Yordenis Ugas Hernandez is a Cuban boxer best known for winning the lightweight gold at the 2005 World Amateur Boxing Championships at age 19. Ugas also captured a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games and a bronze medal in the lightweight dvision at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Ugas became a sensation at the 2003 Cuban Nationals when he caught a silver medal as a 16-year old. The same year he won gold at the U17 (Cadet) World Championships but in 2004 he lost at the World Junior Championships to Amir Khan. On other occasions he lost twice to countryman Luis Franco at featherweight and wasn’t selected for the 2004 Olympics.
In 2005, his first year as a senior, he moved up to lightweight and became more successful, winning the Cuban Championships from 2005 to 2008, turning into a one of the star cuban boxers. He won Pan American Championships (not the Pan Am Games) in 2005, however in other tournaments he lost twice to Kazakh southpaw Serik Sapiyev.
At the Senior World Championships 2005 he suffered two heavy knockdowns by Canadian southpaw Ibrahim Kamal in his third fight but managed to win. Manila Times writes: “But for two fleeting moments Thursday, unheralded Canadian lightweight Ibrahim Kamal showed the world that the Cubans, arguably the number-one force in amateur boxing, may have jaws of glass after all. The University of Toronto student knocked down Yordenis Ugas in the first and second rounds with two sledgehammer lefts to the side of the chin. But then the Canadian southpaw hurt one knee as he and Ugas wrestled each other to the floor in the third round, leaving him effectively fighting on one leg.” Later Ugas convincingly beat Russian Khabib Allakhverdiev and in the final he outfought Romal Amanov from Azerbaijan. Cubanet.org writes “Yordenis Ugas, a sharp, technically accomplished fighter but with a suspect jaw, won the lightweight gold for Cuba after an explosive toe-to-toe clash with Romal Amanov of Azerbaijan.” It describes him “a tall, bony lightweight with a languid fighting style”
In 2006 he won gold at the Central American and Caribbean Games.
In 2007 he beat Yordan Frometa and Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo at the National Championships. Later that year Ugas won the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro beating Darley Perez and Everton Lopes. Cuba didn’t participate in the World Championships in Chicago and Ugas couldn’t defend his title from 2005.
In 2008 he defended the national championships against old foe Luis Franco and won his Olympic qualifier. At the 2008 Olympics Ugas was the favorite along with russian Aleksei Tishchenko but after some dominating performances, Ugas was upset in the semifinal against frenchman Daouda Sow whom Ugas had beaten previously on two occations.
In 2009 Ugas won the Nationals at his new weight 64 kg, beating old rival Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo in the final 12-9. However Iglesias was selected for the World Championships, winning gold and Ugas defected to the United States and turned professional in july 2010.