Fighting Errol Spence Jr. gave Yordenis Ugas all of the respect in the world. During their welterweight unification clash last year, the Cuban native stood his ground and fought Spence in the middle of the ring. It wasn’t the most sagacious decision considering the end result, but Ugas was determined to prove that he could go Mano e Mano with one of the best fighters around. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
Normally active, a broken right orbital bone left Ugas (27-6, 12 KOs) in the medical tent for a protracted amount of time. Once he began angling for a return, he wanted to immediately jump in with a respectable name. So, willing to acquiesce to his request, his handlers threw him in the ring with Mario Barrios. Although he was a secondary titleholder at 140 pounds, oddsmakers were convinced that Ugas had too much skill and experience to come out on the losing end. They were wrong.
Barrios didn’t just win, he dominated. In the second round, Ugas was down on the canvas. In the 12th, he was reacquainted with that same feeling.
Shawn Porter, a former two-division champ who pulled off a close win over Ugas in 2019, couldn’t believe what he was watching. It may have been hard to stomach, but at this stage in his career and the wars he’s been a part of, Porter views Ugas as essentially a shell of his former self.
“He’s damaged,” said Porter on The Porter Way Podcast. “He’s just damaged.”
It’s unknown what Ugas’ next move will be. Well, his distant future is shrouded in mystery but his immediate will likely see him spending more time on the mend.
From Porter’s point of view, it isn’t just the hell that Ugas has put his body through both behind the scenes and underneath the bright lights. Just as detrimental to his career is his not-so-young age of 37.
“Between damaged and age.”