Former WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas put in a fine performance last Saturday night in a losing effort against IBF/WBC champion Errol Spence Jr. in an injured-related tenth-round stoppage at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
In the aftermath of the fight, much has been said about Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) potentially facing WBO champion Terence Crawford for the undisputed championship next. But oddly enough, not much has been said about which direction Ugas (27-5, 12 KOs) should go with his career.
First off, Ugas will need many months to heal from the fractured right orbital bone he suffered in the seventh round of the fight. Unlike Billy Joe Saunders, who was fortunate to have his fight with Canelo Alvarez stopped immediately after the injury occurred in the eighth round last May, Ugas fought with his fractured orbital bone from the seventh round until the tenth.
We don’t know whether Ugas’s injured right eye was made worse by him fighting for another three rounds after it occurred.
When Ugas does return to the ring, he needs to fight someone top ten if not top five because he’s not young enough to take two or three years to slowly come back from his loss. He’ll be turning 36 in July, so he’s got to move quickly.
Good options for Ugas’ next fight:
- Conor Benn
- Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman
- Vergil Ortiz Jr
- Alexis Rocha
- David Avanensyan
- Eimantas Stanionis
With all the talking Conor Benn and his promoter Eddie Hearn have done about wanting to fight Ugas, it could be a good time for the talented Cuban to call their bluff.
The way that Ugas fought against Spence was way too advanced for a basic fighter like Benn, who is like an amateur painter, still using the number system. After seeing how tough of a fight Ugas gave Spence, it’s reasonable to assume that Hearn & Benn won’t anything to do with him once he returns from his injury.
“Ugas is a really good fighter, he’s strong, he’s a tough welterweight, but that’s the best welterweight in boxing [that he lost to],” said Carson Merk to Porter Way Podcast following Yordenis Ugas loss to Errol Spence Jr. last Saturday night.
“They would like to see Ugas in the ring with ‘One Time’ [Keith Thurman], and who do we think would win,” said Shawn Porter on a fight between Ugas and former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman.
“He can’t get back in the ring until the wintertime. The reset [for Ugas] would be Thurman.”
“I’d love to see that,” said Merk. “I really like the match-up. I don’t think Ugas loses and goes back to 15. He’s still a top-five welterweight.
“Yeah, I’d like to see a Keith Thurman fight [for Ugas]. I’m leaning for Keith, but that’s not an easy night’s work for Keith, especially body punching. Ugas can punch to the body a little bit. I would lean Thurman, but it would definitely be a good fight,” said Merk.