On Saturday, March 9, Shawn “Showtime” Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) will defend his WBC Welterweight title against Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs) at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The fight will be aired live on Fox and the Fox Sports app. The main card begins at 8pm EST, and the main event (Porter vs Ugas) is expected to start some time around 9:30pm EST.
This is a very intriguing matchup matching the gritty, rough and tough Porter against the technical counter puncher and boxer Ugas. Technical fighters have given Porter problems in the past, especially in his fight against Kell Brook back in 2014. Keith Thurman also outboxed him, not allowing him to fight his type of fight. Danny Garcia had some success early in the fight, but Porter managed to force the fight inside, took over the momentum of the fight and came away with the win. The blueprint to beat Porter is that simple though – don’t let him get inside, and force him to box on the outside all fight. It’s much easier said than done.
Shawn “Showtime” Porter is coming off a UD win over Danny “Swift” Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) back in September. He struggled early on with Garcia’s boxing skills, but forced the fight inside, established his rough and tough style, and rode it to victory. He will need to do that against this opponent as in well, in order to win.
Yordenis Ugas has a very interesting story. He won a Bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics, then went pro in 2010, defecting from Cuba to America and now residing in Miami. He was 11-0 at super lightweight, and then went 3-3 over his next 6 fights. He lost back to back in 2014 to Emanuel Robles and Amir Imam.
Current trainer Ismael Salas, stated that Ugas had many distractions outside of the ring, with his wife being very sick at one point and then becoming pregnant. It was a lot on his plate at the time. Ugas took 2 years off from boxing and returned in 2016, moving from 140 up to 147. He enlisted Salas as his head trainer and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. He is now on an eight fight winning streak since returning and is fighting better than ever. This will definitely be the hardest fight of Ugas’ career. Will he step up to plate and defeat the champion? If he can make it a boxing match, his chances increase a lot.
Keys to victory for Shawn Porter:
- Impose his will early. Force the fight on the inside, keep it close range and turn it into a brawl.
- Maintain a quick pace. Ugas has good conditioning, but if Porter keeps it on the inside and imposes a relentless pace, it is sure to make Ugas slip up and/or break down.
- Go to the body. Ugas is quick. Porter doesn’t want Ugas to be able to move out of range at will as the fight wears on. He wants to keep the fight on the inside and work his combinations over and over.
Keys to victory for Yordenis Ugas:
- Keep Porter at range/on the outside. Ugas should try to keep the fight at mid and long range. Ugas has a great right hand and should utilize it. Porter is strongest at close range. The last thing Ugas wants to do is play into that.
- Use timing and counter punches to keep Porter off him. I don’t think Ugas has the strength to keep Porter off of him, so he will need precise timing and a little bit of luck. Ugas has shown in the past that he is a good counter puncher and has decent timing.
- Go to the body. This could turn into a slug fest at times. Ugas is no stranger to exchanging with opponents, and Porter loves to. Try to slow Porter down with body shots. Try to slow the momentum that will surely follow if Porter is able to get inside consistently.
Shawn Porter should win this fight. He has more professional experience against higher caliber opponents than Ugas. Porter has been in the spotlight many times, so this is nothing new for him. Yordenis Ugas is a good boxer and I think he will give Porter a run for his money, at least early in the fight. Once Porter is able to establish his inside game, he will overwhelm Ugas. I don’t think Porter will knock him out. Ugas doesn’t have the strength to break clinches, to fight him effectively on the inside or keep Porter from coming inside. His best bet are counter punches, and trying to keep the fight at range for 7 of those rounds. It will be a close fight, but I see Porter coming in and taking care of business. Porter by UD.