Yordenis Ugas is getting an early Christmas present with the WBA giving the green light for him to face Errol Spence Jr. in a three-belt unification at welterweight in March or April. The Spence-Ugas fight is now being finalized for a location that will be revealed soon.
This is the fight that the Cuban Ugas had been asking for, and now he’s gotten his wish. It’s an excellent fight between Ugas and Spence, but not the one the fans were hoping to see.
They wanted to see IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) take on WBO champion Terence Crawford next year.
That match can still happen, as long as Spence beats Ugas and he’s willing to face Crawford. We don’t know if Spence wants the fight with Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs), though.
The winner of the Spence vs. Ugas fight may choose to try and negotiate an undisputed clash with Crawford, but that has any realistic chance of being made is open for debate.
Eimantas Stanionis is stepping aside to let the Spence-Ugas fight happen, as he had been rescheduled to challenge Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) for his WBA title.
The World Boxing Association had previously ordered Ugas to defend against #1 WBA contender Eimantas Stanionis as part of their four-man tournament to reduce the number of titles at 147. Ugas was less than happy about that move because it prevented him from fighting Spence.
According to ESPN, Stanionis will face Radzhab Butaev on the undercard of the Spence vs. Ugas fight. The winner of the Stanionis vs. Radzhab Butaev contest will then battle the Spence-Ugas winner.
Butaev defeated WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Jamel James by a ninth round knockout on October 30th.
“Eimantas is looking forward to beating Butaev on the Spence vs. Ugas card and then fight the winner,” said promoter Richard Schaefer to ESPN. “He is ready for anyone in the welterweight division.”
The 31-year-old Spence will be coming off a long layoff when he meets Ugas in March or April. Spence hasn’t fought since December 2020 when he came back from his car crash to defeat Danny Garcia.
Errol had been scheduled to defend against Manny Pacquiao last August, but he suffered an eye injury in camp and was replaced by Ugas. The Cuban Ugas then defeated 42-year-old Pacquiao and sent him skittering into retirement.
It’s a questionable move on Spence’s part for him to be coming off of a 15 to 16-month layoff to face a talented champion like Ugas.
We saw what happened with Pacquiao when he fought Ugas in coming off a two-year layoff last August. Pacquiao looked flat and was outworked and outboxed by the sharper Ugas. If Spence isn’t firing on all cylinders against Ugas, he’ll lose.
#SpenceUgas Thanks to the WBA for doing the right thing. It is an award for my dedication,and for being a brave man in and out of the ring. I will be fighting one of the best pxp. Im a warrior.First Cuban fighting three belts one night.Thanks all the fans who asked for this fight pic.twitter.com/tQFwMMPntg
— Yordenis Ugas (@YordenisUgas) December 19, 2021