Yordenis Ugas says Mario Barrios stands between him and goal of becoming two-time champ

After 17 months out of the ring, Yordenis Ugas is leaping proper again into the title image this Saturday.

Ugas (27-5, 12 knockouts) will face Mario Barrios for the WBC interim welterweight title on the Canelo Alvarez-Jermell Charlo pay-per-view card on the T-Cell Area in Las Vegas. The winner is subsequent in line for one of many belts held by undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford, however the 37-year-old ex-champ says he has tunnel imaginative and prescient on the duty forward of him.

As everybody is aware of I’ve been combating with the perfect of the perfect for the previous two years so [fighting for another championship] clearly motivates me. However proper now we’re solely specializing in Mario Barrios,” Ugas, who lives in Las Vegas, the place he trains with Ismael Salas, instructed The Ring.

The struggle is a crossroads assembly between two fighters on the comeback path. Ugas, who solidified his WBA titleholder standing by sending Manny Pacquiao into retirement in 2021, is coming off a tenth-round stoppage loss to Errol Spence Jr. in April of 2022 in a unification bout.

Barrios, 28, of San Antonio, Tex. stopped Jovanie Santiago in his final outing in February to finish a two-fight shedding streak to Gervonta Davis and Keith Thurman.

“He’s a warrior. We all know the Mexican boxers are all the time warriors,” Ugas added.

Ugas underlined the stakes concerned at Thursday’s undercard press convention, stating “I’ve spent my whole profession getting back from adversity again and again. If you wish to see what I nonetheless have left, you’ll have to look at Saturday night time. It’s going to all be revealed.”

Although DraftKings lists Ugas as a strong -260 betting favourite, Edgar “Butch” Sanchez, a former Ugas coach who stays shut with the Cuban fighter, says the struggle is an actual take a look at for Ugas. He notes that Barrios, although shifting up in weight, is bodily bigger than Ugas with a robust physique assault, however says he expects Ugas to take over late due to Barrios’ tendency to fade down the stretch.

Barrios dismissed considerations about him being undersized at 147 kilos.

“I’ve a tall body, so getting all the way down to 140 kilos was changing into very tough.  The welterweight division is the place I’m going to have the ability to accomplish essentially the most, and I’m simply excited for these subsequent few years,” mentioned Barrios at Wednesday’s media exercise.

Ugas says the trip of the ring was a much-needed “reset” after a tough schedule lately. Now he sees this struggle as the subsequent step in finishing the legacy he desires to cement within the ring.

“It’s essential, I already was a WBA champion and being a two-time champion is a part of the legacy. This Saturday we begin my legacy of being a two-time world champion,” mentioned Ugas.


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

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