The Cuban welterweight contender moves closer to another world title shot as he flaunts an array of skills on FS1 PBC Fight Night.
Yordenis Ugas came out in the first round against Mike Dallas Jr. as if he intended to make a statement.
Indeed, he did.
Ugas (25-4, 12 KOs) put on a show at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, moving closer to another world title shot at welterweight with a seventh-round TKO over Dallas in the headlining event on FS1 PBC Fight Night.
Save for a brief moment in the third, when Dallas landed a clean right hand, Ugas dominated, stalking his foe and landing every shot in his arsenal. Moments after eating that Dallas right, he responded with a hook downstairs that appeared to hurt Dallas but was deemed low.
"The game plan was to come forward, come strong,” Ugas explained. “I always work the body strong and want to push the action and that's what I did tonight."
Ugas went about his business in professional fashion, working behind the jab and stuffing right hands behind it. Well behind on the cards, Dallas (23-4-2, 11 KOs) went for the gusto in the seventh, attacking Ugas. Instead, he took an even worse beating—enough for his corner to decide in between rounds that he’d taken enough punishment.
Ugas lost a hotly contested split decision to then-WBC champion Shawn Porter last March in a fight where the Cuban proved he deserved to be considered among the elite in the talent-laden 147-pound division. He’s barely lost a round in his two fights since. Another shot against a big-name welter will likely come sooner rather than later.
"The main goal now is to keep winning and fight for a title," said Ugas. "I'm ready for all of the top welterweights."
Michel Rivera continues his rise, stops Fidel Maldonado Jr. in 10
Boxing in the Dominican Republic is witnessing a resurgence. Last month, Jeison Rosario delivered a shocking TKO victory over Julian Williams to become the unified 154-pound champion.
Now it's 21-year-old lightweight Michel Rivera (18-0, 12 KOs) is making waves. Rivera fought with the composure of a vet, breaking down the far more experienced Fidel Maldonado Jr. and stopping the dangerous puncher at 1:42 of the 10th and final round.
The fight got off to a slow start; Rivera flicking out his jab as he sized Maldonado up. Once he got his timing down, he began landing pinpoint shots to the head and body. Bit by bit, he broke Maldonado down, calmly working behind the jab and landing well placed punches with desired effect.
Maldonado (27-5-1, 20 KOs) began to slow midway through the fight. By the eighth, he was a sitting target for Rivera’s right hand. Rivera was seemingly well ahead on the cards to begin the 10th yet he sought to close the show emphatically, landing a hard overhand right flush on Maldonado’s jaw. The latter buckled before sagging to the mat. Maldonado managed to make it to his feet, but Rivera’s follow-up volley was enough to convince referee Keith Hughes to wave it off.
"I was ready to fight all the rounds, not just looking for the knockout,” said Rivera. “My corner was telling me wait, relax, take your time because he's an intelligent boxer. I did what they were telling me and I got him out of there in the last round."
"Cassius" Clay Collard Stops Raymond Guajardo in Huge Upset
Cassius Clay Collard “shook up the world.” Okay, maybe Collard’s second-round TKO over Raymond Guajardo isn’t analogous to the original Clay beating Sonny Liston, but few could have foreseen a fight and round of the year candidate—let alone a major upset.
But that’s exactly what happened as Collard (6-2-3, 2 KOs), an unheralded boxer and 18-18 MMA fighter, defeated Guajardo (5-1, 4 KOs), a previously unbeaten 19-year-old middleweight prospect.
The fireworks began early as Guajardo, perhaps looking for another early KO in his young career, came out swinging. The assault pushed Collard back, but he answered with a perfect right hook, dropping Guajardo as he walked in. The house favorite rose on unsteady legs. Collard seized the moment, wailing away until a series of power shots forced Guajardo’s gloves to touch the canvas as he bent over in pain.
Guajardo may have been hurt, but he was game as they come. Collard rushed in, looking to close the show, and was caught by a winging right hook on the top of the head. He crumpled to the canvas, as the crowd roared at the action in front of them.
Collard made it to his feet and immediately jumped back into the fray as the two engaged in more toe to toe action. By round’s end, the momentum had swung back in the underdog’s favor; Guajardo walked back to his corner sporting a badly bloodied nose.
The action picked up where it left off in the second. Guajardo’s nose began leaking again as Collard landed more power punches. He battered Guajardo around the ring, trapping him in the corner and pounding away until referee Keith Hughes wisely stepped in to end the bout at 1:42 of the stanza.
“It was a war,” said Collard. “That’s what fighting is. I love it. It’s awesome. "I thought (Guajardo) was going to use his length and pick and move, but he came out gunning, and that’s how I like to fight. I like to bang.
“I need to learn how to be more defensive, pick my shots and land them, but it was a great win for me tonight."
Omar Juarez outpoints Angel Martinez
Undefeated super lightweight prospect Omar Juarez (7-0, 4 KOs) went the distance for the first time in his career, winning an eight-round unanimous decision over Angel Martinez.
Final cards 79-72 and two scores of 80-71.
Hernandez (19-19-1, 12 KOs) carried deceptive power, but avoided engaging for much of the bout, at times frustrating Juarez. Juarez finally broke through in the seventh, dropping Hernandez with a counter left hook. He couldn’t find the punch that would’ve finished his opponent, but he did gain the experience of going eight rounds in his career for the first time and dealing with a spoiler opponent.
"It was a beautiful experience, especially fighting a veteran with over 30 fights, my first eight-rounder as well, and overall I learned a lot,” said Juarez. “There are levels to this, and I have a lot of work left to do, but I look forward to watching the film and correcting all of my mistakes."
For a closer look at Ugas vs Dallas, check out our fight night page.