It didn't turn out to be much of a main event, but wouldn't have been a fight at all had Yordenis Ugas not even step up to begin with.
The reward turned out to be well worth the risk for the resurgent Cuban contender, who accepted a fight with Nelson Lara on one day's notice and left with a 2nd round knockout win Tuesday evening at Fitz Tunica Casino & Hotel in Tunica, Mississippi.
A right uppercut, straight right combo by Ugas (19-3, 9KOs) put Lara down early in round two. The pudgy Nicaraguan beat the count, but a cut over his eye drew concern from referee Bill Clancy. Time was called to examine the wound and - with Lara (17-8-4, 5KOs) showing no interest in continuing - resulting in the doctor advising the third man to stop the contest.
The end came at 0:53 of round two.
Ugas answered the call to accept the fight after originally scheduled Mario Barrios bailed in the wake of Lara showing up more than 10 pounds over the contracted weight limit at Monday's weigh-in. It was Barrios' lost opportunity, as Ugas has now won four straight dating back to his ring return last August following a 27-month ring hiatus.
With previous wins over Jamal James and Levan Ghvamichava among his current streak, Ugas is now looking for bigger game following his latest feat.
"I want any of the world class fighters in the welterweight division,” said Ugas after the win. “I’m ready to fight anyone and prove that I’m as good as any fighter out there.”
Opening the show was Ugas' last ring victim, as Ghvamichava bounced back from a split decision loss to the Cuban talent to outclass Oscar Molina over 10 rounds. Scores were 98-92 (twice) and 97-93 for "The Wolf", who found success in simply coming forward and outboxing a reluctant Molina (13-2-1, 10KOs), who is now winless in his last three starts and not having his hand raised in victory since June '15.
With plenty of time to kill thanks to the main event going short, Julius Dyes made the most of his unexpected airtime with a 3rd round stoppage of miserably overmatched Taif Harris (2-6, 0KOs). Dyes (8-1, 4KOs) dropped Harris late in round two and twice more one frame later to force the stoppage at 2:59 of round three.
Off TV, former heavyweight titlist Charles Martin returned for the first time in more than a year, scoring a 2nd round stoppage of Byron Polley. Martin (24-1-1, 22KOs) hadn't been seen in the ring since a 2nd round knockout loss to Anthony Joshua last April, needing just as long to dispatch the pudgy Polley (30-21-1, 13KOs).