In almost all professions, 42 is not old. Some would even say a 40 something is in their prime. Loads of experience. Wisdom.

In sports, it’s different. 42 IS OLD. There are rare cases, but those ARE rare indeed.

Manny Pacquiao will be 43 in four months. He hasn’t boxed in two years. He’ll be seeking another world title in a fourth decade when he faces Yordenis Ugas this Saturday in Las Vegas.

Ugas has been victorious in 26 of 30 fights, scoring 12 knockouts. Many, including this writer, thought he defeated Shawn Porter two years ago. He didn’t get the decision. No surprise with the way boxing is.

Pacquiao was last seen in the ring edging Keith Thurman over 12 rounds. He knocked Thurman down in the first round, wilted a little in the middle rounds, then hurt Thurman with a body shot late. His win was one for the ages. How long can he go on? He’s engaged in over 70 professional fights. There has to be a stop sign at some point.

Ugas is flying well below the radar. So low he’s barely seen. Ugas is hungry. He feels disrespected. But as we know, wanting something and executing are two different things.

Could Pacquiao have a letdown on August 21? For weeks he had trained to meet undefeated welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Spence is a beast, but even a beast won’t be allowed to fight with a torn retina.

Enter Ugas, who realizes that this is a chance of a lifetime.

“This has been a long road for me,” Ugas said. ” it is short notice that I learned I was fighting Pacquiao, but I’m thankful for the opportunity and I’m ready to take advantage of it.”

To Pacquiao, his age is not a factor.

“I feel young right now,” said Pacquiao. “I’m just happy with what I’m doing because boxing is my passion. I enjoy training camp and I’m excited to sacrifice and be disciplined every day to prepare for a fight like this.

Shawn Porter believes that Ugas has a real chance to defeat Pacquiao.

“If we can get a toe-toe battle, it can go either way,” said the former two-time champion.

If this and if that.

The bottom line is if Pacquiao is still Pacquiao, he wins by decision or late stoppage.

If not…

Source: John J. Raspanti