Yordenis Ugas captured a version of the WBA welterweight title by defeating Abel Ramos over 12 clinical rounds at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
While it seemed like Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) dominated most of the fight behind his long left jab, this fight was actually a split decision.
Zachary Young and Edward Hernandez had him up by the score of 115-113, while Lou Moret had Ramos on top 117-111.
Regardless, this was a strong showing from Ugas, who boxed well from the outside in the early rounds. Then in the fourth, he began to plant his feet and started to control the center of the ring, almost daring Ramos to move toward him. But throughout the night, the rapier-like jab of Ugas kept him from ever really committing to a sustained offensive attack.
"I set a goal when I was a child back in Cuba to become a world champion and I accomplished that goal tonight," Ugas said. "I'm so grateful to everyone who helped me along the way. Ramos was a very tough opponent and I knew it was not going to be easy, but I wasn't going to let this opportunity slip away."
Ugas, 34, isn't generally known as an aggressive fighter, but on this night, he was in command and for the most part initiating the action. Along with his steady jab, Ugas would throw long right hands and the occasional left hook to the body, consistently outworking Ramos (26-4-2, 20 KOs) round after round.
In his most recent outing on Feb. 15, Ramos made a miraculous comeback in scoring a last-second knockout of Bryant Perrella while he was down big on the cards. On Sunday night, he was able to clip Ugas in the late stages of the 12th, staggering him for a quick spell. But it was far too little, far too late.
Ugas out-landed Ramos 233 to 109 in terms of total punches, 160 of them being the jab, which set the table for him all night.
Despite what the scorecards showed, this was a dominant outing for Ugas, who last year was on the wrong side of a disputed decision versus Shawn Porter for the WBC welterweight title.
Ugas, who is rated seventh in the ESPN rankings at welterweight, has won 11 of 12 bouts since dropping back-to-back bouts in 2014.
"I came into this fight in the best shape of my life and it showed," Ugas said. "Now that I'm a world champion, I want all the big names in the welterweight division."