Errol Spence Jr. was the last man standing in a 10-fight fight card and he did not disappoint.
Spence defeated Yordenis Ugas as expected, but at what cost?
Errol Spence Jr. stopped Yordenis Ugas in 10th round to unify titles and call for Terence Crawford next fight. Read more in detail here: terence crawford next fight .
12:45 a.m. Eastern
ESPN’s Mike Coppinger
ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Errol Spence Jr. seemed bewildered as he scanned the ring for his mouthpiece.
On Saturday, Yordenis Ugas launched it into the air after connecting with a vicious right hand in Round 6, prompting referee Laurence Cole to call a pause to the fight so Spence could grab it. That’s when Ugas connected with a left hand followed by a right, sending a bewildered Spence careening into the ropes for a possible knockout.
The series of events seemed to only reinvigorate Spence, who was fighting in front of his hometown fans at AT&T Stadium for the third time in four fights. He began to attack far more aggressively during the following round and took control of the bout after he buckled Ugas with a left uppercut. The systematic beating he dispensed on Ugas slowly but surely closed the Cuban boxer’s right eye before the ringside doctor advised Cole to stop the fight at 1:44 of Round 10.
Stats on Punching
|Total number of landings||216||96|
|Total number of throws||784||541|
|Jabs had landed.||24||19|
|Jabs have been thrown.||308||262|
|The power has arrived.||192||77|
|Throwing of force||476||279|
|CompuBox provided this image.|
Ugas (27-5, 22 KOs) was taken to Fort Worth’s John Peter Smith Hospital to have his right eye checked. At the time of the stoppage, Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) was leading on all three scorecards: 88-82, 88-83, and 88-82. Spence won the eighth round 10-8, according to two judges.
Spence now has the WBA welterweight belt, in addition to the WBC and IBF crowns he previously had. To become the undisputed 147-pound champion, Spence just needs Terence Crawford’s WBO championship.
“Everyone knows who I want next; Terence Crawford,” Spence, the No. 6 pound-for-pound fighter on ESPN, said. “That’s the battle I want, and it’s the fight everyone else wants as well. I’m coming for that motherf—-ing belt, Terence.”
Spence and Crawford have been circling one other for years but have never gotten close to sealing a contract for what has long been one of boxing’s most anticipated fights. Crawford’s victory over Shawn Porter in November marked the end of his long-term contract with Top Rank, a promoter that seldom works with PBC, which promotes Spence’s matches.
The biggest hurdle to the clash has been eliminated now that Crawford is a promotional free agency and it seems to be a real possibility later this year.
Crawford tweeted to Spence, “Congratulations, fantastic fight, now the real battle begins.” “No more talking, no more standing on the side of the road, let’s go!”
Midway in the battle, Spence seemed to be losing control of the superfight with Crawford. After being sent flying into the ropes in Round 6, Ugas, 35, continued to fire on Spence as the favorite took the punishment. Despite the fact that there was no halt in the action, Cole eventually interrupted the fight this time. After the match restarted, Spence, 32, looked to have recovered and began throwing punches at Ugas.
“I felt the ref yelled’stop,’ so I stopped,” Spence said of his first champion stoppage since capturing the IBF championship from Kell Brook in May 2017. “Then he fired three or four rounds at me. It’s all my fault. That was a rookie error on my part. It’s your responsibility to defend yourself at all times, and I failed to do so. I wasn’t walking around. He slammed into me as I turned to look at my mouthpiece.”
Ugas’ last stand came in the sixth round. Spence, who had primarily boxed from the back foot in the first half of the fight, was suddenly relentless in his onslaught. The change made a huge impact. Ugas’ midsection was attacked by ESPN’s No. 2 welterweight, and it paid off as his activity dropped.
According to CompuBox, 70 of Spence’s 216 punches went to the body. Spence landed 46 punches in a ferocious Round 8 that saw him throw a fight-high 110 shots.
On the inside, Ugas fought Spence, but his right eye continued to enlarge to the point that he couldn’t see. In Round 8, he was hit again by a succession of shots before Cole called a halt to the fight to enable the doctor to check Ugas. The activity restarted after almost a minute. Ugas was granted a respite this time.
Ugas, ESPN’s No. 3 welterweight, said via a translator, “I feel terrible; I prepared extremely hard for this fight.” “Errol Spence has my undying admiration. He’s a fantastic champion… The battle was interrupted by the referee, but I wanted to see it through to the conclusion. In the sixth round, I had a good opportunity to win the fight, but he recovered brilliantly.”
Surprisingly, it was Spence’s left eye that drew them together in the first place. Spence, 32, had been scheduled to face Manny Pacquiao in August, but he pulled out when a specialist diagnosed him with a damaged retina.
Ugas stepped in on 11 days’ notice for the life-changing chance, and Spence had surgery immediately. Ugas was previously a champion, having lost a disputed decision to Porter in a championship fight earlier in his career, but this was an opportunity for him to cement his place among the sport’s top.
Ugas responded to the situation, defeating Pacquiao by unanimous decision and forcing him to retire. Spence’s torch-passing battle vanished in a cloud of smoke, but a new chance presented itself.
Spence skipped the normal tuneup contest and went directly into the championship unification with Ugas after a speedy recovery from surgery. Spence’s fight marked his fourth in a row on pay-per-view, and his third at the Dallas Cowboys’ home stadium (announced attendance of 39,946).
“I didn’t have any reservations. I have complete faith in myself “rcent,” stated Spence. “… I didn’t want to fight someone I knew I could defeat as a warm-up. I wanted someone who would bring out the best in me, and I knew Ugas would do just that.”
Spence demonstrated once again that despite a devastating injury, he is still one of the best fighters in the world. He was engaged in a catastrophic single-car incident one month after defeating Porter in one of 2019’s finest action bouts.
Spence returned in December 2020 with a decision victory against Danny Garcia to retain his championships after losing many teeth and spending time in the hospital. And now, in his first fight back following eye surgery, he has won another spectacular victory against one of the finest welterweights in the world.
In the welterweight category, all that left for Spence is a long-awaited rematch with Crawford.
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