Yordenis Ugas outworked Abel Ramos Sunday night to win the WBA Welterweight Championship by majority decision in the main event at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Scores were a surprising 117-111 for Ramos, and 115-113, 115-113 Ugas.
"I set a goal when I was a child back in Cuba to become a world champion and I accomplished that goal tonight," said Ugas. "I’m so grateful to everyone who helped me along the way. Ramos was a very tough opponent and I knew it was not going to be easy, but I wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip away."
Ugas,34, set the tone from the outset, using his jab effectively. The punch was the key to his victory. He would use it consistently tagging his aggressive opponent throughout the 12-rounder. Setting the table with his left, Ugas was able to slowly expand his offensive arsenal and keep the typically aggressive Ramos off-balance and unable to charge forward.
After a slow first round, Ugas landed 10 jabs or more in the next 11 rounds according to CompuBox. In total, Ugas threw a career-high 504 jabs, landing 160, also a career-high.
In round three, Ramos landed a left hook at the end of an exchange that appeared to buckle Ugas, but he was unable to hurt Ugas on his follow up attack. By round four, Ramos’ left eye began swelling from the onslaught of jabs and right hands.
Ugas continued to mix up his attack as the fight wore on, dragging Ramos into the center of the ring for big exchanges at the end of rounds five and six. In round nine, Ugas began to fight from a closer distance and focus even more on attacking the body, even though he took some return fire from Ramos for his troubles.
While Ramos was able to rock Ugas late in round 12, Ugas was able to make it to the final bell to claim a split decision victory, and the WBA title, with scores of 117-11 for Ramos, overruled by two cards of 115-113 for Ugas.
"I came into this fight in the best shape of my life and it showed," said Ugas. "Now that I’m a world champion, I want all the big names in the welterweight division."
In the co-main event, sensational prospect Jesus Ramos (13-0, 12 KOs) delivered an impressive second-round knockout of previously unbeaten Esteban Garcia (14-1, 6 KOs) in their super lightweight showdown.