Will we see a unified world welterweight king this year? If Yordenis Ugas does what he thinks he will and if he then gets his way, we will. Ugas, who shocked living legend Manny Pacquiao to become a household name and an outright WBA welterweight ruler, believes he will defeat Errol Spence in their three-belt unification showdown April 16 (Spence currently holding the WBC and IBF belts) – and after that he wants to fight WBO boss Terence Crawford.
April is really shaping up as a terrific month of boxing – with Ugas-Spence, Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte, Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano, and Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson all official for the month – and the Ugas-Spence fight might just be the toughest fight when it comes to picking a winner. Ugas is skilled and tricky and the Cuban is also tough as nails. Never stopped, Ugas, 27-4(12) has only ever lost via close decision. Can the 35 year old beat Spence?
“[If I beat Spence] I would like Crawford,” Ugas said to ESPN. “I think that, in this fight, I don’t have to speak badly or be boastful. The only thing I will say about this fight is that the winner agrees to fight Crawford, that the winner continues to go for the undisputed crown. On my part, that I what I want to do. I also have the option of [Keith] Thurman, a great fight that is there at the top.”
Ugas, who says he “anticipates the best” from the unbeaten Spence, agrees that he will have to show his best stuff himself in order to win, and he says that he will do so. Southpaw Spence, 27-0(21) and four years the younger man, has had just one fight since that near-fatal 2019 car smash, and “The Truth” has had eye surgery since then (the eye trouble forcing him out of the Pacquiao fight, with Ugas stepping in). Is Spence the fighter he was prior to the crash?
We just don’t know, although Spence did look pretty good in winning a wide decision over Danny Garcia in his one return fight. But that Garcia fight was some time ago (Dec. 2020). Might rust play a part in this fight? A distance fight looks a very good bet, as does a highly skilled chess-match type of fight. Spence might be a little too fast and powerful for Ugas, yet this fight is just about a 50/50 affair.
I wonder who Crawford will be rooting for on the night of April 16?