By Miguel Maravilla
Former world champions Yordenis Ugas (27-6, 12 KOs) of Las Vegas by way of Cuba and San Antonio’s Mario Barrios (28-2, 18 KOs) squared off for the WBC interim welterweight title in a fight that saw the San Antonio fighter score two knockdowns in route to a unanimous decision win.
A slow first round for Barrios and Ugas taking their time to figure each other out. Establishing the jab, Barrios kept the stalking Ugas away in the second, in closing the round a short right by Barrios dropped Ugas in the final seconds of the round. The former world champion got up at the bell. A crunching body shot by Ugas in the third had Barrios’s legs on cement as he was then backed up with a series of punches. Barrios kept working the jab in the fourth as Ugas snuck in a solid straight right snapping the Aztec warrior’s head back.
Ugas began to close the distance in the fifth as Barrios continued to work of the jab and box. Pushing forward and gaining the momentum, Ugas kept the pace in the sixth and pressured, letting his hands go as he backed Barrios with chopping right hands. Staying active letting his hands go and boxing, Barrios circled in the seventh as Ugas with his eye appearing to begin swelling continued to stalk and land boldly.
In the later rounds, Ugas pressed as Barrios kept the distance and shot away combinations, the Cuban kept the aggression. The ringside physician looked at Ugas’s eye to begin the tenth round as his right eye appeared to be affecting his vision. With Ugas’s right eye nearly shut, Barrios began to gain the advantage by boxing and sticking the jab. Once again, the ringside physician checked on Ugas and he let him continue heading into the championship rounds. The jab was blinding by Barrios as he stuck it to Ugas in the eleventh. Checking Ugas for the third straight round, the ringside physician let action continue as Barrios sealed the deal by sending Ugas to the canvas a second time with a short right hand the Cuban never saw coming. Ugas weathered the storm and fought valiantly to the end.
After twelve rounds of boxing, the judges scored the bout 118-107, 118-107, and 117-108 as Barrios wins the WBC interim welterweight title.