BOXING

Pacquiao: fellow fighters, Andre Ward, Frank Bruno and Michael Conlan praise "one of the best"

Former supermiddleweight champion Andre Ward was among those to tweet about Manny Pacquiao, who suffered a surprise defeat to Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas.

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Pacquiao defeat 'sad' to watch but fellow fighters praise 'one of the best'

Andre Ward felt it was sad to see Manny Pacquiao look a shadow of his former self as the legendary Filipino was beaten by Yordenis Ugas on Saturday. Pacquiao's return to the ring at the age of 42 did not go to plan, Ugas winning the welterweight title fight in Las Vegas on points.

The Cuban only stepped in to take the fight with less than two weeks to prepare following Errol Spence Jr's withdrawal due to an eye injury, yet he emphatically grabbed the unexpected opportunity. Pacquiao stated that he would consider his future following the loss and Ward, who retired undefeated at the age of 33 in 2017, suggested one of the all-time greats should put his family first when it comes to deciding what happens next.

The American tweeted: "It's sad to see our champions not look the way we are accustom [sic] to seeing them look in the ring. As a fan of the sport, it’s sad, but it comes with the territory if you stay around long enough. I hope Manny does what's best for him and his family. Respect."

Pacquiao, "a one-off"

Former three-division world champion Abner Mares described Pacquiao as a one-off after what could prove to be his last bout. "Manny Pacquiao is a legend and hall of famer and is one of the best to have ever step foot in a ring," he tweeted. "I have nothing but respect and there will never and I repeat will never ever be another Manny PACMan Pacquiao."

Danny Garcia and Ryan Garcia also expressed their respect for Pacquiao, who went down 115-113, 116-112, 116-112 on the scorecards. "Ugas fought a great fights [sic]. Props to manny for taking on a tough challenge still a legend," Danny Garcia posted. Ryan Garcia meanwhile wrote: "Pacquaio will forever be my favourite fighter and inspiration."

Ugas' respect for Pacquiao

For his part, Ugas posted after the bout: "Thanks to Manny Pacquiao for giving me the opportunity to share the ring with him, he is still one of the best fighters in history. Much respect. Thanks to everyone who supported me. I hope we gave a great fight to all the fans."

Michael Conlan tweeted: "Manny will always be one of my favourite fighters ever, I was lucky enough to be on his undercard. If that was the last time we were to see him box, just be happy you got to witness greatness over the last 20 odd years! What a legend of a man & fighter."

Former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno posted: "Morning I was intrigued 2 C Manny Pacquiao lose 2 Yordenis Ugas should he give up now? He knows his body irrespective of that he's a boxing legend just don't want 2 C him get long term hurt."