Ugas Wins Split Decision Over Abel Ramos
By Caryn A. Tate on September 6, 2020
Ugas seemed to have expected something else, and in this case, who can blame him?
On a rare Sunday night PBC on FOX broadcast, headliners Yordenis Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) and Abel Ramos (26-4-2, 20 KOs) fought in a 12-round welterweight bout for the “minor” WBA welterweight title (Manny Pacquiao holds the true WBA world title). The event took place in Los Angeles with no fans present.
Throughout the fight, Ramos smartly boxed and kept Ugas moving his feet—and moving to his own left. Ugas has good positioning with his feet, but his legs look like they have a lot of miles on them—he doesn’t like to move except just shuffling forward. He clearly has trouble truly boxing and moving, using his feet, including moving laterally.
Between the first and second rounds, famed Cuban coach Ismael Salas told Ugas in the corner, “He keeps his arms too high. Go to the body.”
Right away in the second, Ugas listened to his corner and went downstairs. It visibly hurt Ramos. From there, Ugas seemed more comfortable and applied pressure that had Ramos moving and mostly jabbing.
Ugas was widely outlanding Ramos in the third, until Ramos nailed his opponent with a clean left hook that wobbled Ugas. Ugas grinned but he was hurt—he stopped throwing so much. Still, he made it through the round.
In the fourth and fifth rounds, the commentators talked about Ramos’ boxing and counterpunching game plan and disagreed with that tactic. Ramos normally fights more in mid-range or slightly on the inside, so that’s what people were expecting here.
But in my view, Ramos and his team likely took a note from the Shawn Porter win over Ugas: Porter outboxed Ugas in that bout, keeping the Cuban moving and turning. While Ramos wasn’t winning most of the rounds, he did have occasional success with the counters, and he’s had enormous results in his last several fights with a single counter. He wasn’t as well schooled or experienced as Ugas, so Ramos likely felt he had to do something different, and he might not win a fight on the inside either thanks to Ugas’ skills.
Ugas did occasionally show frustration, too, thanks to Ramos’ boxing. He wanted Ramos to stand still. Much like in his fight with Porter, Ugas seemed to have expected something else, and in this case, who can blame him? Ramos doesn’t normally purely box in his fights.
As the rounds progressed, Ugas continued to outland Ramos. Ramos had his moments of success, but he was mostly looking for a single shot or two, and only occasionally found them. Ugas landed crisp jabs and accurate body shots throughout.
In the final round, Ramos almost kept up his “last round success” run (in his last fight, he stopped Bryant Perrella in the final round with one second left); he landed a clean right hand that staggered Ugas. There were only a few seconds left, and he didn’t have time to follow up on it.
The official scorecards were 117-111 for Ramos, one 115-113 for Ugas, and one 115-113 for the winner, Yordenis Ugas.
In a pleasant surprise, an eight-rounder between 140-pound prospect Omar Juarez (9-0, 4 KOs) and Dakota Linger (12-4-2, 8 KOs) was competitive. Linger is a deputy sheriff in his native West Virginia and has won toughman contests, but obviously isn’t as educated a boxer as Omar Juarez. Linger didn’t come to lose, though, and proved to be a tough competitor who pushed Juarez more than perhaps we’ve seen so far in Juarez’s career. Linger landed some punches that got Juarez’s attention and seemed to light a fire under him—Juarez began letting his hands go more, and wisely started targeting the body. In the seventh, Juarez landed a terrific left hook clean to Linger’s gut. It clearly hurt him—Linger’s elbow shot down to cover the area, but he was able to survive the round and the fight.
The official scorecards read 80-72, and two of 79-73, all for Juarez. It was a good growing fight for the 21-year-old Juarez.
In the opener, 19-year-old Jesus Ramos (13-0, 12 KOs) faced Esteban Garcia (14-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight contest between southpaws. It was a short affair, with Ramos being much more active than Garcia and far outlanding him. Garcia wasn’t able to get inside Ramos’ longer reach and fell behind the latter. In the second, Ramos landed a nice left hand that made Garcia’s legs wobble. Ramos went in for the kill and landed many clean shots before the referee jumped in and waved it off.