LAS VEGAS — Former WBA super lightweight champion Mario Barrios won the WBC welterweight title with a unanimous decision win over 37-year-old Yordenis Ugas.
“It was unbelievable,” said Barrios. “All the work we put in out here in Las Vegas getting ready, it paid off. I was super excited and I´m blessed to be in this position.”
Barrios set the tone early when he caught Ugas with a quick left jab to the nose that sent him to the canvas.
“Early on he caught me with a nice liver shot that slowed me down a little bit,” Barrios said. “Once I settled down a little bit and found that quick little jab, that´s when I was able to start picking up the pace.”
Ugas, who was making his return after a 17-month absence and was listed as a -250 favorite at FanDuel just before the fight, fell to 27-6 in his career.
Ugas was hoping to put a loss to Erroll Spence, Jr. in his last fight behind him, a bout that saw him suffer a fractured right orbital in the 10th-round TKO loss. Instead, it may have revealed the end of his career.
Ugas, popularly known as the man who sent Manny Pacquiao into retirement in 2021, needed to have his right eye checked by Dr. David Watson before the start of the 10th, 11th and 12th rounds.
“It wasn´t about his eye, we´ve just been drilling using my jab more,” Barrios said. “I have the size advantage against most of the dudes I fight. I listened to my corner and tried to time the jab.”
Elsewhere, Saul Alvarez ‘Canelo’ put on a dominant performance to defeat Jermell Charlo by unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
Judges scored the fight 119-108, 118-109, 118-109 in favour of the Mexican who held on to his undisputed super middleweight title.
Alvarez was in control of the fight from the start, pressing Charlo against the ropes and unleashing body shots on the American.
The 33-year-old Alvarez scored the only knockdown of the fight in the seventh round with an overhand right and an uppercut.
It was just the second time in his career Charlo had been knocked down, but he was quick to get back to his feet.
Alvarez continued to dominate and while failing to get the knockout blow, came away with a statement victory.
Charlo, who had not fought since May last year and jumped up two weight classes for this fight, landed some solid punches but offered nothing that could stop his opponent.
The win improved Alvarez’s record to 60-2-2 as he successfully defended his world titles for the second time this year, having defeated Great Britain’s John Ryder on May 6 in Mexico.
“We know he´s a great fighter,” Alvarez said. “He knows how to move in the ring. We worked on attacking the body for three months. For three months in the mountains without my family, without everything.”