BROOKLYN (August 1, 2018) – Top 147-pound contender Yordenis Ugas and Argentine slugger Cesar Barrionuevo will battle in a WBC welterweight title eliminator while unbeaten Polish heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki will face former heavyweight champion Charles Martin in a 10-round attraction as part of a tripleheader live on SHOWTIME Saturday, September 8 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® main event (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) will pit two of the division’s biggest names against each other as former 147-pound championsDanny “Swift” Garcia and “Showtime” Shawn Porter square off for the vacant WBC Welterweight World Championship. The winner of Ugas vs. Barrionuevo earns the WBC’s second mandatory position to the winner of Garcia vs. Porter.
Ugas (22-3, 11 KOs), who was born in Cuba and now lives in Las Vegas, is one of the busiest boxers in the sport and a consensus top-10 fighter in the welterweight division. After losing a unanimous decision to Amir Imam in 2014, the 32-year-old Ugas took a year off from boxing, moved up to 147 pounds and came back on a tear. During a 12-month span from August 2016 to August 2017, Ugas won five straight fights, knocking off top contenders and prospects including Jamal James, Bryant Perrella, Levan Ghvamichava, Thomas Dulorme and Nelson Lara. Ugas has added two more stoppage victories in 2018, including February on SHOWTIME when he handed Ray Robinson his first defeat since a 2010 decision to Shawn Porter.
“I’m very excited to be part of such a great card,” Ugas said. “This is a huge opportunity to put myself in position to fight the best fighters in the welterweight division and that’s my goal. I don’t know much about my opponent, but he is a power punching Argentine and I have to be 100 percent ready come September 8. This will be my second appearance on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and I look forward to making another huge statement. I’m going to close the show in New York like my friend, Yankees’ closer Aroldis Chapman.”
Barrionuevo (34-3-2, 24 KOs) has devastating one-punch power and is wildly popular in his native Argentina, where he has held regional titles while stopping seven of his last nine opponents. Barrionuevo will make his U.S. debut on September 8. The 29-year-old has won 10 fights in a row and has only lost once since 2010 as he looks to follow in the footsteps of Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse, elite welterweights from Argentina. Barrionuevo, who is ranked No. 6 by the WBC at 147 pounds, was previously scheduled to face Abel Ramos on Aug. 3 in Las Vegas before taking the opportunity to fight Ugas in this title eliminator.
“I am proud to be fighting in the United States and fighting on SHOWTIME is a dream come true,” said Barrionuevo. “Argentine boxing has a long history of great champions from Carlos Monzon to Sergio Martinez and most recently Marcos Maidana. I am looking to become one of those great Argentine fighters of this era and it starts on September 8. I bring the power and the heart of my country with me and expect all the Argentine flags to be out at Barclays Center.”
Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs) has become a must-see attraction amongst the large contingent of Polish boxing fans in his hometown of Brooklyn and will return to fight at Barclays Center for the fifth time on September 8. The 29-year-old has steadily climbed up the rankings, having most recently knocked out then once-beaten heavyweight Iago Kiladze in Brooklyn in January. Prior to that win, the undefeated heavyweight scored a dominant stoppage of Artur Szpilka last July on Long Island in a matchup of top Polish heavyweights.
“It’s exciting to be back in the ring on SHOWTIME to showcase my skills,” said Kownacki. “It will be another step to reach my goal of becoming the first Polish heavyweight champion. I am training hard in preparation to fight Charles Martin. It will be an amazing night in Barclays Center. I’m hoping Barclays Center will be covered in white and red.”
Born in St. Louis, Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs) captured the IBF Heavyweight World Championship in January 2016 via a third round TKO against Vyacheslav Glazkov at Barclays Center on SHOWTIME. The 32-year-old scored knockouts in 21 of his first 23 before losing in his first title defense against Anthony Joshua in the UK. Martin trains in Big Bear, California and has since scored two knockout victories on his way towards a matchup with Kownacki that could move him closer to another shot at a belt.
“I don’t want to talk about fighting, I just want to get in there and show off my skills,” said Martin. “For this fight I asked for the toughest opponent that I could get. I’m not worried about who is in front of me. I will be ready on September 8.”