Yordenis Ugas, a top contender at 147 pounds, will take on Cesar Barrionuevo in a WBC title-eliminator on Saturday, September 8 from the Barclays Center.
The card, sponsored by Premier Boxing Champions and airing live on Showtime, features Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter for the WBC welterweight title. The winner of Ugas vs. Barrionuevo earns the WBC’s second mandatory position to the winner of Garcia vs. Porter.
Ugas (22-3, 11 KOs), who was born in Cuba and now lives in Las Vegas, is one of the busiest boxers in the sport and a consensus top-10 fighter in the welterweight division. After losing a unanimous decision to Amir Imam in 2014, the 32-year-old Ugas took a year off from boxing, moved up to 147 pounds and came back on a tear.
During a 12-month span from August 2016 to August 2017, Ugas won five straight fights, knocking off top contenders and prospects including Jamal James, Bryant Perrella, Levan Ghvamichava, Thomas Dulorme and Nelson Lara. Ugas has added two more stoppage victories in 2018, including February on Showtime when he handed Ray Robinson his first defeat since a 2010 decision to Porter.
“I’m very excited to be part of such a great card,” Ugas said. “This is a huge opportunity to put myself in position to fight the best fighters in the welterweight division and that’s my goal. I don’t know much about my opponent, but he is a power punching Argentine and I have to be 100 percent ready come September 8. This will be my second appearance on Showtime Championship Boxing and I look forward to making another huge statement. I’m going to close the show in New York like my friend, Yankees’ closer Aroldis Chapman.”
Barrionuevo (34-3-2, 24 KOs) has devastating one-punch power and is wildly popular in his native Argentina, where he has held regional titles while stopping seven of his last nine opponents. Barrionuevo will make his U.S. debut on September 8.
The 29-year-old has won 10 fights in a row and has only lost once since 2010 as he looks to follow in the footsteps of Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse, elite welterweights from Argentina. Barrionuevo, who is ranked No. 6 by the WBC at 147 pounds, was previously scheduled to face Abel Ramos on Aug. 3 in Las Vegas before taking the opportunity to fight Ugas in this title eliminator.
“I am proud to be fighting in the United States and fighting on Showtime is a dream come true,” said Barrionuevo. “Argentine boxing has a long history of great champions from Carlos Monzon to Sergio Martinez and most recently Marcos Maidana. I am looking to become one of those great Argentine fighters of this era and it starts on September 8. I bring the power and the heart of my country with me and expect all the Argentine flags to be out at Barclays Center.”
Officials have also added a heavyweight bout between Adam Kownacki and Charles Martin to the lineup.