Updated September 30, 2023 - 11:08 pm
The chorus of boos inside T-Mobile Arena drowned out Erickson Lubin’s postfight interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray.
The crowd didn’t think he beat Jesus Ramos Jr.
But Lubin did enough in the eyes of those who matter, the judges who awarded him a 117-111, 116-112, 115-113 decision over the previously unbeaten junior middleweight contender Saturday on the undercard of the Canelo Alvarez-Jermell Charlo fight.
Ramos outlanded Lubin 145-92, according to CompuBox.
Lubin (26-2, 18 knockouts) hardly engaged with Ramos, the aggressor, opting instead to circle the ring and rely on his jab to ward off the 22-year-old from Casa Grande, Arizona. The former world title challenger from Orlando, Florida, is again in 154-pound championship contention, securing with the win mandatory positioning within the WBA and WBC.
“I didn’t let him do too much, and I won the fight,” said Lubin, 27. “I want the world title. Like I said before, I’m tired of people calling me a gatekeeper. I ain’t no gatekeeper in this division.
Ramos (20-1, 16 KOs) took the defeat in stride, telling Gray, “He was sharp. He had a good game plan. Congratulations to him. It’s back to the drawing board. We’ll come back.”
Barrios rolls Ugas
Welterweight title contention for Mario Barrios is just beginning.
Welterweight title contention — and maybe professional prize fighting — for Yordenis Ugas has reached its end.
Behind a snapping jab and follows of flurries, Barrios, a 28-year-old from San Antonio, upset the 37-year-old Cuban, a -210 favorite and the WBA’s former 147-pound champion, whom he dropped twice en route to a 118-107, 118-108, 117-108 victory for the interim WBC welterweight title.
The win mandates Barrios (28-2, 18 KOs) as the challenger for undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford, though it’s unlikely the pound-for-pound king remains in the division amid his pursuit of the junior middleweight championship.
Ugas, meanwhile, is at the end of a career that began in 2010 and peaked in 2021 with a win over eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao that he parlayed into a unification bout with Errol Spence Jr in April 2022.
Spence broke Ugas’ orbital bone in his right eye. The injury required surgery and preceded a 19-month layoff for Ugas (27-6, 12 KOs) that ended with what should sensibly be the final fight for the relocated Las Vegan.
“It wasn’t about his eye, we’ve just been drilling using my jab more,” said Barrios, who trains in Las Vegas under Bob Santos. “I have the size advantage against most of the dudes I fight. I listened to my corner and tried to time the jab.”
Barrios simply beat Ugas to the punch, dropping him late in the second round with a stiff left jab and again in the 12th with a looping left hook. He was stunned in the third round by Ugas, who landed an effective shot to the liver.
But his best shots left Barrios unfazed, and Barrios found his rhythm as the fight wore on.
“I want to take it further and contend for the main WBC title,” Barrios said. “I know that there are steps to get there. I’m going to sit down with my team and we’re going to see what’s next.”
Garcia’s rising star shines
In the opener, 20-year-old middleweight prospect Elijah Garcia bolstered his buzz with an eight-round technical knockout of Mexican 24-year-old Armando Resendiz. After seven exciting rounds featuring entertaining exchanges that Garcia (16-0, 13 KOs) mostly won, he dropped Resendiz (14-2, 10 KOs) with a right-left-right combination and pounced on him afterward.
Referee Tony Weeks intervened at the 1:23 mark.
A Phoenix resident, Garcia breathes life into a historically glamorous division devoid of its former shine.
“I think I’m getting better every single fight, and I think it starts in the gym,” Garcia said. “I’m getting back in the gym on Monday. I just have to keep getting better every single fight, take it one step at a time, fight harder opponents, and I’ll get that world title.”