By: Hans Themistode
WBC champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) managed to keep his title by the skin teeth by winning a split decision over Yordenis Ugas. Scores for the bout read 117-111 for Ugas while the two remaining judges scored in Porter’s favor, 116-112 and 115-113. The contest took place at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson California tonight. Porter was defending his title for the first time since winning a close decision over Danny Garcia last September.
The champion is known for his aggressive come forward style. He usually turns his contest into a sloppy affair. In his matchup against Ugas he came into the match with a completely different game plan. Porter spent the majority of the rounds boxing on his back foot and did not come charging in. Ugas pressed the action and tried to put together combinations that would put the champion in a bad position. Ugas found a ton of success throughout varies portions of the contest. It seemed as though his size was affecting the champion to a certain degree as Porter just couldn’t get his man to take a step back. Although Porter tried to implement a new game plan, he did have moments of reverting back to the old Shawn Porter.
Both men stood in the center of the ring in round four and let their hands go until the end of the bell. Credit should be given to Porter as he continually sticked to his game plan and tried to outbox his bigger opponent. In round 11 that plan paid dividends as Porter caught his man walking in with a left, right combination that had him a bit wobbled. It looked as Ugas was a bit off balance when the shot landed but Porter made his presence known in the round. The final round saw Ugas press forward, seemingly trying to emphatically win the round.
When the final bell rung both men felt that they did enough to win. In the end it was Porter’s boxing ability and timely aggression that allowed him to win a close split decision.
The co main event of the night was a good fight in its own right as Abel Ramos (24-3-2, 18 KOs) defeated Francisco Santana (25-7-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision. For Ramos it was his sixth win in a row. He hasn’t tasted defeat since losing a close decision to Jamal James early last year.
Things started off a bit slow as both men were feeling each other out. It was Ramos who was doing really good work and outboxed his opponent for long stretches of the contest. Santana came into the contest off the biggest win of his career when he defeated Felix Diaz. He also had a three inch reach advantage but just couldn’t use it effectively as he was forced to fight off his back foot all night long. For Santana the loss represents his third in his last four. He will now be forced to the back of the line and look to rebuild.
Ramos on the other hand is in great position. With now six straight wins he will undoubtedly get his shot at a title if he continues his hot steak. With Shawn Porter winning a very close decision tonight and looking some what vulnerable, Ramos may have his eyes on his belt.