WBC and IBF world champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and WBA world champion Yordenis Ugas faced off for the first time Wednesday at a press conference to discuss their welterweight title unification clash that headlines a SHOWTIME PPV on Saturday, April 16 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Spence vs. Ugas will be just the 12th unification fight in the rich history of the welterweight division and will see Spence fighting in front of his hometown crowd looking to add a third welterweight title and boost his standing as the world’s top welterweight. Fresh off of an upset victory over legendary eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, Ugas will seek another upset victory as he hopes to continue his remarkable run through the division that has seen him win 12 of his last 13 fights since 2016.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday from AT&T Stadium:
ERROL SPENCE JR.
“I can guarantee fireworks on April 16. Ugas is going to give it his all, just like I will. I’m going to put on another great performance in front of my hometown crowd. It’s ‘Man Down’ and it’s ‘Strap Season’. I’m the guy everyone is talking about. The motivation I get from my family and friends allows me to push through everything I’ve gone through.
“I want to thank Jerry Jones and the Cowboys for bringing me back and realizing my skills and my potential. We’re going to sell this stadium out and make this a great night. I’m going to put on a great show in front of my fans, my family and the whole Cowboys organization.
“I also have to thank Ugas for agreeing to take this fight with me. He’s a tough competitor who comes to fight. I thought he beat Shawn Porter in 2019 and then he beat Pacquiao with an arm injury. He’s a great warrior, but I believe that it’s my time to show the world that I’m here to win another belt.
“At the end of the day, I want to be the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. This is another step toward that goal. I’ve been the shot caller. I’m the big fish at 147.”
“My eye has been good. Sparring has been great and I’ve been looking good. I’ve taken some hits and my eye feels great. I haven’t been in the ring in a year and a half, but I’ve been focused and in the gym training every day.
“I feel very sharp right now. My last couple of fights I was really only able to train for about two months. But I’ve been in the gym for the last six months getting ready for this.
“I started my career on SHOWTIME. I had my pro debut and won my first world title on SHOWTIME. This is a reunion of sorts and I’m excited to be back.
“This is going to be a great fight. Ugas always comes to compete. With all respect to Pacquiao, I’m a way different fighter than Pacquiao and at this point I’m a better fighter. Ugas is a real warrior, but I’m hungry too. I’m not letting this opportunity pass by me.
“I’ve been feeling strong. My nutritionist that I added for this camp has been the missing ingredient. I was struggling to make weight and I think that’s the reason that I haven’t gotten a stoppage in my last few fights. This is the first camp in a while that I haven’t put the sauna suit on. It’s been a breath of fresh air. I’m really having fun in this training camp.
“It feels good to be back. It’s a blessing to be in this position. Most people take life for granted until they’re given a second chance, and I’ve been given a second chance in life and a third chance in boxing.”
“I’m so excited for this fight. I have nothing but respect for Errol Spence Jr., for his team and his trainer. What you are going to see on April 16 is two of the three best welterweights in the world face-to-face and ready to give a great show for the fans. This is not just going to be a fight between two of the best welterweights in the world, but a fight between two of the best trainers in the world too. They are going to go head-to-head and show their prowess as well.
“I’ve fought since I was six-years-old. I have overcome any and all challenges. I was ready for Pacquiao and I’m going to be ready for Spence. Like I said before, I’m so excited for this fight to be able to show people what I’m worth. I can promise you that I’m going to be ready on April 16 to show what I’m worth.
“I’m a warrior. I’m someone who is committed to his family, to his community, to his team. I’m going to give the fans more than 100 percent of what I can give and I can promise you it’s going to be something you don’t want to miss.
“I not only accepted this fight, I pushed for this fight. Because I want to fight the best. Here we are, two of the best welterweights in the world. I want the biggest challenges. I’m here and I’m ready to prove that everything I’ve done so far wasn’t a fluke at all.
“You know how long I’ve been calling for this fight and how long I’ve wanted this fight? Four years. I have wanted this for so long. Spence is one of the best in the world and I’m so glad that I get to face him like I’ve wanted for the past four years.
“Whoever wins this fight is going to be the king of this division and the one that calls the shots from now on.
“I’ve been waiting for the best Spence to reappear for two years now. I was well aware that he had to overcome a terrible accident. After that, the surgery on his eye was nothing. I knew he could overcome that.
“It’s been a long, hard road. I had to go through a lot to get to where I am today. The Pacquiao fight helped me get to where I am today but make no mistake, I made it here because of my hard work, my resilience and my skills. I’m ready to prove that once again at the AT&T Stadium.”
Photos: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME