Welterweight Unification: Errol Spence Jr. VS Yordenis Ugas
Saturday, April 16 – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
The eyes of the boxing world will be on AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas this Saturday night as Long Island, New York native Errol Spence Jr. takes on Cuba fighter Yordenis Ugas in a welterweight unification bout. The fight sees Spence putting his WBC and IBF titles on the line against WBC (Super) champion Ugas.
Both of these boxers are former Olympic fighters. Spence – who is ranked as the No. 2 fighter at 147 pounds by The Ring – fought at the 2012 games in London. Spence is a 32-year-old fighter who first captured gold by stopping Kell Brook in Round 11 for the IBF welterweight tile, then added the WBC title to his haul amongst his five title defenses.
Ugas had his Olympic moment one edition of the Games before Spence. He won a bronze medal in 2008 to go along with his amateur World Championships gold from 2005. He is the No. 3 fighter in the weight class according to The Ring and his long road to the title included dominant wins over fighters like Bryan Perrella and Ray Robinson. The 35-year-old dropped his first title contest to Shawn Porter (WBC) in a split decision before stunning the world with a victory over the legendary Manny Pacquiao to claim the WBA belt in August of 2021.
If Spence is the lighter that we have seen throughout his professional career then this should be his fight. He is 27-0 as a professional and his punching power and ring craft has led to 21 knockouts. The question here, though, is one of ring rust after a potentially career-altering injury. Spence hasn’t fought in 16 months thanks to a detached retina. That injury is every bit as rehabilitating as it sounds, so the question of Spence’s ability to take punches is a real one.
Ugas, on the other hand, is in a much better place. The 27-4 as a professional fighter has 12 knockouts among those bouts. He is coming off of a career-best win and will have no fear stepping into the right with a marginally younger – and undefeated – opponent here.
If the Cuban fighter is to win he is going to have to survive and outwork the powerful punching Spence. Those 21 knockouts are no joke and if the American is able to get inside on Ugas then it could get ugly quickly. Ugas is more than capable of taking a punch or two, but Spence is known for his barrage attacks and he has heavy hands that are ideally suited for a fight like this that looks like it could drag on into the later rounds.
Given that Ugas does have that sturdy chin – plus the ring rust that I think will have to affect Spence in the early going – I think this one will go the distance. Expect Ugas to be ahead early in the fight (his reach will also trouble the American) but for Spence to roar back in the second half of the fight for a comfortable win on points. The favorite is the pick here with BetXchange.