “I don’t know. Let me rest first, relax and make a decision if I’ll continue to fight or not.”

Being away from the ring for two years is a long time, which could have impacted Pacquiao’s performance. However, give Ugas credit. He had the perfect game plan and executed it very well.

For Ugas, Spence Jr. will probably be next when he gets healthy. Regarding Pacquiao, there’s nothing left to prove. He could fight on and still be a credible opponent, but he’s a legend, and let’s hope the legend knows when it’s time to move on.

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions

 

 

Ugas: ‘I’m here to wreck any future plans Manny Pacquiao has in the ring’

For WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas(26-4, 12 KOs), a fight with eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao(62-7-2, 39 KOs) was a fight that came unexpectedly, and a fight if he wins, that could be career-defining and career-changing.

Ugas was initially expected to battle Fabian Maidana on Saturday night, but like Errol Spence Jr., Maidana had to withdraw due to an eye injury. Ultimately, Ugas got the call to face Pacquiao, who will be defending the same title that Pacquiao won when he defeated Keith Thurman in his last fight in July 2019.

On Tuesday, Ugas and Pacquiao made their grand arrivals in Las Vegas ahead of their pay-per-view showdown this Saturday from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas(FOX PPV).

When he got the call, the 35-year-old Ugas did not hesitate to take the fight against Pacquiao.

“I didn’t hesitate at all when I got offered this fight,” Ugas said on Tuesday. “I knew right away what a big opportunity it would be and what a win like this can do for my career.

“I always work hard and give it my all every day in training camp. We were already working for the Fabian Maidana fight. Of course, once I knew I was fighting Pacquiao, I was motivated even more, but I always give it my all in training camp.”

According to Ugas, he hopes Saturday is the last time we’ll see Pacquiao in the ring.

“I’m here to wreck any future plans Manny Pacquiao has in the ring,” Ugas said. “And make sure that Saturday is his last fight.

“It feels great to be in the main event Saturday night against a true legend like Pacquiao. I can’t wait to get in the ring on Saturday night.”

Ugas is a talented fighter, and Pacquiao is 42 years old and has not fought in over two years, so anything is possible. Pacquiao-Spence would have been better, but this fight could be very good.

Photo: Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions

 

 

 

Guerrero: ‘I want to win at least one more world title’

Former multiple-division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero previewed his upcoming showdown against fellow all-action brawler “Vicious” Victor Ortiz before they square off on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View undercard Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The two former world champions are known for their aggressive styles and have been in numerous Fight of the Year candidates throughout their storied careers. On August 21 they meet looking to score a victory that will put them back in position to vie for a world title once again.

Here is what Guerrero had to say about the matchup, training camp and more:

On his upcoming matchup with Victor Ortiz:

“This fight has been a long-time coming, as I remember it was mentioned years ago, but never happened. I am excited for this bout since we both need a win, and the fans are very familiar with both of our styles. Victor Ortiz and I are both exciting fighters, and everyone knows this is going to be a fan friendly dog fight. Fighting Victor is the type of bout that got me excited to have a full professional training camp. I’m grateful to be fighting on this huge FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View card, and I’m going to give it my all.”

On his recent training camp with coach and father Ruben Guerrero:

“I have been working very hard for this camp, in fact, my father Ruben and I took camp to Las Vegas and brought along some young fighters to keep me motivated. I’ve been getting good sparring with DJ Zamora III, who is very fast. I’m feeding off all the young fighters that are training with me, and that is what keeps me fresh. You need to be around hungry fighters who are motivated to stay at this level, because it is easy to lose focus if it’s just you in the gym.”

On returning to the ring after a long layoff:

“At this point in my career, it is about getting the best fights. I got the rust off and now it’s about getting fights that get me and the fans excited. Everyone knows that when I fight, I bring it, and Victor Ortiz is an exciting fighter as well. I am at a point where I have done a lot in the sport, so I am not going to be fighting every other month like when I was a prospect. When you know how to fight, a layoff isn’t always a bad thing.”

On what a win will do for his career:

“A win here puts me in a position to get in contention for a world title, and that should be the goal of everyone who is fighting, to win a world title. If you’re not fighting to win a world title, you shouldn’t be in the sport. I want to win at least one more world title before it’s all said and done. It’s a lofty goal, but I believe in myself.”

Photo: Team Guerrero

Spence withdraws from Pacquiao fight due to eye injury, Ugas to face Pacquiao on August 21

Unified Welterweight Champion Errol Spence, Jr. was forced to withdraw from his blockbuster FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View showdown with eight-division and former welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas due to a retinal tear in his left eye.

WBA Welterweight Champion Yordenis Ugas will step up to replace Spence and will defend his title against Pacquiao, who won that title when he defeated Keith Thurman in his last fight July 2019. Ugas was preparing to make his first title defense against Fabian Maidana in the co-feature of the Spence-Pacquiao card. Being elevated to the main event against boxing legend Pacquiao means Ugas will get a career-defining fight sooner rather than later.

Spence discovered that he had a torn retina during a pre-fight medical examination by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in Las Vegas on Monday. He flew back home to Dallas, Texas on Tuesday and will have surgery to repair the tear on Wednesday. Spence is expected to make a full recovery and return to the ring.

“I’m very disappointed that I won’t be able to fight Manny Pacquiao on August 21,’’ Spence said. “I was excited about the fight and the event. Unfortunately, the doctors found a tear in my left eye and said I needed to get surgery on it ASAP and that there was no way I could fight with my eye in that condition. I’d like to apologize to everyone. You know I’ll be back as soon back soon. We’ve come back from worse.’’

“First and foremost, I ask everyone to join me in praying for a full and complete recovery for Errol Spence Jr.,’’ Pacquiao said. “Thank God his physical examination discovered his eye condition before he suffered any further damage.  I have agreed to fight Yordenis Ugas on August 21 for the WBA welterweight super championship.  The proper way and the only way to win a world title is inside the ring.”

“It’s an unfortunate turn of events that Errol has a retinal tear and subsequent surgery has prevented him from participating in this big pay-per-view event. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to his return to the ring,’’ said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “We’re excited that Manny has agreed to move forward and Ugas has stepped up to defend his title against the man who once held the title. Ugas was in the co-feature and had been preparing to fight on this date, so he’s ready. It’s a major challenge, because now he has to make his first title defense against a boxing legend in a career-defining fight.’’

The 35-year-old Ugás (26-4, 12 KOs) has established himself as an elite welterweight since returning from a layoff in 2016 and was elevated to world champion in January after winning a WBA Championship belt by defeating Abel Ramos last September. Ugás, who is from Santiago, Cuba and now lives in Miami, Florida, was on an eight-fight winning streak before losing a narrow split-decision to Shawn Porter in a world title fight in March 2019. The Olympic bronze medalist trains in Las Vegas and owns victories over then undefeated fighters Jamal James, Omar Figueroa Jr. and Bryant Perrella, plus veteran contenders Thomas Dulorme and Ray Robinson.

“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,’’ Ugas said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Pacquiao, but I am coming to win this fight. I’ve been in camp working hard with my coach Ismael Salas and I know together we will come up with a masterful game plan to combat anything Manny will bring to the ring. I wish Errol Spence Jr. a speedy recovery and I want to ensure the fans that I will be at my best for this fight.”

“Everyone knows my story about how I came to America to follow my dreams of becoming a world champion, and now it’s time to stamp my legacy with a victory, as one of the best Cuban fighters to ever put on a pair of gloves. I love my country and I want to dedicate this fight to all the men and women who are fighting for freedom.’’

Ugas-Maidana, Guerrero-Ortiz to headline Pacquiao-Spence undercard

Three exciting matchups have been added to the stacked FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View undercard headlined by eight-division world champion and Philippine Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao facing unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. on Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

WBA Welterweight World Champion Yordenis Ugás will square off against Argentina’s Fabián “TNT” Maidana in the co-main event, while former world champions and all-action brawlers Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and “Vicious” Víctor Ortiz will meet in a 10-round welterweight duel. Kicking off the pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, unbeaten featherweight contender Mark Magsayo battles former world champion Julio Ceja in a 10-round attraction.

“This is a fantastic pay-per-view undercard that is worthy of the highly-anticipated main event between Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr.,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Yordenis Ugás has established himself as an elite fighter in the star-studded welterweight division, and he will have to make sure he comes at his best for the always tough Argentine, Fabián Maidana. Robert Guerrero vs. Víctor Ortiz is a real treat for boxing fans as two of the sport’s most exciting veterans will battle looking to prove themselves ready for one more run at the world title. And in the opening bout, the extremely promising featherweight contender Mark Magsayo of the Philippines will be up against his stiffest test to date in the former champion Julio Ceja.

The 35-year-old Ugás (26-4, 12 KOs) has established himself as an elite welterweight since returning from a layoff in 2016, and was elevated to world champion in January after winning a WBA belt by defeating Abel Ramos last September. Ugás, who is from Santiago, Cuba and now lives in Miami, Florida, was on an eight-fight winning streak before losing a narrow split-decision to Shawn Porter in a world title fight in March 2019. The Olympic bronze medalist trains in Las Vegas and owns victories over then undefeated fighters Jamal James, Omar Figueroa Jr. and Bryant Perrella, plus veteran contenders Thomas Dulorme and Ray Robinson.

“Everyone knows I’m a warrior and will fight anyone on any given day, so when they presented me with this fight against Fabián Maidana, I accepted with no hesitation,” said Ugás. “I’ll be defending my WBA title and the world will see why I am must-see T.V. This will be one of the best FOX Sports PBC pay-per-view events in recent history with some of the biggest names in boxing, all fighters who are known for leaving it all in the ring. I know one thing for sure, I’ll be letting my hands fly with bad intentions on August 21. I also want to dedicate this fight to all the brave men, women and children who are fighting for their freedom in Cuba. Patria y Vida!”

Born in Santa Fe, Argentina, Maidana (18-1, 13 KOs) will look to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, former two division champion Marcos Maidana, and become the latest Argentine world champion on August 21. The 29-year-old was unbeaten in his first 16 pro fights, capping off that run with a knockout of Andrey Klimov in July 2018. Since dropping a January 2019 decision to Jaider Parra, Maidana has bounced back with a knockout of Ramses Agaton in September 2019 and a 10-round decision victory over Carlos Cordoba in April of this year.

“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for all my life,” said Maidana. “I’m thrilled to be part of such a huge fight card. I’m a man of few words, so all I can tell you is that Ugas is a great fighter but you guys will see the ‘TNT’ I have in each hand exploding on Ugas’ face on August 21.”

Guerrero (36-6-1, 20 KOs) is a three-time world champion who has won world titles at featherweight and super featherweight, and has fought a stacked lineup of elite fighters, including Floyd Mayweather, during a superb career. The Gilroy, California native returned from a 2017 defeat to Omar Figueroa Jr. to win his last three contests. After stopping Adam Mates in December 2018 and Hevinson Herrera in March 2019, Guerrero most recently won a unanimous decision over Gerald Thomas in September 2019.

“It’s great to be back in the ring, especially on a big card like Pacquiao vs. Spence,” said Guerrero. “It was an honor to kick off the first PBC fight on network television and here I am once again, ready to put on a spectacular show for the fans. Víctor Ortiz and I were always on a collision course to fight, and now it’s finally happening. One thing I know for sure, we are going to throw blows and the fans are going to see an all-out war. My time out of the ring has only fueled my desire to give the fans a great fight. Everyone should order this pay-per-view and get their popcorn ready, because it’s going to be fireworks from top to bottom.”

Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs), a former 147-pound champion, will return to the ring for the first time since a February 2018 draw against two-division champion Devon Alexander. The 34-year-old native of Garden City, Kansas, who now lives in Ventura, California, has faced some of the top names in the 147-pound division during his career. Ortiz won the welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto in April 2011, before losing the title to Floyd Mayweather.

“I am thrilled to be back in the ring on this Pacquiao vs. Spence Jr. pay-per-view undercard August 21,” said Ortiz. “Robert Guerrero is a legend who I’ve always admired. I look forward to competing against him and giving fans the toe-to-toe battle they’re expecting. I’ve had a great camp and I’m so excited to be part of this enormous event. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, I’m ready to make history again!”

The Filipino sensation Magsayo (22-0, 15 KOs) fights out of Pasig City, Metro Manila and most recently knocked out Pablo Cruz in four rounds in April 2021, following his U.S. televised debut in October 2020 that saw him defeat Rigoberto Hermosillo on FS1. The 26-year-old fights in the U.S. for the fifth time overall on August 21 and against his toughest competition to date in the former champion Ceja. Magsayo owns 12-round decision victories over Shoto Hayashi and Jose Robles Olvera, and a sixth-round stoppage of former title challenger Chris Avalos.

“This is going to be a very good matchup against a world class fighter in Ceja,” said Magsayo. “I have been waiting for a chance like this and I am thankful to my whole team for this opportunity. It’s a dream come true to be on the undercard of my number one idol, Senator Manny Pacquiao. On August 21, I’m going to show people what I can do. This is going to be a classic Philippines vs. Mexico war.”

A former super bantamweight champion, Ceja (32-4-1, 28 KOs) will move up to featherweight as he seeks an opportunity to capture a championship in a second division. Ceja’s 2019 saw him engage in two action-packed battles, dropping a June contest to former champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and most recently fighting unbeaten super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa to a draw in November. The 28-year-old captured his 122-pound title with a stoppage of Hugo Ruiz in 2015, and has also challenged for a bantamweight title throughout his career.

“I’m back and I’m more than ready to return to the ring,” said Ceja. “A Mexican vs. a Filipino is always guaranteed to be an exciting bout. I have even more motivation than ever being on a card headlined by Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence Jr.. This fight is going to get me back into contending for a championship where I belong.”

Pacquiao on fight with Spence: ‘This is one of the biggest challenges in my career’

Throughout his illustrious career, Manny Pacquiao never took the easy way out. From 2008-2011, Pacquiao had some tough fights, including battles against Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and Juan Manuel Marquez(2x).

During that timeframe, Pacquiao went 9-0.

In 2019, Pacquiao, at the age of 40, defeated then-undefeated WBA 147-pound champion Keith Thurman by split decision.

Now, at age 42, Pacquiao(62-7-2, 39 KOs) will try to defy the odds one more time when he battles unified WBC and IBF welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr.(27-0, 21 KOs) on August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas(FOX PPV).

“There were a lot of opportunities for me to pick an easier fight than this,” he said at a press conference on Sunday. “But I picked Errol Spence Jr. because I want a real fight and a great fight for the fans. I’m a fighter, and boxing is my passion.

“Errol Spence Jr. is aggressive, young, and undefeated. He’s dedicated to his career. This is definitely not an easy opponent. This is the kind of opponent you can never underestimate.”

Pacquiao’s biggest fight in his career was a loss to Floyd Mayweather back in 2015, and recently, Mayweather said he would reach out to Spence to give him advice. However, according to Pacquiao, Spence won’t need that advice.

“I don’t think Errol needs advice from Floyd Mayweather,” Pacquiao said. “I believe that Errol is a better fighter than Mayweather. Errol can teach Floyd how to fight toe-to-toe.”

Pacquiao has been in with many great fighters over the years, and Spence will be one of the best he’s ever faced. The eight-division champion thinks the fight against Spence will be one of the biggest challenges of his career.

“I won’t predict another first-round knockdown like I had against Thurman,” Pacquiao said. “I’m focusing my mind, body, and spirit on winning the fight. That’s the only goal.

“This is one of the biggest challenges in my career. I can’t say it’s the biggest because I’ve been fighting the best fighters in the world for years. But he’s right up there with anyone I’ve faced.”

If Pacquiao can pull this one off, man, he could easily go down as the greatest of all time, especially when you consider his age and the type of fighter that he will battle on August 21.

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Pacquiao on fight with Spence: ‘It is going to be wild’

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao takes on undefeated unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. in a blockbuster championship showdown that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The pay-per-view will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will pit the division’s reigning king against a legend of the sport who has proven in recent years that he is still worthy of his long held standing. Spence will look to earn a legacy-defining victory, while Pacquiao seeks one more monumental win to add to his first ballot Hall of Fame resume.

Both fighters kick off the promotional campaign side by side this Sunday, July 11, when they’ll appear for a live televised press conference on FOX beginning at 5 p.m. ET. The hour-long program will feature commentary from former opponents Keith “One Time” Thurman and “Showtime” Shawn Porter, who will offer their analysis before Pacquiao and Spence return to their training camps.

This will be the fourth FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View headlined by Spence (27-0, 21 KOs), who unified welterweight titles in September 2019 by besting Shawn Porter in one of the best fights of the year. Spence was launched into stardom when the 31-year-old first captured a welterweight crown by traveling to the U.K. to stop Kell Brook in front of his hometown fans in 2017. He followed up his title-winning victory with triumphs over Lamont Peterson and Carlos Ocampo in 2018.

Fighting out of his native Desoto, Texas, Spence returned to the ring last December for the first time since miraculously surviving a car accident in October 2019 where he was thrown from the vehicle before it crashed. Spence thrilled his hometown crowd at AT&T Stadium by defeating two-division champion Danny Garcia by unanimous decision. Spence represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics before turning pro later that year and scoring knockouts in 10 of his first 12 fights, showing the promise that he would eventually fulfill on the biggest stages of the sport.

“I’ve been waiting on this kind of major boxing event my entire career,” said Spence. “Manny Pacquiao is a boxing legend and future Hall of Famer. To be able to match skills with him and come out with a victory would be the highlight of my career thus far. I’m coming to win and he’s coming to win and that’s what makes for an all-action fight. I can’t wait to step into the ring at T-Mobile Arena on August 21 in what I expect to be an exciting night.’’

A three-time Fighter of the Year and the one-time Boxing Writers Association of America’s Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. After serving two terms as Congressman, Pacquiao was elected to a Philippine Senate seat in May 2016, capturing over 16 million votes nationally. Pacquiao’s boxing resume features victories over at least seven current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez.

In January 2019, Pacquiao put on a vintage performance against four-division champion Adrien Broner, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision in the 70th match of an illustrious career, which also marked his first time fighting back in the U.S. in two years. In his most recent performance Pacquiao added another Fight of the Year contender to his resume, as he dropped then unbeaten Keith Thurman in the first round on his way to a decision victory in a memorable action fight in July 2019.

“I am excited to be battling Errol Spence Jr.,” said Pacquiao. “Like me, Errol has an aggressive, all-action style of fighting.  Boxing fans watching at T-Mobile Arena or on pay-per-view are going to be happy with this world championship fight. It is going to be wild!”

Pacquiao-Spence set for 8/21 in Vegas

Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao(62-7-2, 39 KOs) and undefeated unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.(27-0, 21 KOs) will meet in a blockbuster championship showdown that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

This battle for welterweight supremacy will pit the division’s reigning king against a legend of the sport, who has proven in recent years that he is still worthy of his long-held standing.

Outside of a fight between Spence and Terence Crawford, this is probably the best fight that can be made at 147. We’ll see how much the 42-year-old Pacquiao has left, who last fought almost two years ago when he defeated Keith Thurman.

Can he beat another young gun?

The 31-year-old Spence, who defeated Danny Garcia last December, hopes to stay undefeated and continue to be one of the top guys in the sport of boxing.

Leonard, Pacquiao, Thurman, Holyfield, others predict Wilder-Fury 2

As fight night nears, boxing legends, world champions, celebrities and more shared their predictions for the highly anticipated rematch between unbeaten WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and undefeated lineal champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury ahead of the historic, mega PPV event this Saturday, February 22 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The heavyweight championship rematch has garnered debate ever since the controversial end of their first fight in December 2018, and remains a 50-50 fight just days before they square off again. Here are predictions from throughout the boxing world and beyond for Saturday’s main event, with the respondents leaning towards Wilder to retain his title over Fury, by an 18 to 14 margin:

Sugar Ray Leonard, Hall of Famer

Wilder W 12: “I like Deontay Wilder to win, possibly by knockout, but, in truth, I don’t see either guy being knocked out. I think that Wilder not only has that powerful right hand, but that he has improved in his ability to set it up.

“On the other hand, I know that Tyson Fury has excellent boxing abilities and a tremendous chin from the way that he got up from the two knockdowns in their previous fight. In the end, I think that Wilder is always in shape and that he will use his speed and power to get the job done.”

Jamel Herring, WBO junior lightweight world champion

Fury by Majority Decision: “If Fury can box the same way he boxed in the first fight, without any scares, he can pull it off. On the flip side, it’s hard to pick against Wilder, as he always looks more impressive in rematches.”

Manny Pacquiao, WBA Welterweight World Champion

Wilder KO 10: “Never bet against a puncher, particularly one like Deontay Wilder. I look at Wilder like I do at a Mike Tyson, another puncher. I see Wilder winning this rematch with Tyson Fury by 10th-round knockout.”

Carl Frampton, former two-weight world champion

Fury W 12: “I think it’s a very difficult fight to call. Fury won the last one by a mile, but I think Wilder will be more aggressive this time, which may play into Fury’s hands. Wilder can win by KO at any moment, but put a gun to my head, and I’d say Fury on points.”

Thomas Hearns, Hall of Famer

Wilder W 12: “Deontay Wilder can box and win, but I think that his power will be the difference in defeating Tyson Fury. I believe that it will go to a decision again, but with Deontay Wilder winning it.”

Mikaela Mayer, undefeated super featherweight/2016 U.S. Olympian
Fury by decision: “I Fury is the better boxer and smart enough to make the adjustments needed from the last fight. If he can avoid a bomb from the ‘The Bronze Bomber,’ I think he will win on the scorecards.”

Evander Holyfield, Hall of Famer

Wilder W 12: “I’m picking Deontay Wilder based on his confidence and the fact that he does all of the right things to remain in great shape, and that he’s committed to his craft.

“Wilder’s not just a big guy with a right hand, but he’s also become more calculated in his approach. That’s why I’m picking him to win this second fight against Tyson Fury.”

Michael Conlan, WBO No. 1 Featherweight Contender

Fury by decision: “He needs to be even more careful this time, but he looks like he’s put in some serious work and is ready finish what he started last time.”

Shawn Porter, former two-time world welterweight champion

Wilder KO: “I have not had this hard of a time picking a winner of a fight after dissecting every component in a very long time. I honestly believe that this fight right here will seal both of their legacies.

“This is a 50-50 fight for several reasons. Deontay Wilder will be much more patient and freer from the anxiety he had trying to put on a big show in the first fight. Tyson Fury is now two years from depression, two fights from the retirement he came out of to fight Wilder.

“Fury has changed trainers in order to take the fight to Wilder and win by KO. Fury still has his speed and quickness, while Wilder is still powerful and more confident. It’s going to be a great fight.

“It’s razor thin until the end. I’m picking Wilder to win by KO, Fury by points, or Fury by KO. This is a 50-50 fight. I said on ‘Inside PBC Boxing’ a couple of weeks ago that Wilder wins by KO, but I’m picking the fans to win.”

Xander Zayas, 17-year-old welterweight prospect
Fury by decision: “He will outbox Wilder and make the necessary adjustments. It will essentially be a repeat of the first fight, only more convincing.”

Larry Holmes, Hall of Famer

Wilder KO 7-8: “Deontay Wilder will knock out Tyson Fury in the seventh or eighth round if he does what I know that he can do, which is stay on the outside, use his jab, throw that right hand over the jab.”

Colin Cloud, LIMITLESS at The Mirage 

Wilder KO: “I predict Wilder will win by a knock-out in the first three rounds. I further predict Tyson will get ‘in the zone’ listening to some classic Jay-Z, whereas Wilder will be listening to Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’ album, because ultimately he is both a lover and a fighter.”

Adam Kownacki, undefeated heavyweight contender

Wilder KO 7: “I’m going with Deontay Wilder, and I think it’s going to be a knockout in round seven. I think it will be a rematch similar to the one with Luis Ortiz, whom he stopped in the 10th round the first time and in the seventh round the second time.

“Wilder will be patient, wait for his opening, and then, he will deliver. I think Wilder lands the big right hand and that, this time, Fury doesn’t get up.”

Robert Garcia, trainer of Mikey Garcia

Fury W 12: “I see Tyson Fury winning by a decision over Deontay Wilder. Unlike the first time, where he was knocked down twice, I believe that Fury will be fight more cautiously and that he’ll win a decision.”

Keith Thurman, former unified welterweight world champion

Wilder KO: “I’m going with Deontay Wilder, who is one of the most dangerous punchers in boxing history. There’s something about the first time that you step into the ring with an opponent, the entire, ‘I’ve never seen you; you’ve never seen me before.’

“But the fact is, Wilder now knows the movement, the speed and the tactics that Tyson Fury has, but, of course, Fury has the ability to dance, move around and change it up. But as long as Wilder can keep up with and move with him, I believe that he will do what he does best.

“I believe that Wilder can end the fight at any moment, aiming that right hand straight down the pipe, which he just about did in the last fight. It’s a tremendous event, I missed the first one, but I’ll be present at this next one and another great heavyweight rivalry. Team BombZquad.”

Matt Goss, 1OAK Las Vegas at The Mirage 

Fury W “So proud of Tyson and his mindset and all of the battles he has won in and outside of the ring. Massively respect you Tyson, from one Brit to another, go and do what you do best, TCB.”

Mikey Garcia, former four-division world champion

Wilder KO 8: “I’ve got Deontay Wilder knocking out Tyson Fury in the eighth round. Wilder will be much more aggressive than he was in their first fight. Wilder will catch Fury with a big shot in the eighth round.”

Michelin Star Chef Akira Back, Chef for Yellowtail at Bellagio and Kumi at Mandalay Bay 

Wilder KO 9: “Wilder in a 9th round KO.  And after he knocks out Fury, I hope he will have time to stop by Yellowtail to celebrate and have a shot with me.”

Ruben Guerrero, trainer of Robert Guerrero

Fury W 12: “Tyson Fury is much more focused going into this fight. He’s not partying like he was, and he didn’t go into camp out of shape. He’s gotten God-centered in his life now, so I’m picking Fury to win by decision over Deontay Wider.”

Jermall Charlo, Undefeated WBC Middleweight World Champion

Wilder KO 10: “Deontay Wilder by knockout in the 10th over Tyson Fury. Deontay has to establish the jab early to get close, then crank right hands repeatedly.”

Marcus Deegan, MC, Thunder from Down Under at Excalibur

Fury KO 2: “After Tyson Fury got up like a zombie from the dead after that devastating knock down in their first fight, it shows his heart is beyond those of a normal human. This time around, I believe Tyson Fury will be victorious via knockout in the second round.”

Chris Colbert, interim WBA Super Featherweight Champion

Wilder KO 8: “I feel like Tyson Fury is less confident for this fight, and I think that Deontay Wilder is going to win by knockout. I would like to see Fury put up a helluva fight, but I don’t think that will happen this time.

Wilder has more hunger to come back and to do better in his rematches, like he did against Bermane Stiverne and Luis Ortiz. I don’t think Fury goes any further than eight rounds this time.”

Paulie Malignaggi, former two-division world champion

Fury W 12: “I feel like it’s going to be Tyson Fury on points, but it’s a fight between the two best fighters in the weight class.

“The onus is Deontay Wilder to make the adjustments, whereas if Fury fights the same fight, odds are, he’s probably going to get the decision.

“I do think that Fury has to be careful with getting careless in spots, but Wilder can’t just fight believing that he can land one shot and get him out of there.

“Fury is a great boxer who can probably be better at avoiding the shot the second time around because he knows what he’s dealing with.”

David Benavidez, undefeated WBC Super Middleweight World Champion

Wilder KO 11: “I think Deontay Wilder knocks out Tyson Fury in the 11th round, but I think it’s gonna be a close fight until that happens. Still, I think Wilder wins the fight.

“I think Tyson Fury will have a lot of success early, but that ultimately Wilder will catch him with that big right hand and knock him out.”

Andy Lee, former middleweight world champion

Fury KO 2: “Tyson Fury can win this fight with Deontay Wilder in any way that he wants, whether by stoppage or knockout or accumulation of punishment on points.

“But the way that Fury’s looking in training, I will say that he wins by stoppage or knockout, and I’ll say he wins in round number two.

“I’m a former Kronk Gym fighter, and he’s being trained by [Emanuel Steward’s nephew Javon] SugarHill Steward, and you know what all of us Kronk Gym fighters want – knockouts.”

Anthony Dirrell, former two-time super middleweight champion

Wilder KO 8: “I am picking Deontay Wilder to win the rematch with Tyson Fury, and I think that it will happen in Round eight or nine.

“I just believe that Wilder will be better than he was in the last fight, and you can just look at his record in rematches against Bermane Stiverne and Luis Ortiz.”

Terry Fator, Terry Fator: The VOICE of Entertainment at The Mirage 

Fury KO 4: “I am a huge fight fan…it’s why I never miss a presidential debate. My prediction–Fury in 4 when Wilder hits the floor.”

Charles Martin, former world heavyweight champion

Wilder KO 8: “Deontay Wilder’s gonna win by knockout. I believe that Tyson Fury will be out-boxing Wilder for most of the rounds, but then, he will get stopped by that powerful right hand in the eighth.”

John Ryder, former WBA interim super middleweight champion 

Fury KO: “I believe this fight will be a lot more explosive then the first. I believe Deontay Wilder will feel Tyson Fury can’t hurt him and will go for the KO very early and fade later in the fight. Tyson will get him out of there anywhere after the eighth round.”

 Luis Ortiz, heavyweight contender

Wilder W 12: “Deontay Wilder will win a decision over Tyson Fury, who will be coming in respecting Wilder’s power and being wary of taking a shot based on all of the evidence of Wilder’s previous fights with me, and from their first fight.

“Looking at what Wilder was able to do with me during the championship rounds of our first fight and also much sooner than that in our second fight, he’s going to be worrying about taking a similar shot, otherwise, there’s a locomotive coming.”

Bermane Stiverne, former world heavyweight champion

Wilder KO: “I think Deontay Wilder will knock out Tyson Fury, it’s just a matter of when he lands the right hand or the left hook and finishes him off.

“Wilder’s power saved him in the last round against Fury the first time, but I think that now that Fury has tasted Wilder’s power, I think that has to be in the back of his mind.

“Whether it’s the first or the last round, just like Fury was doing well in the first fight, I think it’s going to be a knockout for Wilder.”

Michael Clift, “Barry Gibb”, The Australian Bee Gees Show at Excalibur Hotel & Casino 

Fury W: “Wilder will come after Fury and try for a big knockout punch, that’s his best hope. Fury will bide his time and use his reach and awkward style to wear Wilder down and strike when he sees him tiring. I’d like to see Wilder win but I think Fury will be too strong. Fury to win!”