What chance an undisputed welterweight king in 2022? As fans have no doubt read by now, Errol Spence, the ruling WBC/IBF welterweight champ, will face WBA boss Yordenis Ugas some time in the first quarter of next year, the fight given the go-ahead by the WBA (with Eimantos Staniosis, who the WBA had originally ordered Yugas fight, willing to step aside). Spence-Ugas is a good, solid fight (it might prove to be better than that on the night), but the big hope is the winner will go on and face Terence Crawford, the WBO ruler at 147, after that.
It would be great to see an undisputed welterweight king, and it would of course be more than great, and a long time coming, seeing that much talked of Spence Vs. Crawford fight. Finally. But first Spence has to take care of business against Manny Pacquiao conqueror Ugas. And it will be no formality.
Ugas of Cuba is as tough as he is slick and clever. At 27-4(12), the 35-year-old could quite easily be listed at 31-0, as his losses – on points to Johnny Garcia, Emanuel Robles, Amir Imam and Shawn Porter – could easily have gone his way. In fact, Ugas FEELS like an unbeaten fighter. Southpaw Spence of course, IS an unbeaten fighter, but he has not been at all active (first being out for over a year following that awful car smash, and then being forced to layoff due to his eye injury; Spence losing the Pacquiao fight to Ugas as a result).
In his one fight back since the car crash, Spence, 27-0(21) looked good in handling Danny Garcia for a wide points win, but “The Truth” will be going into the Ugas fight with something like 15 or 16 months of inactivity on his body and reflexes. This of course is not ideal. But 31-year-old Spence did say a while back that he is the type of fighter who doesn’t want or need a tune-up fight, that he needs something big to get his teeth into. He’s got it now.
Ugas is no huge puncher and he doesn’t have the most exciting style. But Ugas is darn effective as getting the win. Ugas is hungry for greatness the way Spence is. This one could prove to be a chess match type fight, or Spence might look to impose his strength and power on Ugas. And with Crawford waiting for the winner, both Spence and Ugas will really want to put on a show and win big.
So who wins: Spence or Ugas? At this early stage, it’s quite tough to say. Where will the fight be held? Will the judges appreciate Ugas’ work? Is Spence the same fighter he once was?
Good on the WBA for seeing sense and allowing this fight to go ahead.