Back in September, Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) became a two-time 147-pound champion, as he captured the vacant WBC title by defeating Danny Garcia via unanimous decision in one of the best fights of 2018.
Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs), a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, comes into the biggest fight of his career on an eight-fight winning streak. To earn the opportunity at Porter, the 32-year-old defeated Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo on the Porter-Garcia undercard.
The sentiment among some boxing pundits is Ugas is nothing more than a stay-busy fight for Porter to lead to possible clashes with WBA titleholder Keith Thurman, IBF champion Errol Spence Jr., WBO champion Terence Crawford or WBA “regular” champion Manny Pacquiao.
Speaking ahead of his bout with Porter the Cuban fighter said “This is my first chance at a world title fight. Since the age of nine years old I’ve been boxing and this is what I’ve always dreamt of.”
“So obviously this is the biggest fight of my career and I’m prepared. The Olympics are a huge thing too but that’s for amateurs. That’s in the past. Right now winning this World Title is the main focus for me. And nothing’s bigger than that, not the Olympics or anything else right now.
“I’m a competitor at the highest level whether, it’s the amateurs or the pros now and I just know it. I know I’m prepared mentally. I know I’m prepared physically.
“On March 9 I’m going to have the chance to show the world why I’m one of the best welterweights in the whole world and better than Shawn Porter. You’ll see that on March 9 yourself as well..”
Porter ‘Showtime’ chose to ignore the perception that Ugas is an easy fight. The 31 year old fighter said “I’m going to ignore that perception of this fight, even that perception of Yordenis Ugas. Every fight is a dangerous fight.
“Every fight is a must win fight and for anyone that doesn’t realize that, it starts when you turn professional.
“You do the best you can to put yourself in line to win every fight, to climb the ladder and get to the point where I’m at right now. I didn’t do all that and look at all those fights like they were must win fights and then get here now and look at this fight like it’s any different.
This fight is just like my very first fight. It’s just like my second, my third and my last fight. This is a must win fight and it’s definitely a dangerous fight, but they are always going to be dangerous when you get in the ring with the high level caliber fighters that I fight.
I’m simply saying then that every fight is a dangerous fight. Every fight is a must win fight, as far as this being low risk, high reward, I’m going to get paid what I deserve to get paid.
Outside of that, this is another fight that I have to win and do what I have to do. So after the fight I expect my hand to be raised and move on from there.”