Saturday, March 9th from Carson, California
Shawn Porter/Yordenis Ugas
Shawn Porter nearly squandered future big paydays in the welterweight division by narrowly defeating Yordenis Ugas by split decision. Porter (30-2-1, 17 KO’s) defended his WBC welterweight belt by two judges scores of 116-112 and 115-113. The third judge had it 117-111 in favor of Ugas (23-4, 11 KO’s).
Porter never seemed to take control of the fight as he decided to box from the outside and not plow into and rough up his opponent like he tends to do. Ugas missed on many chances to win rounds by taunting Porter and not throwing punches. Porter may have benefited from a knockdown that was ruled a slip in the twelfth round. Ugas said after the fight that the referee made an incredible mistake by not giving him credit for a knockdown.
Porter now has potential fights in the PBC boxing stable against Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao, the winner of the Errol Spence/Mickey Garcia fight or a rematch with Danny Garcia.
Saturday, March 9th from Verona, New York
Dmitry Bivol/Joe Smith Jr.
In a fight that shouldn’t have went the distance, Dmitry Bivol defeated Joe Smith Jr. by unanimous decision to keep his WBA light heavyweight championship. Bivol (16-0, 11 KO’s) used his excellent defense and boxing skills to defeat the hard punching union construction worker.
The criticism of Bivol is that he never steps on the gas to really finish an opponent and it almost cost him in this fight. He let Smith Jr. (24-3, 20 KO’s) hang around too long and was caught with an overhand right from Smith Jr. in the tenth round that stunned him and left him needing assistance from the ropes to make it back to his corner. Bivol has a world-class chin, but not finishing opponents when he has them in trouble could eventually cost him.
Bivol after the fight hinted that he may go down to 168 pounds to fight Callum Smith for the WBA super middleweight championship.
Maurice Hooker/Mikkel LesPierre
Maurice Hooker defended his junior welterweight world title for the second time by outpointing Mikkel LesPierre. Hooker (26-0-3) had a harder time making weight for this fight than he did defeating LesPierre (21-1-1, 10 KO’s). Hooker was badly drained at the weigh-in and needed all the allotted two hours to make-weight after being a half pound over the 140 pound limit.
“Making weight was my fault. I was in the room messing around. That was my fault,” Hooker said. “I’m learning as I go. I’m not done yet.”
Hooker may have been drained at the weigh-in but he showed no ill effects during the fight and showboated during parts of the fight. In the ninth round hooker drilled a left hook to the body that knocked LesPierre down. LesPierre beat the count but was dominated for the rest of the fight.
Hooker could potentially be matched up against other junior welterweight champions Jose Ramirez, Regis Prograis or Josh Taylor.
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