Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images
Yordenis Ugas was too good for another opponent, and now has a claim to a half-piece or whatever of the welterweight title.
Cuban welterweight contender once again established that he’s a class above the second-tier fighters of the 147-pound division, routing Abel Ramos over 12 rounds in tonight’s PBC on FOX main event.
Before we get into the fight recap, let’s address the awful scores here, which resulted in a split decision win for Yordenis Ugas, and no, “at least the right guy won” simply isn’t good enough, because these same judges will work again with no trouble with that attitude, and next time the right guy might get shafted.
Ugas out-boxed, out-landed, and out-everythinged Ramos, only to have his breath taken away for at least a moment on split decision scores of 115-113 Ugas twice, and 117-111 Ramos. All of them are atrocious scores, but Dr. Lou Moret having this 9-3 for Abel Ramos is a clear indication that maybe he shouldn’t be scoring fights anymore, or else they got the card wrong and he meant 9-3 Ugas. Bad Left Hook had it 120-108 for Ugas. Marcos Villegas, a colleague of ours and FOX’s unofficial scorer, had it 120-108, as well.
Ugas (26-4, 11 KO) had no significant trouble with Ramos (26-4-2, 20 KO), though he did get shaken once fairly early in the bout and again just before the final bell, giving us the briefest of flashbacks to Ramos’ dramatic last-second TKO win over Bryant Perrella in February of this year.
The 34-year-old Ugas is a serious contender at welterweight, and frankly it’s time for him to once again fight one of the division’s “big six.” Errol Spence Jr and Danny Garcia are busy with one another, of course, and Terence Crawford looks like he’ll be fighting Kell Brook, and Manny Pacquiao doesn’t look like he’ll be fighting again any time soon. Keith Thurman may or may not be injured somehow at the moment. Ugas has already faced Shawn Porter and lost a controversial split decision.
But those are the guys Ugas should be fighting. It’s incredibly clear at this point that he’s a cut above pretty much anyone else, and as thorough as his wins over Ramos, Mike Dallas Jr, and Omar Figueroa Jr have been in his last three outings, they prove nothing we weren’t already pretty sure of going in. He deserves bigger fights, and fans deserve more compelling fights.
But again, California needs to look into the scoring of this fight. This was an awful performance from judges Dr. Lou Moret, Edward Hernandez Sr, and Zachary Young.
- Omar Juarez UD-8 Dakota Linger: This is the second time in a month we’ve seen the 21-year-old junior welterweight propsect Juarez in with a prospect tester who did give him some tests, and very different fighters in Willie Shaw and Dakota Linger. Shaw largely avoids contact, so it’s hard to look good against him, while Linger definitely came to fighter and throw some punches. Linger (12-4-2, 8 KO) looked way out of his depth in the early rounds, but got going a bit in the third, and he was in there with Juarez (9-0, 4 KO), a young fighter PBC like a lot. It was a good effort from Linger, but scores rightly went to Juarez, 79-73 twice and 80-72 on the third. BLH also had it 79-73 for Linger. There are maybe some flags on Juarez right now, but also maybe not — he’s getting fights to actually learn from, so while he may not be leaping off the screen with destructive wins at the moment, he’s winning clearly and getting some actual valuable experience, too.
- Jesus Ramos TKO-2 Esteban Garcia: The transparent selling point of this was Ramos, a good 19-year-old welterweight prospect, taking on a fellow unbeaten. But while Ramos has not exactly been in with the top competition, Garcia is a 30-year-old American fighter who’d never fought outside of Tijuana or Mexicali in his career, which is a giant red flag, and, well, it wound up a total mismatch. Ramos (13-0, 12 KO) was way too tall, too long, too strong, too good for Garcia (14-1, 6 KO), who was outclassed in the first round and then battered in the second until referee Rudy Barragan stepped in to mercy stop it.
- Cody Crowley UD-10 Josh Torres: Crowley (19-0, 9 KO) dominated this fight from start to finish, with Torres (22-7-2, 13 KO) never really in it at all. Crowley, a 27-year-old Canadian welterweight and former Floyd Mayweather sparring partner, doesn’t have a lot of pop (though it should be said Torres has never been stopped), but he’s got some skills. As far as upside, I don’t know — fringe contender, probably, if we’re giving an honest assessment, but he’s a determined guy who will look to prove that wrong, and will absolutely give it everything he’s got to do so. Torres was never in any big trouble, but he didn’t win a round, and referee Jerry Cantu and Torres’ father/trainer were warning him after the seventh round, but the fight went the distance anyway.
- Leduan Barthelemy TKO-3 Recky Dulay: The 31-year-old Barthelemy, who isn’t Yan and isn’t Rances, but the other Barthelemy, wrecked Dulay (11-9, 8 KO) on body shots in the third round, dropping him three times. That came after an excruciatingly slow first round, and a second where they picked up the pace a bit and it was clear that Barthelemy (16-1-1, 8 KO) was the better fighter. Barthelemy hadn’t fought since last November, when he was stopped in four by Eduardo Ramirez, with whom he had gone to a draw in 2017. There’s no big upside in Barthelemy at 130/135, but he’s around.
- Batyr Akhmedov TKO-1 Rey Perez: Akhmedov (8-1, 7 KO) is a good fighter at 140, a borderline contender who gave Mario Barrios a hell of a fight in close defeat about a year ago, which was his last fight. Perez (24-12, 8 KO) didn’t look like he wanted a whole lot to do with this once he got hit. They’re both 29 but very different skill levels and very different wear and tear, and once Akhmedov got to the body, Perez was about done. We got one knockdown on a shot that really hit Perez more in the elbow, with Joe Goossen figuring maybe the vibrations reached his liver, but then Akhmedov put him away on a second knockdown after hammering the body some more. FOX commentator Brian Kenny did his best to turn Rey Perez not wanting much to do with Akhmedov into the Warren Commission Report which was thrilling television.