By Elisinio Castillo
Cuban welterweight contender Yordenis Ugas is hoping to secure his mandatory world title shot at current IBF king Errol Spence (24-0, 21 KOs).
Both fighters were in action on Saturday night in Frisco, Texas.
In a non-televised undercard fight, Ugas (22-3, 11 KOs) scored four knockdowns of his amateur rival Jonathan Batista for a dominant stoppage win in the second round. In the main event of the same card, Spence demolished mandatory challenger Carlo Ocampo in the first round.
The fight with Batista (17-14, 10 KOs) was personal for Ugas. Back in 2006, Batista defeated Ugas in an amateur tournament in the Dominican Republic.
Ugas holds the number two position in the IBF's top ten - but he was skipped over by the sanctioning body, for whatever reason. Instead, it was the number three ranked Ocampo who got the nod.
Ocampo had never faced or beaten anyone of note - and it was no surprise to any experts that Spence took him out in a round.
"Thank God for the work that was done [in Saturday's fight. Two rounds and four knockdowns to end the fight. We have beaten one of the few men who beat me in the amateurs. I think everyone agrees that we have earned the opportunity to fight for a championship," said Ugas.
Unlike Ocampo, Ugas has a lot of experience against top competition in the amateurs and the pros.
After losing back to back fights in 2014 to Amir Imam and Emmanuel Robles, Ugas returned to the ring nearly two years later, as a welterweight, and he's been on a tremendous run ever since.
In 2016, he decision undefeated Jamal James and then he knocked out undefeated Bryant Perrella.
In 2017, he defeated Levan Ghvamichava on February, Nelson Lara in April - and Thomas Dulorme on the Mayweather-McGregor undercard at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
And in February of this year, Ugas was dominant in an IBF eliminator as he stopped Ray Robinson in seven rounds.