With professional boxing rebounding following months of idleness, the number of intriguing and consequential match-ups is steadily rising. And while not exactly a marquee match (after all, if it even verged on that, you can bank on the geniuses at Premier Boxing Champions making it a pay-per-view event), Ugas vs Ramos represented a chance to see one of the top talents in the welterweight division against a “live dog” opponent with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Yordenis Ugas is a sharp operator, while Abel Ramos has shown tenacity and heart and is a serious proposition for anyone at 147 pounds.
Now first off, count me among those who thought Ugas got shafted in his match with Shawn Porter last year. Sure it was competitive, but in my humble opinion there was a clear winner and it wasn’t “Showtime Shawn.” I bring this up to point out the fact that since that match Ugas has a dominant win over Omar Figueroa Jr and, for what it’s worth, I would pick him to get the better of Manny Pacquiao, or Keith Thurman, or even Errol Spence Jr. In fact, the only guy who I see having a solid edge over him is Terence Crawford, but if the Cuban handed “Bud” his first loss I would not be shocked at all.
Point being, Yordenis Ugas is one of the best in the business right now and the primary reason many, if not most, don’t regard him as highly as I do is because of some very questionable scorecards in the Porter fight. So, he gets a chance to showcase his skills on a big platform and grab back some of that shine and attention that’s rightfully his, and look what happens: he almost gets robbed again. Seriously, what the hell is going on?
The story of Ugas vs Ramos should be about how skilled “54 Milagros” is and how he clearly deserves the big fights, say a rematch with Porter, or the winner of Errol Spence vs Danny Garcia. Or how about Pacquiao vs Ugas? Instead, we’re talking about scorecards again. Which is a damn shame.
Yordenis had no difficulty at all with Ramos and is clearly levels above the willing battler from Arizona. In fact, you could make a case Ugas came damn close to pitching a shut-out. Ramos was competitive but nothing more; at best, he won two rounds. And this is not just my opinion. A quick look around on social media and different boxing sites tells you the same story.
So how do we make sense of the fact that two judges gave Ramos five rounds, while the third handed in a card that isn’t just bad, it’s positively surreal. Judge Lou Moret saw Ramos winning nine rounds and the only way to make sense of that is either he mistakenly got the two fighters’ names mixed up, or he was on drugs. There’s really no other explanation for that card. I mean, hypothetically speaking, even if corruption were involved and Ramos and his people had bought Moret off, he would have had the sense to make it closer and less conspicuous. A one or two point win for Ramos would still be outrageous, but a six point margin of victory is just insane.
So two quick takeaways from last night’s fight. First, as I said, Yordenis Ugas deserves to be regarded as one of the very best welterweights in the world today. For me, he’s number one, which may sound nuts, but given Spence’s inactivity, and Crawford stuck fighting mismatches, the only guy who competes with him for that top spot, in my opinion, is Pacquiao. But the main reason to get this take out there is to get people talking about the exciting match-ups which can and should be happening, hopefully, in the near future. Please, let’s not waste the talent of Ugas the way Top Rank is wasting the talent of Crawford.
Second, something has got to give when it comes to scoring and decisions in boxing. This is beyond ridiculous. Not to mention, embarrassing. What kind of crappy sport can’t even figure out a reliable way to separate winners and losers? I love boxing; nothing else can take its place. But it’s past time we started looking into solutions and making some bold moves. Open scoring; more judges; some kind of oversight to eliminate crappy scorecards. Clearly we got to do something.
There’s far too many examples of boxers getting shafted out of big fights and big money and not getting credit where it’s due because of incompetent or corrupt judges. And I don’t want to see that happen again with Yordenis Ugas. In my opinion, he holds a clear win over Shawn Porter, and last night he completely dominated a solid contender in Abel Ramos. So let’s not get it twisted: the story of last night is that Ugas is one of the best in the business and now is the time for him to get a big fight and a big payday. He’s earned it, no matter what the scorecards say. — Neil Crane