There’s a long history of Cuban fighters being overlooked, ignored and getting the short end of close and controversial decisions. Maybe it’s the Cuban style that just isn’t fan-friendly, perhaps it just doesn’t catch the eye of judges. Perhaps, they don’t have the same natural fan base that other fighters have. Whatever the reason maybe there’s a long documented history of these events. Yordenis Ugas is the current Cuban victim suffering through all of the above boxing misfortunes.
Yordenis Ugas has been nothing short of spectacular since moving up to 147. He made the move up to the star-studded weight class after a two-plus year lay off after suffering consecutive losses in the Jr Welterweight division in 2014. Ugas wasn’t expected to be much of a player in the loaded weight class, however, he has thrived in the role of spoiler. Stealing the zero from the loss column of then blue-chip prospect Jamal James in 2016 and then repeated the feat when he took the “0” from Bryant Perrella just six weeks later. 2017, saw the Santiago de Cuba native decision Thomas Dulorme on short notice on the leadup to the Mayweather vs McGregor fight, then followed that up with a stoppage victory over Ray Robinson. Two wins that look better in retrospect given Robinson fought both prospect Josh Kelly and Egidijus Kavaliauskas to draws, and most observers feel Robinson won both fights. Bith Kelly and Kavaliauskas were highly touted contenders at that time. Dulorme went on to fight former world champ and top 10 welterweight Jessie Vargas to a draw.
All of this should have culminated in Ugas winning a world title earlier in 2019 when he challenged Shawn Porter for the WBC strap in California. Ugas had his jab working and was beating Showtime up on the inside with ferocious body punches and a high work rate. At the conclusion of the 12th round nearly everyone was in agreement that Ugas had done enough to pull the massive upset and capture the prestigious green strap. Then the judges did what judges do and robbed the Cuban welterweight blind. Steve Morrow who must have fallen asleep before the fight started handed in an egregious 116-112 card in the champ’s favor. Max Deluca, who has a history, inexplicably gave the final round, a round clearly won by Ugas, to Porter swinging the fight in Porter’s favor. Ugas was denied the world title that was justly his. He went on to annihilate undefeated former world champ Omar Figueroa in what was an eliminator for the WBC champ, whether that be Porter or Spence depending on who wins their September showdown. The Figueroa beat down was so one-sided that Ugas didn’t just drop the former champ but didn’t drop a single round on a single scorecard. A truly masterful performance against an elite level undefeated former world champ.
Now Ugas who rightfully beat Porter for a world title and thusly earned himself the mega-fight with Spence has to play the waiting game. He will have to wait not just for the outcome of the Spence Vs Porter fight, he will have to wait for Mauricio Sulaiman and the boys at the WBC to call his number and order the fight. Something Jermall Charlo can tell you not to hold your breath for. Ugas needs to wait possibly years to get a shot at what he has already earned, the WBC title and then a mega-fight, should he be successful in winning the belt. Yordenis Ugas has turned into the Rodney Dangerfield of the 147-division. He gets no respect!