On Friday, February 28, 2014, the Crowne Plaza Hanalei Hotel on Hotel Circle in Mission Valley, San Diego, is set to host another in a series of Bobby D Present’s boxing shows, the first of 2014, and one that will most assuredly have a huge turnout. In the Main Event, they have San Diego’s Emmanuel “The Renegade” Robles (9-0-1, 3 KOs) taking on the Cuban fighting machine, Yordenis Ugas (15-1-0, 7 KOs) in the welterweight division (140 to 147 lbs.) for the WBC junior welterweight Latin Championship.
After making his ascension in the local ranks, Robles, a southpaw, was a USA Amateur and National Pal champion. He’s now doing the same in the pro ranks. That being said, on February 28th, he will be facing his toughest challenge to date.
Yordenis Ugas, a bit of a legend in the International Amateur circuit, fought close to 200 times and is best known for winning the lightweight gold at the 2005 World Amateur Boxing Championships at the age of 19. Being on the Cuban National Team and surrounded by great boxers and coaches has to be an advantage. He’s also being promoted by the world class boxing promotion company, Caribe Promotions out of Coral Gables, Florida who also handles Guillermo Rigondeaux. Rigondeaux, the current WBA and WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion is one of the most decorated amateurs in the history of boxing. He won seven Cuban national championships (2000-2006), two Olympic gold medals (2000 & 2004), and two amateur world championships (2001 & 2005).
To quote well known ring announcer Benny Ricardo, “Following in Rigondeaux’s footsteps, Ugas has now brought home so much hardware that his mom is considering opening up a Trophies Online store.”
As a little boy in Cuba, Ugas would tell his mom, Milagros Hernandez, “Like Savon, I want to be like Felix Savon.” Savon, like fellow Olympian Teófilo Stevenson are legendary boxing heroes of Cuba. Ugas’ mom kept asking herself, ‘My only son, a boxer?’ Since her son was unrelenting, she finally took him to Los Olmos Gymnasium where legendary trainer Obelio Wilson ran the gym. He told her, “Don’t worry about your son, leave him to us and he’ll be a great champion.”
At the tender age of 16, Ugas won the silver medal at the Cuban Nationals in 2003 and by 2005, he brought home a gold medal from the World Amateur Boxing Championships. After winning the gold medal at the Pan American Championships in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 2007, he then headed to the Bejing Olympics in 2008 where he won the bronze medal after losing to Daouda Sow of France. Prior to this meeting, Ugas had beaten Sow twice.
Possible chink in the armor? Cubanet.org once reported: “Yordenis Ugas, a sharp, technically accomplished fighter but with a suspect jaw, won the lightweight gold for Cuba after an explosive toe-to-toe clash with Romal Amanov of Azerbaijan.”
In 2009, Ugas won the Nationals at his new weight by beating old rival Roniel Iglesias in the finals. However, Iglesias was selected to represent Cuba in the World Championships, and won the gold. That’s when Ugas decided to defect to the United States and soon after turn professional.
In 2010, Ugas made his pro debut and then rattled off 11 straight victories before losing an 8-rounder by split decision to the undefeated Johnny Garcia (11-0). Ugas regrouped and pounded out four straight victories including a unanimous decision victory in a 10 round clash with former World Title Contender Cosme “Chino” Rivera. Rivera, who fought Zab Judah for the WBC, WBA and IBF World Welterweight title, was stopped in the third round.
The very competitive 140 pound division is headed up by Danny Garcia of Philadelphia and other big names like Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan, Ruslan Provodnikov, Lamont Peterson and Humberto Soto. Surely a win here would give either boxer a huge leg up, perhaps an immediate opportunity to fight for an even more prestigious belt. Boxing is about opportunities and for each of these fighters, this is their opportunity of a lifetime to elevate their career.
Also on the card will be the American Debut of the ultra popular, 20 year-old Kenia Enriquez of Tijuana, B. C. Mexico. Enriquez, who has been overwhelming opponents since her debut on July 6, 2012, puts to good use her superior hand speed, power and overall ring generalship to totally overpower opponents.
To bolster this impressive fight card even more, they’ve added undefeated boxers like 20 year-old, super bantamweight Joet Gonzalez (5-0, 1 KO) of Los Angeles who is managed by Frank Espinoza; 25 year-old heavyweight Thanasis Michaloudis (8-0-0, 7 KOs) from Florida by way of Athens, Greece; featherweight Prince Tiger Smalls (2-0-1) of the San Diego Combat Academy in San Diego; plus light heavyweight Ulises Sierra (4-0-1, 3 KOs) of the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center in San Diego’s Downtown.