Although this is slightly different from the norm that readers are accustomed to, it is necessary to inform the reader that this column was originally intended to preview two bouts that highlighted the beginning of the Boxing schedule for February 2020. Unfortunately, this will not be the case as it was announced on last Friday that the WBC Jr. Welterweight world championship bout between undefeated world champion Jose Ramirez and former WBC world champion Viktor Postol, which was scheduled to take place in Haikou, China was postponed due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak that has severely impacted the country.
While obviously that bout will be rescheduled at a date to be determined, the night before the National Football League’s (NFL) Super Bowl 54 between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, Boxing will still be featured as a bout in the 147lb. Welterweight division will now take centerstage. A fight between top contender Yordenis Ugas and Mike Dallas Jr. Ugas is a former world title challenger that has been close to making the transition from top contender to world champion. Just how close has Ugas been? In his one title shot against Shawn Porter in March of last year, he lost via twelve round split decision in a fight that frankly could have gone either way. Ugas was able to rebound in July of last year with a twelve round unanimous decision over Omar Figuroa.
Now Ugas looks to continue building momentum towards another world title shot by taking on Mike Dallas Jr. Dallas has had an up and down career, but can reestablish himself with a win in this fight. Some may remember Dallas for his loss in January 2013 Lucas Matthysse, where he suffered a knockout loss in the first round.
Following that loss, Dallas took a two year layoff. Since returning to the ring in November 2015, Dallas has gone undefeated in five bouts having scored wins in four of those fights. The lone exception was a ten round split decision draw in May 2016 with undefeated contender Dusty Hernandez Harrison. Although Dallas has won twenty-three of his twenty-eight professional fights, an argument can be made that his three career losses and two draws came when he attempted to step up in the caliber of his opposition.
The question going into this fight is what version of Mike Dallas shows up. There have been times throughout his career where he has appeared as though he could be on the verge of being a potential candidate for a world title shot, but there have also been times particularly during his career setbacks where he has appeared to freeze up. Whether or not that can be attributed to nerves is a question that only Dallas can answer, but this is something to keep in mind as this fight approaches.
Dallas is not known for his punching power having scored knockouts in eleven of his twenty-three wins, but does have a good well-rounded skill set. The difference in this fight may come down to levels of opposition going into the fight. Statistically, Yordenis Ugas and Mike Dallas have similar records and like Dallas, Ugas has not scored a high number of knockouts in his career, but has shown he can compete effectively at or near the top level of the sport. Ugas has also established himself as a fighter that can grind out decision wins, often in closely fought grueling type fights.
If this fight goes into the middle and late rounds, it may come down to who is in better condition. Ugas is rated number three in the world in the WBC Welterweight ratings going into this fight. Even though some might argue that Ugas has the advantage as this fight approaches, he also has a lot to lose. In contrast to Ugas, Dallas, who is currently not rated in the WBC’s top forty contenders in the Welterweight division, is in a nothing to lose/everything to gain scenario and a victory will catapult him into the rankings. We will see what happens on Saturday, February 1st.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
Ugas vs. Dallas takes place on Saturday, February 1st at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, MS. The fight can be seen in the United States on Fox Sports 1on cable /satellite as well as the Fox Sports app beginning at 8PM ET/5PM PT. There will also be a portion of undercard bouts televised on both platforms beginning at 6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT. For more information about the card and ticket information please visit: www.PremierBoxingChampions.com. For more information about Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1 and a list of compatible streaming devices/platforms/Smart TVs where the Fox Sports app is available, please visit: www.FoxSports.com. Check your local listings internationally.
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