Last Saturday night, WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) confirmed that he’d be facing IBF/WBC champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) next in March or April in a three-title unification clash.
This is the big fight that the 31-year-old Spence wanted, as he had the chance to take on WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford but opted to take the arguably easier match against the 35-year-old Cuban Ugas.
What Spence has working against him is he’s coming off a torn retina injury he suffered while training for his canceled August fight against Manny Pacquiao.
With the injury and terrible car accident in October 2019, Spence has been mostly inactive for the last two years. Errol hasn’t fought in 13 months since his win over Danny Garcia in 2020, and he didn’t look like his old self in that fight.
Spence looks like he’s lost a step
Indeed, Spence looked like he’d lost a lot from his game against Danny, and it’s unclear whether that was due to the injury, inactivity, or the partying that he’s been doing.
Ugas will have an excellent chance of beating Spence if the Texas native performs as he did in his fight with Danny Garcia.
Errol will NOT beat Ugas if he’s only 60% of the fighter he used to be four years ago before his life started to unravel quickly.
Spence will need to fight a lot better against Ugas for him to win this fight because the Cuban fighter is dedicated, intelligent and he’ll come into the clash with a great game plan.
“We are targeting March or April for the fight,” WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas said to Fox Sports last Saturday night during the Luis Ortiz vs. Charles Martin PPV event. “It’s a fight for three titles. It’s a fight that we want and are targeting the springtime.”
At this point, it’s impossible to know if Spence will make it through training camp to face Ugas in March or April. Spence is coming off a nasty eye injury, and with that kind of problem, it’s questionable whether he’ll get through camp without suffering a setback.
“The fight’s in April,” the 31-year-old Errol Spence said on Instagram. “Man down, strap season. He already knows what time it is.”
If this fight were to have taken place back in 2018, it would be a slam dunk win for Spence, but not now after what his body has gone through in the last three years.
Errol has got to raise his game
Spence looked depleted against Danny Garcia, and unless he’s found a way to reinvigorate himself, he may be heading for his first career loss against the 35-year-old Ugas.
Even though Ugas is the older fighter than Spence by four years, you can argue that he’s younger physically because Errol is starting to look old now. The last couple of years has been HARD ones for Spence’s body.
As long as the two champions make it through training camp in one piece without suffering a fight postponing, or canceling injury, we’ll see them get it on in the next two to three months in 2022.
The winner of the Spence-Ugas fight will need to take on the Eimantas Stanionis vs. Radzhab Butaev bout to reduce the number of titles the WBA has at 147.
If everything works out well, Spence will be the last man standing in 2022 and ready to take on WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford for the undisputed championship in early 2023.
That fight could happen in 2022 if the World Boxing Association allows Spence to go straight into the Crawford match without first taking on the winner of the Stanionis vs. Butaev fight.
Whether Spence wants the fight with Crawford is the critical question.
It appears to some boxing fans that Spence has been dodging the fight with Crawford for the last six years, and he seems no closer now to accepting the match than he was in the past.