Welterweight contender Yordenis Ugas came up just short in a world title shot in March. He’s hoping to work his way back into another one in 2020.
Ugas will continue his efforts when he meets Mike Dallas Jr. in a 12-round bout on Feb. 1 (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, 8 p.m. ET) at the Beau Rivage Resort Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, Premier Boxing Champions announced Monday.
“Ugas has proven to be a force at 147 pounds and will need to be at his best against the crafty veteran Mike Dallas if he wants to earn another world title fight,” TGB Promotions president Tom Brown said. “Both fighters are going to leave it all in the ring.”
Ugas (24-4, 11 KOs), 33, a 2008 Cuban Olympic bronze medalist who defected and fights out of Miami, challenged then-welterweight world titlist Shawn Porter on March 9 in Carson, California, and lost a split decision that many thought he deserved to win.
Ugas won his next fight by lopsided decision over former lightweight world titlist Omar Figueroa Jr. on July 20 on the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman undercard in Las Vegas and will aim for his second win in a row since the loss to Porter.
“I’m very excited to be returning to the ring,” Ugas said. “This is a huge weekend for sports fans, and I’m very motivated fighting one day before the Super Bowl. You know when you get an Ugas fight you get all action, all the time, and I’m looking to put on a Super Bowl-worthy performance.
“Mike Dallas is a smart, tricky fighter with a lot of heart, and I know he’ll be at his best. I’m fully focused on the task at hand, but after I handle business, I want to fight the best welterweights in the world.”
Dallas (23-3-2, 11 KOs), 33, of Bakersfield, California, is 4-0-1 in his past five bouts since a first-round knockout loss to Lucas Matthysse in an interim junior welterweight title bout in 2013. Dallas has had periods of inactivity since then, but he won his last fight on Oct. 19.
“I just want to say that I’m ready to take advantage of this opportunity,” Dallas said. “I’m ready to give it my all in the ring on Feb. 1. This is going to be a great fight, and I’m working extremely hard to be at my best when we step in there.”
On Nov. 30, Oxnard, California-based welterweight Alexander Besputin (14-0, 9 KOs), 28, a Russia native, outpointed Radzhab Butaev to win a vacant secondary world and a few days later was ordered to begin negotiations for a mandatory defense against Ugas with a purse bid scheduled for Jan. 3 in the event their camps were unable to make a deal.
However, because Besputin suffered a cut in the fight and will be sidelined for a few months, Besputin promoter Top Rank and TGB Promotions, which represents Ugas, were granted a postponement of the negotiations and Ugas was allowed to take the interim bout against Dallas, If Ugas wins, the sides will then begin negotiations with an eye toward having the fight in the spring or early summer.