LAS VEGAS — Mario Barrios dropped Yordenis Ugas twice, busted up his surgically repaired right eye and won a unanimous decision to claim the vacant WBC interim welterweight title in a career-best victory on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
The judges had it 118-107, 118-107 and 117-108 for Barrios in one of the Showtime PPV fights on the Canelo Alvarez-Jermell Charlo undercard.
After an opening round where virtually nothing happened, Barrios landed a quick jab to Ugas’ chin near the start of the second round for a knockdown. Ugas beat the count and bell rang.
“It definitely set the tone because early on he caught me with a nice liver shot that slowed me down a little bit” Barrios said. “Once I settled down a little bit and found that quick little jab, that’s when I was able to start picking up the pace. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy fight, but we had a great camp and I was prepared.”
In the sixth round, Barrios rocked him with a right hand but Barrios closed the round by connecting with an overhand left that shook Ugas.
By the eighth round, however, Ugas’ right eye showed signs of swelling where he suffered had suffered a broken orbit bone, and he seemed to be fading.
The fight was former WBA titlist Ugas’ first since he squared off with Errol Spence Jr. in a three-belt welterweight unification fight at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, 17 months ago and suffered the broken orbital bone around his right eye in the one-sided 10th-round knockout loss to Spence.
Just after the 10th round began, referee Thomas Taylor called timeout to have the ringside doctor examine Ugas’ swelling eye. It looked even worse at the end of the round and then Taylor called timeout again at the start of the 11th and 12th for Ugas’ eye to be examined twice more.
Barrios (28-2, 18 KOs), 28, of San Antonio, who is a former WBA “regular” junior welterweight titlist, dropped Ugas early in the 12th round with a clean left hook on the chin. He beat the count and then got a brief reprieve when his mouthpiece came out moments after the fight had resumed and Taylor called timeout to replace it.
Ugas (27-6, 12 KOs), 37, a Cuban defector fighting out of Miami, managed to survive to the final bell but he had taken quite a bit of punishment in the later stages of the fight.
Barrios could eventually be elevated to WBC full titleholder if undisputed champion Terence Crawford moves up to junior middleweight as many expect he will do.
“I want to take it further and contend for the main WBC title,” Barrios said. “I know that there are steps to get there.”
Lubin given decision over Ramos
In the co-feature, junior middleweight Erikson Lubin was the recipient of a seemingly very generous decision against Jesus Ramos in their WBA title eliminator that left the crowd booing and those on press row shocked.
The judges had it 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 for Lubin, apparently favoring his lack of landed punches and constant backpedaling.
Ramos (21-0, 16 KOs), 22, a southpaw from Casa Grande, Arizona, considered one of boxing’s most promising up-and-comers, spent much of the fight pressuring Lubin and forcing him to the ropes while Lubin (26-2, 18 KOs), 27, a southpaw from Orlando, Florida, was sporadic with his punches.
He jabbed here and there but feinted a lot and rarely made solid contact while Ramos came forward and threw hard left hooks and uppercuts.
The crowd was quiet throughout the fight because there was so little action and the action that did take place was largely dictated by Ramos, despite not getting credit from the judges,
There was no sustained action and the crowd let the fighters know it with booing, especially during a particularly agonizing lull in the 11th round.
Even in the final round there did not appear to be any urgency from Lubin as the crowd continued booing.
According to CompuBox statistics, Ramos landed 145 of 499 punches (29 percent) and Lubin landed 92 of 532 (17 percent).
Lubin, who suffered a ninth-round knockout loss to Sebastian Fundora in a vacant WBC interim title fight in April 2022 in a fight of the year contender, has won two fight in a row.
Garcia stops Resendiz in slugfest
Middleweights Elijah Garcia and Armando Resendiz engaged in an all-out slugfest but it was Garcia who got the better of the action in the high-contact affair that ended with Garcia dropping and stopping him in the eighth round.
“It was a really hard fight,” Garcia said. “Armando Resendiz is good people. His fans and his team are the nicest people in the world and I wish them nothing but the best. He was really tough. This was 100 percent my toughest fight so far. In training camp, I knew this was going to be the toughest fight of my career and I left everything I could in the ring.”
They were both coming off their biggest wins on the same March 4 Showtime card in Ontario, California, with Garcia stopping then-unbeaten Amilcar Vidal Jr. in the fourth round and Resendiz knocking out former unified junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurt in the 10th and final round of their non-stop slugfest.
Their fight against each other was all action from the outset. Garcia nearly dropped Resendiz with a clean left hand in the final seconds of the first round and Resendiz rallied for strong second round.
But Garcia (16-0, 13 KOs), 20, a southpaw from Phoenix, was snappier with his shots, which were harder as he took control. A minute into the eighth round, Garcia landed a right hook to the body and a right to the head for a knockdown.
“I’m a counter puncher. I countered to the body and came up to the head,” Garcia said. “I didn’t double up on my hook and that was the first time I did it and I caught him. The ref let him fight and I saw that he was still hurt, so I do what I do. I finished.”
Resendiz (14-2, 10 KOs), 24, of Mexico, beat the count but when the fight resumed, Garcia forced him near the ropes and as he was teeing off with unanswered punches, including a clean left hook, referee Tony Weeks stopped it at 1 minute, 23 seconds.
“I should have listened to my corner a lot more,” Resendiz said. “Maybe I got too distracted, but Elijah was the better fighter and I have to accept that.”