Shawn Porter eked out a split decision over game challenger Yordenis Ugas on Saturday at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA. The win was Porter’s first successful defense of his WBC welterweight title.
Porter vs. Ugas – Fight Recap
Overall, the fight was competitive throughout. The vast majority of rounds were very close and could have gone either way. Shawn Porter had success early on jumping in and out of range and landing a few nice power shots here and there. The middle rounds saw Ugas begin to gain momentum with solid counterpunching and defense, though Porter seemed to have his best round in the sixth.
The later rounds were very close. Porter seemed to be landing a little bit more, but Ugas appeared to be landing the better quality shots. In Round 12, Porter would hit the canvas awkwardly after getting hit by a right hand, but referee Jack Reiss ruled it a slip. Ugas finished the fight strong and appeared very confident that he had done enough to win.
I scored the bout 115-113 for Yordenis Ugas. Though he did not initiate a lot of action, he definitely landed the more telling blows throughout the fight. The judges saw things differently, agreeing on only two rounds: Round 4 for Ugas and Round 9 for Porter. Official scores were: 117-111 for Ugas, 115-113 and 116-112 for Porter.
Though it appeared Ugas deserved the victory, I am not terribly mad at the decision. Shawn Porter did land 16 more punches, according to CompuBox, and he threw over 60 more while being the overall aggressor whenever the two fighters did clash. Plus, you do have to take into account that Porter is the champion, and with so many close rounds it is no surprise that the ‘bigger-name’ American got the benefit of the doubt on a few.
In post-fight interviews, Porter stated that he is not interested in a rematch with Ugas and would like to fight one of the other welterweight champions, specifically naming Errol Spence Jr. (IBF), Manny Pacquiao (WBA), and Keith Thurman (WBA “super”).
Other Notable Fight Results
- Dmitry Bivol UD12 Joe Smith Jr.
- Maurice Hooker UD12 Mikkel LesPierre
- Callum Johnson TKO3 Sean Monaghan
- Daniel Dubois KO2 Razvan Cojanu (on Friday)
- Anthony Yarde TKO5 Travis Reeves (on Friday)
- Liam Williams KO2 Joe Mullender (on Friday)
Porter’s gameplan/strategy in this fight was questionable. Being the shorter fighter, it would have made much more sense to try and turn this into an ugly, rough fight. I mean, isn’t that what ‘Showtime’ is known for? Instead, Porter chose to move around the ring on the outside, turning things into more of a boxing match rather than an inside war. When Porter would lunge in to attack, he would almost always get hit.
Ugas should be proud of his performance and I definitely believe he deserves a rematch, if not next, then down the line. But I firmly believe that if Porter had fought a smarter fight, he would have won without controversy.
Did Yordenis Ugas get blatantly robbed, or was a split decision reasonable? Will Ugas get a rematch, or will Porter be able to secure a unification fight next? Comment below with your opinion.