Spence after win over Ugás: ‘I want Terence Crawford’

IBF and WBC welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. showed his greatness against WBA champion Yordenis Ugás, battling back from early adversity to stop Ugás in the tenth round on SHOWTIME PPV live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event before an announced crowd of 39,946. 

After the win, Spence, who now owns three belts at 147, made it clear who and what he wants next, and that’s WBO 147-pound champion Terence Crawford.

“Everybody knows who I want next,” Spence said. “I want Terence Crawford. That’s the fight that I want. That’s the fight everybody else wants. Like I said, I’m going to get these straps, then go over there and take his too. Terence, I’m coming for that belt!”

It wasn’t smooth sailing for Spence. In Round 6, Ugás appeared to hurt Spence, knocking his mouthpiece out with an uppercut. Ultimately, Spence was knocked against the ropes, and you could argue that Ugás could have been awarded a knockdown. Eventually, referee Laurence Cole interrupted the action with 1:32 left in the frame to allow trainer Derrick James to replace the mouthpiece.

Spence survived, and he put it on Ugás for the rest of the fight.

Spence’s work rate was overwhelming Ugás, and by the tenth round, Ugás’ right eye was completely shut when Cole stopped the contest for the second time to allow the ringside physician to inspect the eye, and the doctor advised Cole to stop the bout at 1:44 of the tenth round, giving Spence (28-0, 22 KOs)

Spence, who survived a horrific car accident in 2019 and was out of the ring for 17 months after surgery to repair his retina last summer, said his parents are the reason he can survive all the adversity that has come his way.

“I believe that you’re going to go through trials and tribulations,” Spence said. “I went through a lot of trials. I got tested, and I passed the tests due to my upbringing. My mother and my father always telling me not to quit and not to give up, and just believing in myself and my family. I wanted to prove them wrong, and I knew that I could come back. Why would I quit now?”

Ugas(27-5, 12 KOs), who took advantage of Spence’s eye injury and stepped in on late notice to defeat Pacquiao last summer, believes he could have won the fight in the sixth round.

“I feel sad,” Ugás said. “I trained really hard for this fight. All my respect to Errol Spence. He’s a great champion. I’m just sad about what happened tonight. The referee stopped the fight, but I wanted to keep going to the end. I definitely had a chance to win the fight in the sixth round, but he recuperated well. Congratulations to him and his team.”

According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, Ugás was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, to have his right eye examined.

Now, the focus has to be on Spence-Crawford. Two undefeated fighters who are at the top of many people’s pound-for-pound list, with all the belts on the line, would be exciting. 

It’s the best fight that can be made in boxing. Let’s hope we see it at some point in 2022.

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

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