WBC welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter, one of the toughest and most aggressive fighters in boxing, takes on Cuban southpaw stylist Yordenis Ugas on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Porter-Ugas is the main event of a PBC on FOX card beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
Porter enters his first WBC title defense the favorite at – 360 with 888Sport. A live underdog, the moneyline on Ugas is +325 with Karamba. Boxing betting enthusiasts looking to back an entirely conceivable draw in the bout can do so at +2200.
If styles make fights, this one should be a doozy.
Porter, 31, is an aggressive stalker, who at least in his most recent outing against Danny Garcia, has the additional ability to be able to box and counterpunch at times. Well, at least that’s the end result of the tactics Porter employs.
The hard-nosed champion isn’t a cute boxer in any sense of the word, but he’s a fighter who knows what kind of athlete he is as well as how he can best use his talents. Whatever you want to call it, the end result is spectacular violence.
Ugas is a product of the famed Cuban amateur system. The 32-year-old won the bronze medal for Cuba in the lightweight division during the 2008 Olympics.
He’s a southpaw counterpuncher who sits down wide in his stance to gather as much power as possible with his punches, but still enjoys the remarkable ability to be able to move around the ring.
Aesthetically speaking, any matchup between these two types of fighters, a wrecking ball like Porter and a boxer-puncher like Ugas, has the potential for plenty of spills and thrills.
Porter’s inclination to bring the action to his opponents and Ugas sharp counterpunching will either be one of the most entertaining battles of the new year, or an incredibly ugly enterprise where two fighters keep bumping into to each other in all the wrong places like the head, elbows and knees.
If it’s the former, Ugas has the stylistic advantage, though his talent level might keep him from actually winning the fight. Regardless, that kind of fight would be his best chance to win.
If the latter scenario proves true, Porter will hurt and frustrate Ugas with unintentional but still very painful elbows, shoulders and headbutts to the point that Ugas will either lose his cool and get wrecked or try to hold Porter so he can minimize damage.
Ugas is a live dog. He’s an excellently skilled boxer who Porter could conceivably take lightly as he waits on other higher profile bouts surface. Additionally, a fighter like Porter, who relies so much on gumption and vigor, can sometimes, after a huge win, unknowingly fail to bring the same type of dedication to his next bout.
A wager placed on the draw at +2200 with 888Sport isn’t a bad way to hedge other bets made on this fight. If Porter is less than what he was against Garcia and Ugas is able to counterpunch effectively, it’s probable that the judges would still score every close round for the aggressive champion.
So, unless he wins every single round, Ugas probably has a better chance of netting the draw than he does the outright win.
As for the fight itself, if Ugas had displayed a little more than he has in previous fights, he might be worth backing. But as it stands, there’s nothing in his history to suggest he’ll defeat an accomplished welterweight champion like Porter.
Porter is a good puncher but he isn’t as accurate as most sure-thing knockout artists are, and he doesn’t really have that kind of one-punch knockout power either.
Besides, Ugas is a good boxer who should be able to make Porter miss enough during the fight to get through all 12 rounds. While he tends to throw wider punches that other high-profile Cuban fighters, he does it because he possesses a decent amount of athleticism.
Those two things combined are probably enough to keep him upright in the fight.
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