Yordenis Ugas banking on his hunger to overpower Shawn Porter’s aggression

first_imgNo tengo hermanos de sangre. Pero el aprecio, el amor y la lealtad que tengo para mis amigos, muchos se han convertidos en hermanos. Otra noche buena junto a uno de los hermanos que la vida me ha regalado. Gracias por ser mi familia @_thecubanmissile54 Te quiero. #thankgod #chango #ogun #orula #TheblkPrinceA post shared by Yordenis Ugas (@yordenis_ugas) on Dec 25, 2018 at 1:54am PST Yordenis saw the flame thrower win the World Series with the Chicago Cubs in 2016 and would like to carry his own championship bragging rights into their conversations, beginning Sunday morning.“He was able to accomplish his dreams by winning his championship with the Cubs and now it’s my turn to try to go out and win my championship,” Ugas says. “We always joke about that because obviously everyone wants to be winners.”For the 32-year-old Ugas, back-to-back losses in 2014 tested the Cuban’s mettle. Instead of wavering, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist would return to the ring in 2016, rattling off two victories, before adding three more in 2017, punctuated by a unanimous decision over Thomas Dulorme, and three more again in 2018 — the latest coming against Barrionuevo.MORE: Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearAs if the chance to slap the WBC title around his waist wasn’t enough, Ugas says his son, Yordenis Ugas Jr., will be in attendance for the Porter fight. Although Ugas says he has had to separate the toddler from the Sweet Science as of late, explaining that he “tries to beat people up and be aggressive to emulate me,” he’s making an exception Saturday night. View this post on Instagram MORE: Join DAZN and watch Canelo vs. Jacobs on May 4There, he could take a bite out of the title like he originally intended to do with the IBF strap last year. That opportunity of becoming a world titleholder for the first time has absolutely consumed Ugas over the course of this training camp leading up to this fight.“It means everything. It means everything for my life, for my career, everything I’ve ever worked for,” Ugas told Sporting News through an interpreter about facing Porter. “It’s the green belt and it’s a big fight on Fox … this is everything I’ve ever worked for. I’m really emotional right now going into this fight.”Adding to his motivation heading into Saturday night is the fact that Ugas had punished Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo (via unanimous decision) on the same September card in Brooklyn that had Porter defeating Danny Garcia to win the WBC title and the aftermath had him witnessing Spence interrupt Porter’s post-fight interview to issue a challenge to the newly-crowned champ. Thus, overlooking Ugas once again.An upset victory over Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) would not only make Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs) a world champ, but it’d also send a strong message to Spence, who will defend his IBF title against Mikey Garcia next weekend in Arlington. Possibly then, Ugas will get the respect he feels he deserves, while proving to the top tier of the division that he belongs.“All I ever wanted was a title fight. I’m one of the guys who have earned it, so it didn’t matter whether it was Errol Spence or Porter,” Ugas said. “I think I gotta do what I gotta do to become world champion and if I become world champion, then I would love to fight Errol Spence or [WBA champ] Keith Thurman next too. But my main focus is solely on Shawn Porter.”Although some boxing critics and fans alike are relegating Porter-Ugas to nothing more than a stay-busy fight that doesn’t pose a serious threat to the former, “Showtime” vows that he isn’t taking this bout lightly. In a recent PBC video, Porter says that he’ll be aiming to “hit him hard” and “get him out of there” to send a message to the rest of the division that “I’m not a champion by accident.”That being said, Ugas enters this fight as an underdog — a role that he views as a rite of passage.“This is the way it should be. He’s the champion and Porter has had a great career and beaten a lot of great fighters. I’m the challenger, I have to come and do what I have to do, but the thing is I understand that and I know that,” Ugas said. “So, I got a good game plan, I’m ready to fight and once the bell rings, the odds don’t matter no more. Now, it’s just up to me and Shawn Porter.”Ugas has heard plenty from critics about how Porter’s smothering style and penchant to turn bouts into dogfights will overwhelm him, but he thinks they’re not giving his own fighting style enough credit.“I can fight pressure style, but I could also box,” Ugas said confidently, willing to get in the mud with Porter if need be. “I’m also a strong fighter who could punch, so I feel I’m a better technician, I have the better schooling and this is going to be turn out to being a really great fight. I’m excited to get in the ring and fight.”Further fueling Ugas is his Cuban pride and camaraderie, having seen fellow Cuban boxers Erislandy Lara get a split draw against Brian Castano and Luis Ortiz earn a unanimous decision over Christian Hammer last weekend. He, now, wants to follow with an emphatic victory.“Everyone knows about the Cuban schooling and what we represent every time we step into the ring. Lara, he didn’t get the decision in his fight, but he just keeps showing that he’s a great fighter, continuing at a high level. And obviously, Luis Ortiz did his thing,” Ugas said. “Everybody knows that when you’re fighting a Cuban, it’s a fight. No one who fights a Cuban thinks it’s going to be an easy night.”Outside of the ring, Ugas considers fellow Cuban and New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman as a brother and easily one of his best friends. And that friendship, too, is serving as a motivational factor heading into Saturday night.  Shawn Porter unlocked a briefcase and prominently displayed his green and gold WBC welterweight championship belt seated just a couple of feet across from Yordenis Ugas during a moderated discussion for a “PBC: Face to Face” segment on Fox earlier this year. Ugas’ eyes sparkled, as he peered down at the hardware, almost in a trance-like state over knowing that he has an opportunity to take that title in a few days.As the mandatory challenger to IBF welterweight titleholder Errol Spence Jr., Ugas had the champ flat out dismiss him for months, simply uninterested in giving him the shot that he earned. Clearly spurned, the Cuban boxer channeled his frustration, grinding to the point where his hunger for more will now meet Porter’s unbridled aggression with the WBC strap on the line Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. “He’ll be at the fight,” Ugas says, “and obviously I fight for my son.”While the majority doubts his chances this weekend, Ugas has a message for those who believe in him: “I’m not going to let them down.”To make good on that, his hunger for more will somehow have to overpower Porter’s aggression, with the green and gold WBC title on display as his main motivation.last_img read more