Errol Spence Jr adds 3rd title belt with TKO over WBA champ Yordenis Ugás
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Errol Spence Jr. took a few rounds to find his rhythm and range after a long layoff. He eventually won another championship belt.
Spence became a three-belt welterweight champion by defending his WBC and IBF titles in a unification bout in front of a home crowd, when his fight against Yordenis Ugas was stopped in the 10th round Saturday night because of the WBA champ’s right eye that was almost completely swollen shut.
” I think that when the fight started, I was a little impatient.” Spence stated. “Later rounds, I started setting up my shots and picking my shot and not throwing it hard but letting them go. I was catching him a lot, working him down. He wasn’t throwing as much as he usually does. I felt him break down. “
The fight was scheduled for 12 rounds, but 1: 44 into the 10th, referee Laurence Cole sent Ugas to a corner to have his eye checked out by a ringside doctor for the second time. Contrary to two rounds before, when the fight was allowed on, this round, Ugas protested and it was stopped.
Errol Spence Jr. punches Yordenis Ugas, from Cuba, during a welterweight championship boxing match Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Arlington, Texas.
(AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)
Spence, fighting for the first time in more than 16 months, improved to 28-0. His 22nd knockout marked the first time in his last four fights the 32-year-old southpaw didn’t have to go the distance.
Ugas, the 35-year-old Cuban who dropped to 27-5, left the stadium in an ambulance and was being taken to a local hospital. I kept punching, and thought the ref would stop it a lot sooner,” Spence stated.
Cole had sent Ugas to the corner just under a minute into the eighth round. The doctor then spent considerable time checking the fighter’s peripheral vision before the fight resumed.
Now it appears there could be a fight between Spence and undefeated WBO champion Terence Crawford to crown an undisputed champion in the 147-pound division. Spence had stated prior to the fight that he was aiming at that and repeated it afterward.
” Spence stated that he had been repeating it for the past week. “One belt to go. “
Crawford tweeted his congratulations to Spence after the fight, writing “great fight now, the real fight happens. Let’s get !!!!. “
Crawford (38-0, 29 knockouts) last fought in November, a 10th-round TKO of former champion Shawn Porter when defending the WBO title for the fifth time since claiming it nearly four years ago.
Canelo Alvarez last November became the first undisputed four-belt 168-pound super middleweight champion when he stopped Caleb Plant in the 11th round. The Mexican pound-for-pound champion added the IBF title on top of his WBC, WBA, and WBO belts.
In the sixth, Ugas delivered an attack that sent Spence’s mouthpiece flying onto the mat. Ugas delivered a left/right combo to the head before Spence could regroup. However, he didn’t fall down.
A few seconds later Cole stopped the round, grabbed the mouthpiece, and sent Spence back to his corner to place it back in.
“I need a new mouthpiece. … It hasn’t been molded to my mouth. It took a lot of effort to get it in my mouth. Spence stated that it was my fault. “Rookie mistake too, looking off and searching for my mouthpiece. Then I get punched like three times. It was also my fault. You must be safe at all times. “
While Ugas stared Spence down at the end of the sixth, like he had already done several times, Spence and the crowd of 39,946 at AT&T Stadium were energized. In the seventh, Spence began to pound Ugas with body blows as well as shots to the face.
Spence hadn’t fought since a 12-round unanimous decision over Danny Garcia in in December 2020. It was also held at the Dallas Cowboys’ home.
It was Spence’s sixth defense of the IBF title he has held since May 2017. But it was only the second fight for the southpaw known as “The Truth,” and second defense of the WBC title he won with a split decision over Porter in September 2019.
A month after beating Porter in 2019, Spence flipped his Ferrari while speeding on a Dallas street in the early morning hours. Spence was ejected but did not sustain any broken bones or fractures. He was also treated for facial lacerations.
Spence was given the go-ahead to train again after doctors said he had no bleeding in his brain. He returned to the ring with a unanimous 12-round decision over Garcia. But he suffered another setback while preparing for a bout with Manny Pacquiao, the eight-division world champion. Spence suffered a torn retina while training, and Ugas replaced him in that bout on 11 days’ notice — and won a 12-round unanimous decision over Pacquiao.
That was the fourth win in a row for Ugas since a loss in a WBC title fight against Porter in March 2019, about 6 1/2 months before Spence won that belt.
Ugas had much more time to prepare to Spence, but lost for only the second time in 14 fights since his back-to-back losses in 2014.
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