untung99.biz: Keith ThurmanYordenis Ugas Interim Title Fight In Play For MidToLate August

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Another secondary welterweight title fight is in play.

BoxingScene.com has confirmed that plans are in place for a Keith Thurman-Yordenis Ugas interim WBC welterweight title fight. A date and location were not yet established as this goes to publication but will take place in mid-to-late August.

Thurman confirmed at least the speculation of a planned showdown versus Ugas, during his most recent appearance on ‘Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer.’

The winner will be among those who will wait in line for a shot at the undisputed welterweight championship or an upgrade to full title status.

Errol Spence (28-0, 22KOs) and Terence Crawford (39-0, 30KOs) will meet for all four major titles atop a July 29 Showtime Pay-Per-View event from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The summit meeting between the top two welterweights in the world carries a bilateral rematch clause that could further delay anyone else in the division getting a crack at the top prize.  

Ugas (27-5, 12KOs) was previously rumored to next face San Antonio’s Mario Barrios in an interim WBC title fight once targeted for July. A more sensible option has prevailed, given Thurman’s lopsided win over the former secondary WBA junior welterweight titlist in their welterweight meeting last February 5 in Las Vegas.

Thurman (30-1, 22KOs) has not fought since then, as he’s watched several discussed dates and options fall by the wayside. The most lucrative opportunity once linked to the former WBA/WBC welterweight champion was his own shot at Spence atop a Showtime Pay-Per-View that was eyed for this past February and again this spring.

Spence instead opted to dig in and work out terms for an undisputed showdown versus Crawford, even if it meant remaining inactive for more than a year. The 33-year-old southpaw from the greater Dallas area has not fought since a tenth-round stoppage of Ugas in their WBA, WBC and IBF unification bout last April 18 at AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

Ugas has also not fought since that night, which saw the end of his WBA welterweight title reign.

The 2008 Cuban Olympian won a secondary belt in September 2020 and was upgraded to ‘Super’ champion in January 2021. He further validated his reign in an August 2021 victory over former eight-division titlist Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas. Pacquiao was due to face Spence, who withdrew from their Fox Sports PPV due to a retinal injury requiring surgery. Ugas prevailed in the biggest win of his career, while Pacquiao retired after the fight.

Thurman has fought just once since the pandemic and since his July 2019 defeat to Pacquiao, which ended his WBA welterweight title reign. The 34-year-old Floridian prevailed as the top welterweight in the post-Floyd Mayweather era, validated by wins over Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, the latter coming in their March 2017 WBC/WBA unification bout between unbeaten titlists.

Injuries slowed his unified title reign to a crawl, as he was out of the ring for 22 months before he posted a January 2019 win over Josesito Lopez. The feat was followed by a competitive but clear defeat to Pacquiao later that Juiy before more injuries and Covid has left him with just one fight in the past four years.

The winner of Thurman-Ugas will become one of three recognized secondary titleholders at welterweight.

The other two fight this weekend.

Philadelphia’s Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis (30-0, 27KOs; 1ND) will defend his recently acquired interim IBF title versus Venezuela’s Roiman Villa (26-1, 24KOs) atop this Saturday’s Showtime tripleheader in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Roughly 1,800 miles away on the same evening, WBA ‘Regular’ welterweight titlist Eimantas Stanionis (14-0, 9KOs) faces mandatory challenger Vergil Ortiz Jr. (19-0. 19KOs) in a DAZN main event from AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox