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

Ugás: ‘I was the underdog against Pacquiao and now again against Spence’

WBA Welterweight World Champion Yordenis Ugás showed off his skills at a media workout in Las Vegas on Wednesday, as he nears his 147-pound title unification clash against WBC and IBF champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. taking place Saturday, April 16 live on SHOWTIME PPV in a Premier Boxing Champions event from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Just the 12th unification fight in the rich history of the welterweight division, Spence vs. Ugás will join other classic unification matchups at the weight class such as “Sugar” Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns I and Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. Ugás earned this opportunity in his most recent fight, successfully defending his title against future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao in August 2021.

Here is what Ugás had to say Wednesday:

YORDENIS UGÁS

“I’m very thankful for everyone who has supported me. I’m extremely ready for this fight and to give the fans a great show on April 16. This has been a fantastic training camp and I can’t wait.

“I’m happy to be fighting in Spence’s backyard, because they have great fans down there in Texas. It just adds extra motivation.

“We’ve had a great training camp here in Las Vegas with Ismael Salas. We always make sure that the hard work pays off. We’re going to be bringing our best into the ring.

“I was out of the ring for a long time, but when I came back and gave Jamal James the first loss of his career, I knew that I would be coming for big things. Everything changed for me that night and it’s all led up to this.

“The Pacquiao fight was a great night for me. After that fight my life changed in even more ways. But I’ve always kept myself humble. I showed everyone who the WBA champion was. I have my eye on continuing to make history.

“Being an underdog means nothing to me. I was the underdog against Pacquiao and now again against Spence. I’ve always been the underdog and it doesn’t faze me.=

“It’s an honor to be in the ring with Errol Spence Jr. We’re fighting for three belts, but even more important is fighting for honor and respect.

“Fans can expect me to fight like a warrior. I’m going to take all of my hard work into the ring on April 16.”

Photos: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Ugas-Maidana, Guerrero-Ortiz to headline Pacquiao-Spence undercard

Three exciting matchups have been added to the stacked FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View undercard headlined by eight-division world champion and Philippine Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao facing unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. on Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

WBA Welterweight World Champion Yordenis Ugás will square off against Argentina’s Fabián “TNT” Maidana in the co-main event, while former world champions and all-action brawlers Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and “Vicious” Víctor Ortiz will meet in a 10-round welterweight duel. Kicking off the pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, unbeaten featherweight contender Mark Magsayo battles former world champion Julio Ceja in a 10-round attraction.

“This is a fantastic pay-per-view undercard that is worthy of the highly-anticipated main event between Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr.,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Yordenis Ugás has established himself as an elite fighter in the star-studded welterweight division, and he will have to make sure he comes at his best for the always tough Argentine, Fabián Maidana. Robert Guerrero vs. Víctor Ortiz is a real treat for boxing fans as two of the sport’s most exciting veterans will battle looking to prove themselves ready for one more run at the world title. And in the opening bout, the extremely promising featherweight contender Mark Magsayo of the Philippines will be up against his stiffest test to date in the former champion Julio Ceja.

The 35-year-old Ugás (26-4, 12 KOs) has established himself as an elite welterweight since returning from a layoff in 2016, and was elevated to world champion in January after winning a WBA belt by defeating Abel Ramos last September. Ugás, who is from Santiago, Cuba and now lives in Miami, Florida, was on an eight-fight winning streak before losing a narrow split-decision to Shawn Porter in a world title fight in March 2019. The Olympic bronze medalist trains in Las Vegas and owns victories over then undefeated fighters Jamal James, Omar Figueroa Jr. and Bryant Perrella, plus veteran contenders Thomas Dulorme and Ray Robinson.

“Everyone knows I’m a warrior and will fight anyone on any given day, so when they presented me with this fight against Fabián Maidana, I accepted with no hesitation,” said Ugás. “I’ll be defending my WBA title and the world will see why I am must-see T.V. This will be one of the best FOX Sports PBC pay-per-view events in recent history with some of the biggest names in boxing, all fighters who are known for leaving it all in the ring. I know one thing for sure, I’ll be letting my hands fly with bad intentions on August 21. I also want to dedicate this fight to all the brave men, women and children who are fighting for their freedom in Cuba. Patria y Vida!”

Born in Santa Fe, Argentina, Maidana (18-1, 13 KOs) will look to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, former two division champion Marcos Maidana, and become the latest Argentine world champion on August 21. The 29-year-old was unbeaten in his first 16 pro fights, capping off that run with a knockout of Andrey Klimov in July 2018. Since dropping a January 2019 decision to Jaider Parra, Maidana has bounced back with a knockout of Ramses Agaton in September 2019 and a 10-round decision victory over Carlos Cordoba in April of this year.

“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for all my life,” said Maidana. “I’m thrilled to be part of such a huge fight card. I’m a man of few words, so all I can tell you is that Ugas is a great fighter but you guys will see the ‘TNT’ I have in each hand exploding on Ugas’ face on August 21.”

Guerrero (36-6-1, 20 KOs) is a three-time world champion who has won world titles at featherweight and super featherweight, and has fought a stacked lineup of elite fighters, including Floyd Mayweather, during a superb career. The Gilroy, California native returned from a 2017 defeat to Omar Figueroa Jr. to win his last three contests. After stopping Adam Mates in December 2018 and Hevinson Herrera in March 2019, Guerrero most recently won a unanimous decision over Gerald Thomas in September 2019.

“It’s great to be back in the ring, especially on a big card like Pacquiao vs. Spence,” said Guerrero. “It was an honor to kick off the first PBC fight on network television and here I am once again, ready to put on a spectacular show for the fans. Víctor Ortiz and I were always on a collision course to fight, and now it’s finally happening. One thing I know for sure, we are going to throw blows and the fans are going to see an all-out war. My time out of the ring has only fueled my desire to give the fans a great fight. Everyone should order this pay-per-view and get their popcorn ready, because it’s going to be fireworks from top to bottom.”

Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs), a former 147-pound champion, will return to the ring for the first time since a February 2018 draw against two-division champion Devon Alexander. The 34-year-old native of Garden City, Kansas, who now lives in Ventura, California, has faced some of the top names in the 147-pound division during his career. Ortiz won the welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto in April 2011, before losing the title to Floyd Mayweather.

“I am thrilled to be back in the ring on this Pacquiao vs. Spence Jr. pay-per-view undercard August 21,” said Ortiz. “Robert Guerrero is a legend who I’ve always admired. I look forward to competing against him and giving fans the toe-to-toe battle they’re expecting. I’ve had a great camp and I’m so excited to be part of this enormous event. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, I’m ready to make history again!”

The Filipino sensation Magsayo (22-0, 15 KOs) fights out of Pasig City, Metro Manila and most recently knocked out Pablo Cruz in four rounds in April 2021, following his U.S. televised debut in October 2020 that saw him defeat Rigoberto Hermosillo on FS1. The 26-year-old fights in the U.S. for the fifth time overall on August 21 and against his toughest competition to date in the former champion Ceja. Magsayo owns 12-round decision victories over Shoto Hayashi and Jose Robles Olvera, and a sixth-round stoppage of former title challenger Chris Avalos.

“This is going to be a very good matchup against a world class fighter in Ceja,” said Magsayo. “I have been waiting for a chance like this and I am thankful to my whole team for this opportunity. It’s a dream come true to be on the undercard of my number one idol, Senator Manny Pacquiao. On August 21, I’m going to show people what I can do. This is going to be a classic Philippines vs. Mexico war.”

A former super bantamweight champion, Ceja (32-4-1, 28 KOs) will move up to featherweight as he seeks an opportunity to capture a championship in a second division. Ceja’s 2019 saw him engage in two action-packed battles, dropping a June contest to former champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and most recently fighting unbeaten super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa to a draw in November. The 28-year-old captured his 122-pound title with a stoppage of Hugo Ruiz in 2015, and has also challenged for a bantamweight title throughout his career.

“I’m back and I’m more than ready to return to the ring,” said Ceja. “A Mexican vs. a Filipino is always guaranteed to be an exciting bout. I have even more motivation than ever being on a card headlined by Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence Jr.. This fight is going to get me back into contending for a championship where I belong.”