WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter 30-2-1 (17) barely held on to his title with an unconvincing split decision win over Yordenis Ugas 23-4 (11) at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Saturday night.
Ugas appeared to dominate the first half of the fight while Porter has his moments in the last six rounds. In the tenth Porter was cut over the right eye from a legal punch and in the 12th and final the champion found himself on the canvas, ruled a slip by referee Jack Reiss.
When the dust settled judge Steve Morrow and judge Max DeLuca awarded Porter the win by 116-112 and 115-113 respectively, while judge Zachary Young saw Ugas the victor by scores of 117-111.
“I have no complaints about this fight. I wasn’t frustrated at all. The game plan was executed and we stuck to it. We studied Ugas, we knew that moving our feet that he would be thinking. We kept on for 12 rounds and we felt comfortable. I felt comfortable before they announced the decision,” said Porter, who initially came in 1.8-pounds heavy at the weigh-in but was able to drop the excess poundage within the requisite two-hour period.
“I think I allowed him to counter me. I picked up on it but I wasn’t capitalizing. I slipped in the last round. If you thought something was wrong with me, nope, I was alright. What we did tonight is what we had to do versus Ugas.”
Porter dismissed Ugas’s calls for a rematch and instead called out his fellow welterweight titleholders.
“I don’t want a rematch with Ugas. I have to go to another level. I’m looking at Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, or Manny Pacquiao. I look forward to any of those three fights,” Porter said. “I don’t think I need to convince anyone. Yordanis did a terrific job. I went out there and did what I had to do.
“My goal from here on out is to win every fight till I retire.”