This Saturday night Shawn Porter defends his newly crowned WBC welterweight belt against Yordenis Ugas live on free-to-air Fox. Porter has several names on his hit list later this year and beyond but can’t look past a dangerous opponent like Ugas. The co-feature to Porter/Ugas is a can’t-miss, mid-level matchup between Abel Ramos and Francisco Santana. The opening bout features unbeaten prospect Efe Ajagba in a step up fight with Amir Mansour.
The vast majority of fans and media are fond of Shawn Porter as a person and a professional athlete. He comes off as a stand up guy who is ready to face any one of the welters. He takes his craft seriously which is obvious if you’ve ever seen him in and out of training camp. Porter has so many positives we love to see in a champion. The problem is once he steps through those ropes all the love and respect goes out the window.
For as many great things people say about Porter most hate to watch him perform. When the bell rings that big smile and nice guy routine is nowhere to be found. However Porter’s crude style can be very effective in a variety of ways. His roughhousing usually brings emotion out of his opponents and everyone watching. Non-accidental or accidental head butt’s combined with elbows and a constant work rate can be a hand (head) full to deal with. Sometimes Shawn is over aggressive and ends up smothering his own work not able to create the necessary space to land clean shots.
In Porter’s last two outings he’s shown some wrinkles to his game facing Adrian Granados and Danny Garcia last September. In those two bouts Porter fought at range, showing he’s capable of using movement in spots instead of blindly pushing forward. If Porter builds on those last two wins and stays on his jab he will be a tough out for anyone including Errol Spence and Terrence Crawford.
Back to back losses in 2014 as a prospect to Amir Imam and Emanuel Robles threatened to derail Yordenis Ugas’s career. Since Ugas returned to the ring after a two plus year layoff he’s been on a tear, 8 straight victories including names such as Bryant Perrella, Jamal James, Thomas Dulorme. He fought 3 times in 2018 and this will be his 4th in 13 months, meaning he’s all tuned up and ready to go.
The biggest difference in Ugas’s game is an emphasis on being more aggressive on offense. Yordenis will probably never be a guy who just rages his way on the inside. He’s found a way to blend skill and activity instead of being defensive minded to a fault. The proof will be in the pudding this Saturday to see just how far Ugas has come.
This fight involves the Ohio native Shawn Porter so obviously we should expect an ugly scrap. Hopefully referee Jack Reiss can lay down the law early enough to get Porter’s attention but also not get overly involved. This podcasters hunch is Porter will continue where he left off versus Danny Garcia and fight at a measure distance in the opening rounds. Also look for Ugas to remain consistent throwing 2-punch combos while staying responsible defensively as well.
A score of 3-3 or 4-2 for either boxer wouldn’t be surprising one bit. This fight will be won or loss in the last 6 rounds or the 2nd half should it end by knockout. Once Porter is able to attack fully the way he did with Danny after baiting Garcia to come to him, he will take over the action. Porter has an underrated jab he may or may not use a ton on Saturday depending upon how much resistance he gets from Ugas. Porter will overrun and outrwork Ugas in to some form of submission. This fight will be brutal and pleasantly entertaining as these two styles clash.
My Official Prediction is Shawn Porter by Unanimous Decision.
Side Note: Don’t forget to watch Dmitry Bivol vs. Joe Smith Jr. on DAZN on Saturday as well. Bivol looks the part of a controlled killer which should mix well facing a power puncher like Joe. Let’s see what happens when Smith Jr. lands flush on Bivol’s chin so we can get a better feel on how high Dimtry’s ceiling is. The fight of the card, maybe even the weekend is Callum Johnson vs. Seanie Monaghan.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio