Shawn Porter nearly lost his title on two occasions this week, but managed to retain his belt by a hair, both figuratively and literally.
In a figurative sense, Porter successfully retained his WBC welterweight title with a close split decision win against Yordenis Ugas in the main event of a PBC on Fox card from Carson, California. Judges Max DeLuca and Steve Morrow scored the bout for Porter 115-113 and 116-112, respectively, while Zachary Young had Ugas winning 117-111.
This comes after Porter literally lost a bit of hair the day before with an impromptu haircut in order to make weight after initially coming in nearly two pounds over the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.
As for the fight itself, the action was gritty, physical and very close on almost every way one would measure a fight. Porter started the fight throwing more punches and trying to keep Ugas from landing, but Ugas responded with well-timed counter punches and left-handed body shots.
As the fight progressed, Ugas started to be a little more aggressive towards Porter, landing even more timely shots that seemed to hurt Porter. Porter, dealing with a minor cut near his right eye, started to move back and avoid engaging with Ugas at certain points in the championship rounds. Porter did manage to land a big left hand at the end of the 11th round that nearly dropped Ugas, but the Cuban was able to keep himself vertical and avoid the knockdown.
After 12 close rounds, Ugas was convinced that he had done enough to become the new WBC welterweight champion, but like with most of the crowd at the Dignity Health Sports Park, Ugas was upset when it was announced that Porter won the fight. Both fighters landed punches at a near identical rate with Ugas connecting on 29 percent of his punches while Porter landed 28 percent of his shots.
This was Porter's first title defense since winning the then-vacant title last September with another close decision win, that time over Danny Garcia. On that same card, Ugas won the right to challenge for Porter's world title with a dominant 12-round win over Cesar Barrionuevo.
With the win over Ugas done, Porter could potentially look towards bigger fights against the likes of Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr., all welterweight titleholders whom Porter told Fightful before the fight would be fights he would love to have down the line.