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January 07, 2019

By G. Leon

Greg Leon: How is everything going in preparation for your upcoming WBC welterweight title fight vs Shawn Porter on March 9th? 

Yordenis Ugas: Everything is going great. I've had a great pre-camp with my strength and conditioning coach Memo Heredia, I'm going to start this with my head coach Ismael Salas this week and I'm just excited. This is a huge opportunity for me and I'm going to give the boxing fans the kind of fight they want to see.

GL: What are your thoughts of Porter [29-2-1] as a fighter?

Yordenis Ugas: "I think Porter is a great fighter. I think he's got a very difficult style, it's a tough style for anybody to replicate. He's a strong fighter that's a two time champion and he's already beaten a lot of great fighters. Some people say that this is the easiest shot at winning a title at 147, but I disagree because I think he could be the toughest guy in terms of being physically strong and also box, but when it comes to boxing I feel like I can beat any of the champions right now."

GL: What has trainer Memo Heredia brought to the table during this camp?

YU: "We've been together for only a few weeks so I can't really give you an exact answer right now, but I think his work speaks for itself. He makes fighters explosive and he always has his guys in good condition. This is a new experience for me because I've never ever had a strength and conditioning coach in my career, so I think it would be good to add something different for this fight and we did."

GL: Do you consider Porter a dirty fighter? How do you plan to deal with his physicality?

YU: "This is boxing. It's not baseball or basketball and things are going to get rough, I've just got to be prepared for it mentally and physically. I think that I'll allow the referee to do his job in the ring, but my focus is to make sure I do what I have to do in the ring."

GL: Do you think Porter deserved the win over Danny Garcia [the fight where Porter won the vacant WBC title]?

YU: "Yes. I thought he beat Danny Garcia in a very close fight because he was busier. I feel like Garcia might have landed the bigger shots, but I think Porter worked harder and pushed the action so that's why he deserved to win. In those elite level fights that have close rounds, most of them could be seen for either guy to tell you the truth."

GL: What do you consider your biggest advantage going into this fight?

YU: "I think my biggest advantage is my hunger. I'm hungry and this is a huge opportunity for me. Shawn Porter has been to the well a bunch of times and he's made a lot of money in his career. I haven't and I'm hungry. I want his belt and I want that fame and money that comes with it. That all starts on March 9th."

GL: This whole run that you've been on started when you were brought in as a last-minute replacement to face Thomas Dulorme in 2017. Can you describe what this ride has been like?

YU: "It's been an incredible ride. Three years ago I thought my boxing career was over and that was devastating to me because this is something that I've been doing my whole life. My whole life has been boxing, I've been doing it since I was nine years old. It wasn't hey this guy is a boxer and he could be good, no. It was this is a boxer who is going to become world champion. To from an Olympic medal and being highly touted to having nothing was devastating. I looked back and I reunited with the guy who started my career Luis DeCubas Jr, who has done an unbelievable job with me. He always tells me to stay ready because he knew I was going to only get opportunities on short notice because nobody really wanted to fight me and give me a camp to prepare myself. 

"I stayed the gym and I took that fight with Dulorme on short notice and did what I had to do. Then there was another fight with Nelson Lara, who might not be the best fighter, but I took that fight with him on 24 hours notice. I've worked to get to this point and I'm still looking at this as the beginning of my reign as a champion."

GL: Is this is a do-or-die fight for you in terms of being able to compete at the highest level?

YU: "No, because I know I'm a competitor and I know that I belong on the elite level. It's going to be a great fight for the fans, I know that Porter is going to bring the war, but he better be ready for the war too, because I plan on bringing it right to him. I'm going in there to put it all on the line. I think my talent is as good or better than anybody at welterweight and I'm going to show everybody that I belong at the elite level of the 147 pound division."

GL: Other than victory do you have a prediction?

YU: "I never predict exact rounds, I can predict that it's going to be a great, great fight. I think this is going to be one of the best fights of the year and I really believe that I'm going to be the WBC welterweight champion of the world."

GL: What about Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner?

YU: "I think it's going to be a good fight, but I give Pacquiao the advantage."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

YU: "I want to thank you for always keeping in touch and giving the fighters a ton of exposure on your website. I want to thank all of the fans for their support. Tune into Fox on March 9th because it's going to be an all out war. You don't want to miss this."

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