In front of a rather sparse crowd in Carson, California, WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) was perhaps fortunate to still have the belt around his waist, as he took a split decision over Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas (23-4, 11 KOs) in a competitive, if often ugly PBC on FOX main event. Porter nearly lost his title on the scale on Friday, coming in 1.8 lbs overweight, and he had to cut his hair in order to make weight.
The champion started well, particularly with his effective power shots and counterpunching off of Ugas’ body attacks. However, Ugas was undeterred by the early success of Porter and kept going to the body, and had his own success with counters as Porter came rushing in with his head down. Porter’s preferred style of pressuring and bullying his opponents with forward movement and big punches on the inside was surprisingly kept to a minimum, and indeed the longer and taller Ugas was actually showing spurts of aggression and trading in close quarters.
However, both fighters also had prolonged stretches of inactivity and some ineffective offense that led to such difficult to score rounds. Porter was able to stagger Ugas with a jab at the end of the 11th, while Ugas appeared to knock the champ down with a right hand in the final round. It was ruled a slip, and I’m not entirely sure that was the correct call by Jack Reiss. Slip or not, Porter should’ve never gotten the 12th round on Max DeLuca’s scorecard, and that was the difference between a Porter win and a split draw, albeit with both outcomes leading to the same result of Shawn retaining his WBC strap.
Official result: Shawn Porter def. Yordenis Ugas by split decision (116-112, 111-117, 115-113) to defend WBC welterweight title
The crowd loudly booed the decision, and it was telling at the end of the fight that Ugas had his arms raised and Porter’s body language seemed to suggest he didn’t think he deserved the nod. Alas, he did get the win, and it’ll be interesting to see what awaits “Showtime” Shawn next.
Ugas finishes round 4 with a flurry of hard shots! #PorterUgas pic.twitter.com/pvC3XpOxSw— PBC (@premierboxing) March 10, 2019
Ugas with some at the end of the 5th. pic.twitter.com/8PVIrbZyle— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) March 10, 2019
10 Rounds in, how do you score it?! pic.twitter.com/6gS6lZDNxc— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) March 10, 2019
Porter catches Ugas with a left at the end of the 11th! pic.twitter.com/CSX7KgPMBW— PBC (@premierboxing) March 10, 2019
PBC on FOX undercard results
Abel Ramos (24-3-2, 18 KOs) def. Francisco Santana (25-7-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision (95-94, 97-92, 98-92) - Welterweights
This was a fun fight between two guys who aren’t really on the radar as actual contender. They combined for nearly 1800 punches thrown over the course of ten rounds, and it was Santana who had the ideal start by flooring Ramos with a counter left hook in round two.
Santana with a knockdown at the end of the 2nd. pic.twitter.com/shTuoE8H6g— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) March 10, 2019
However, Ramos controlled the action and landed the better shots for most of the remainder of the contest. He badly hurt Santana with a short right uppercut in round seven, and swarmed for the finish but was unable to get it before the bell sounded.
All Ramos at the end of the 7th. pic.twitter.com/RQ0xpW42FJ— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) March 10, 2019
Ramos was a deserved winner and has prevailed in his last six fights. This is the best opponent he’s faced during that stretch, whereas Santana is unable to build off his upset win over Felix Diax from last year.
Efe Ajagba (9-0, 8 KOs) def. Amir Mansour (23-4-1-1 NC, 16 KOs) by RTD (corner stoppage), round 2 - Heavyweights
You may recall Ajagba winning by DQ last year after his opponent, Curtis Harper, literally walked out of the ring after the bell rang for round one. Ajagba is an actual heavyweight prospect beyond that bizarre moment, and he made short work of 46-year-old Amir Mansour. He knocked Mansour down twice in round one, and Mansour never really had anything for the Nigerian, so it was stopped before round three. Mansour served several years in prison, hence his weird career arc, but he is still a litmus test for a lot of heavyweight up-and-comers, and Ajagba passed with ease.
2 Knockdowns in 1 minute . Ajagba putting on a show in the 1st! pic.twitter.com/nR4miBFMOl— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) March 10, 2019