Top Rank dumped Yordenis Ugas as Manny Pacquiao had his worst year

ryan hafey

An ironic twist of fate happened for Manny Pacquiao conqueror Yordenis Ugas as the Cuban was released by Top Rank after his first loss.

In 2012, Ugas was 11-0 and enjoying a strong start in the pro ranks after a stellar amateur career.

But the Diego Magdaleno vs. Fernando Beltran undercard fights proved his last appearance under Bob Arum.

Losing to the unheralded Johnny Garcia via a debated split decision saw Ugas dropped by the Las Vegas-based company.

The storyline played out despite Ugas going 11-0 going into the fight and looking like he did enough to win.

It was a blow for Ugas, who recalled the situation recently.

He was responding to Stephen Edwards, the @BreadmanBoxing on Twitter, who was watching Edgar Berlanga’s progress.

“I’m watching matchmaking closely,” Edwards said. “If Top Rank can’t develop you 99% of the time, you’re not going up to the championship level.

“With the exception of Ugas, I can’t think of a case. But Pavlik took a long time to develop, and he was real. If anyone can make Berlanga an elite champion, it’s him.

Ugas replied, “I was released at 11-1. It was an emotional blow too hard for me to be despised [sic, possibly disposed of] like that.

“I had just won twelve national championships in twelve years in Cuba. I was a double amateur world champion and an Olympic medalist.

“I took years to recover. But there are no hard feelings,” he added.


Unknown in the first quarter of 2012, the star of Top Rank was none other than future opponent Manny Pacquiao.

However, Pacquiao’s year was on the verge of falling apart following a shock decision by Timothy Bradley a few months later.

Pacquiao returned in December but was then knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez with a punch heard around the world.

Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Manny Pacquiao KO 2012
Chris Flour

It took nine years for Ugas to get back to the top when he ended Pacquiao’s 12-plus rounds last August.

The release was a cruel twist of fate that made Ugas’ victory later in his tenure even sweeter.

He now has the chance to fight Errol Spence Jr. for three versions of the welterweight title when the pair collide on April 16.

Pacquiao should have been the one against Spence in 2021 until injury ruled out the latter, giving Ugas the chance to crash.

They call it boxing twists.

WBN editor Phil has over ten years experience in boxing news. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.