Fightful Boxing Newsletter (3/7): No Wilder vs. Fury 2, Latest On GGG, Porter vs. Ugas Preview

Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas Preview

Premier Boxing Champions’ next Fox card is set to take place on March 9 at the Dignity Health Sports Park with a main event of Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas for the WBC welterweight title.

The fight will mark the return of Porter into the spotlight as a world champion, something that he wasn’t able to do since 2014 when he was the IBF titleholder. Now in his first defense, Porter aims to further stake his claim as the division’s top welterweight as the division’s champions are very busy with their own big fights in the first few months of 2019.

With other champions such as Keith Thurman, Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr. and Manny Pacquiao either recently defending their respective titles or are going to do so soon, it’s can be understood if this fight is under the radar. That’s not to say there is no intrigue in this fight. In fact, from a interpersonal standpoint, Porter vs. Ugas may be the most intense among the welterweight matchups as of late. The two have shared a sparring session that both fighters did not wish to speak a whole lot about, which is an unwritten rule among fighters, but one could also interpret as something noteworthy happened between the two.

For Porter, a win over Ugas might not add a lot to his legacy, but it is imperative that he performs well in this fight if he hopes to get superfights against some of the other champions down the road and perhaps have an eventual pay-per-view main event. In an exclusive interview with Fightful, Porter looked at Ugas and understands the unique challenge that Ugas brings to the table. Aside from his obvious physical gifts and underrated punching power, Ugas carries perhaps the most dangerous weapon of them all: momentum.

Ugas is coming into the fight on an eight-fight win streak, looking impressive or dominant in nearly every single win in the last few years. His 12-round decision win over Cesar Barrionuevo might not inspire a ton of confidence in people picking Ugas to beat Porter because of how lackluster Ugas looked in dragging the fight to the scorecards instead of knocking him out.

But make no mistake in believing that Ugas is incapable of letting his hands go. A quick look at Ugas’ win over Ray Robinson shows that when pushed into a physically demanding firefight, Ugas can be aggressive. A win over Porter will certainly be looked as a major upset by many, but it shouldn’t be a truly shocking upset given the factors in play for the Cuban.

The undercard features a mix between promising prospects and former world titleholders looking to get back into contention. Heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba, who is a long-term project, but short career thus far looks very promising and his next fight will be against 46-year-old Amir Mansour, who didn’t fight for nearly a decade in the 2000s after serving more than eight years in prison on a controlled substance charge. Although Mansour is nearing 50 years old, he has faced several notable names in recent years such as Filip Hrgovic, Dominic Breazeale and Sergey Kuzmin among others. Also on the undercard 2016 Olympian Eimantas Stanionis who is 7-0 as a pro since making his debut in the paid ranks in 2017.

As far as the veterans are concerned, former world champions Jesus Cuellar and Robert Guerrero are going to fight in separate fights.

Tale of the Tape: Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas

Shawn Porter:

Record: 29-2-1 (17 KO)

Age: 31

Height: 5’7”

Reach: 69.5”

Notable Wins: Danny Garcia, Andre Berto, Adrien Broner, Paulie Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Julio Diaz

Titles Won: WBC Welterweight, IBF Welterweight titles

Yordenis Ugas:

Record: 23-3 (11 KO)

Age: 32

Height: 5’9”

Reach: 69”

Notable Wins: Ray Robinson, Thomas Dulorme, Jamal James

Titles Won: N/A

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