Trainer Ronnie Shields is giving IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. the edge in tonight’s fight with WBA champion Yordenis Ugas based on his hometown advantage in Arlington, Texas.
Spence will definitely have the large crowd over the Cuban Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) in his favor at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Still, Ugas performed well in front of a large pro-Manny Pacquiao group of boxing fans in his last fight on August 21 in Las Vegas, winning a 12-round unanimous decision.
Taking away the home advantage Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) will be enjoying, Shields sees the Spence-Ugas one that could go either way.
Spence is coming off a 16-month layoff for this fight, and this is the second long layoff in the last three years for the two-belt 147lb champion.
No matter how you want to spin it, that’s not a good thing for Spence, and it’s hard to say that he’s still the fighter he was when he steamrolled fighters like Kell Brook, Chris Algieri, and Leonard Bundu, and Carlos Ocampo from 2016 to 2018.
“I think it’s going to be a good fight. Ugas is a really good challenger and he’s always in shape,” said trainer Ronnie Shields to Fight Hub TV. He’s going to show Spence something different.
“He’s going to show Spence something different, probably something he’s never seen before. Ugas is a guy that counters, he leads. He gives you different angles, and that’s going to be good for him,” said Shields.
If Spence doesn’t utilize his boxing skills in this fight, he could wind up struggling against Ugas because this guy is too smart to be beaten by a fighter using a simple power game, trying to outwork him through 12 rounds.
“Spence is more of a power guy. He loves to jab, but he loves to fight, so it’s going to be a back and forth kind of action thing,” said Shields. “It’s going to be a close fight, I think.
“I’ll say I’m edging to Spence because we’re in Dallas,” said Shields. “That’s the only reason. The crowd is going to really push him, and the crowd is going to really be on his side.
“He brings a lot of experience,” said Shields when asked what Ugas brings to the fight with Errol. “He has four losses on his record, but those are good losses for him. All losses are not bad losses.
“You learn from these things. Now to be the champion of the world with four losses, this kid can fight. He can go in and he can go out. It doesn’t make a difference to him,” said Shields about the 35-year-old Ugas.