CARSON, Calif. -- In what was a highly unpopular decision Saturday night, Shawn Porter retained his WBC welterweight title via split decision over Yordenis Ugas. Porter won by scores of 116-112 and 115-113, while the third judge had Ugas winning 117-111.
As Porter was announced as the winner, loud jeers could be heard throughout Dignity Health Sports Park, as this was a verdict that will debated for quite a while.
Neither Porter nor Ugas really took control of the fight for long stretches. Many of the rounds could've gone either way, as Porter decided to box from the outside, while Ugas (23-4, 11 KOs) controlled the center of the ring.
The problem was that neither could sustain an offensive attack. At various times, the rather sparse crowd voiced its displeasure at the lack of action.
"The crowd was expecting a big brawl, but that's not the way this fight needed to go tonight. That style that we used left the fight close. We got the win, we're still champion and we're looking forward to what is next," said Porter, who improved to 30-2-1 (17 KOs).
Porter nearly lost his title at the scales Friday, needing an impromptu haircut to eventually make the 147-pound limit. And Saturday, he retained his title by a hair.
"The weight cut didn't affect me at all,'' Porter said. "I was on my toes all night. I was very focused the entire fight and just listening to my corner."
While Porter was relieved, Ugas was understandably aggrieved by the decision.
"There's no doubt about it, I was robbed tonight. After the first round I figured him out and dominated the fight. He had no answer when I was pushing him back. I dominated the fight in my opinion," Ugas said after his debatable loss.
Welterweight Ramos beats Santana
In what was a hard-fought welterweight contest, Abel Ramos (24-3-2, 18) shook off a second-round trip to the canvas from a left hook at the hands of Francisco Santana to win a 10-round unanimous decision by scores of 95-94, 97-92 and 98-92.
"He caught me on a flash knockdown in the second round. I didn't see the punch coming and he caught me a little bit off balance," Ramos said. "As soon as I got up, I was good.''
The scores didn't reflect the competitive nature of the bout. Santana pressured Ramos throughout and attacked his body with both hands.
"I was very surprised by the scorecards," said Santana (25-7-1, 12 KOs). "I thought I did enough to win. It was very competitive, but I was landing more significant punches."
But Ramos, who was fleeter of foot and faster of hands, was able to box effectively, and a series of right uppercuts hurt Santana badly in the seventh round. Santana kept coming forward, but it was Ramos who landed the cleaner punches.
"I thought I won the fight. I landed more punches," Ramos said. "I felt like I was landing all night and I was doing good clean work throughout the fight.''
Heavyweight Ajagba beats Mansour
A lot still needs to be found out about heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba (9-0, 8 KOs), but this much is clear: He can punch. And he showed his prodigious power once again by stopping veteran Amir Mansour (23-4-1, 16 KOs) in two rounds. The 24-year-old Nigerian dropped Mansour twice in the first and then continually hurt him in the second. As that round ended, the fight was waved off by referee Thomas Taylor.
"I want to be the best heavyweight in the world. That's my dream," said Ajagba, who represented Nigeria in the 2016 Olympic Games. "I'm going to go home and work hard and prepare for the next fight,"