Despite not delivering one of his more exciting performances, WBC welterweight champion Shawn “Showtime” Porter (29-3-1, 17 KOs) was able to squeeze out a very close split decision victory over challenger Yordenis Ugas (23-4, 11 KOs).
After 12 rounds, the judges’ scorecards reflected that there were numerous close and hard to score rounds as all three judges agreed on only the fourth and ninth rounds, which went to Ugas and Porter respectively.
The official scores were 116-112 for Porter, 117-111 for Ugas and 115-113 for Porter. The Sports Daily scored it 115-113 for Porter who stole the pivotal 11th round by catching a casual Ugas right before the bell ended the round.
In a fight where scores were all over the place on the internet and varied between boxing analyst’s, Porter was able to do just enough to make the first defense of his WBC welterweight title a successful one.
“The crowd was expecting a big brawl, but that’s not the way this fight needed to go tonight,” said Porter. “The style that we used left the fight close. As the clock ticks, you have to do what’s working. Tonight, the foot movement was working, and it made Ugas have to reset.”
A very disappointed Ugas had a different point of view of how the first title fight of his career went down.
“There’s no doubt about it, I was robbed tonight,” said Ugas. “After the first round I figured him out and dominated the fight. He had no answer when I was pushing him back. I dominated the fight in my opinion.”
Porter’s constant activity and movement was a complete contrast from the sharp counter and body punching from Ugas. According to CompuBox, Porter was more active on a per round basis, throwing 42.9 punches per round to 37.4 from Ugas. Ugas held the advantage in body punches landed at 57 to 34, while the two fighters each landed 79 power punches.
In round 10, Porter began to bleed from his right eye due to an accidental head butt, but late in round 11 he landed the most significant punches of the fight when he backed Ugas up with a left hook to the head. The punch was so powerful it buckled the talented Cuban boxer and allowed Porter to get the nod on most ringside observers score cards.
“We fought a good smart fight tonight,” said Porter. “I was consistent, and I thought we won a majority of the rounds. We got the win, we’re still champion and we’re looking forward to what is next.”
With his first title defense behind him, Porter is in line for some big-time fights as he could see anyone from the winner or loser of the Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia fight, to boxing legend Manny Pacquiao or even a rematch with WBA welterweight kingpin Keith Thurman in his next fight.