Mario Barrios dominates Yordenis Ugas to lopsided decision

Mario Barrios has his hand raised after upsetting Yordenis Ugas on the Canelo-Charlo undercard. Photograph by German Villasenor

LAS VEGAS – Mario Barrios dropped former WBA welterweight titleholder Yordenis Ugas twice en route to a unanimous decision victory on the Canelo-Charlo undercard on Saturday.

Scores were 118-107, 118-107 and 117-108 for Barrios, who improved to 28-2, 18 knockouts.

After an even opening round, Barrios, who resides in San Antonio, Texas, scored a knockdown towards the end of the second round, landing a stiff jab to Ugas’ head. Ugas was not visibly hurt from the knockdown as he looked more surprised he wound up on the canvas.

The knockdown seemed to give Ugas a shot in the arm, as he put Barrios on the defensive during the third round, connecting with a series of combinations to the head of Barrios.

By the fifth round, Ugas had already landed a series of punches to the body of Barrios. Barrios looked to work behind a jab, but Ugas was able to find openings and land counter right crosses to the head of Barrios.

Barrios got a second wind in the seventh round, where he began to assert himself and connected more with right hands and combinations to the head of Ugas.

By the eighth round, Ugas had swelling below his right eye. It was in the same area where Spence broke Ugas’ orbital bone when they both squared off on April 16 of last year, which Spence won by knockout.

The bruising got worse with each passing round. Ugas’ eye was almost shut, prompting referee Thomas Taylor to call the ringside physician to look at the bruising prior to rounds 10, 11 and 12.

Early during the last round, a counter left hook to the head dropped Ugas a second time to the canvas. Ugas beat the count, but his mouthpiece dropped to the canvas a handful of times, prompting Taylor to deduct a point from Ugas for repeatedly spitting out the mouthpiece.

Ugas had his moments during the final minute of the round, but the rally was not enough to dig himself out of the deep hole from losing the earlier rounds.

The 28-year-old Barrios has now won his last two fights after losing back-to-back fights to Gervonta Davis and Keith Thurman. Barrios was proud of the work he put in against Ugas.

“(The knockdown in the second round) set the tone because I got caught with a body shot before that,” said Barrios, who is trained by Bob Santos. “It slowed me down a little bit.”

“I was able to pick up the pace during the fight. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy fight but we had a great camp.”

The 37-year-old Ugas, who is originally from Santiago, Cuba and now resides in Las Vegas, falls to 27-6, 12 KOs.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]


The Canelo-Charlo conflict is the quilt story to the September 2023 subject of The Ring. Artwork by Richard T. Slone

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