A week after a king returned, we had the return of “The Truth” and it was “mandown” as Errol Spence returned to the ring for the first time in 16-months and for just the second time since September of 2019, Spence, of Desoto, Texas, showed no signs of ring rust and dominated Cuban, WBA champ Yordenis Ugas and became the first man to stop the formidable former world champion. Spence rolled to a tenth round TKO to defend his two versions of the welterweight crown, pick up Ugas’s WBA belt as well as move his perfect record to 28-0 (22), capture our Fighter of the Week award, and get us one step closer to the mega-fight between him and WBO welterweight champ Terence Crawford.
Coming off of the serious eye injury and another extended lay off it was interesting to see how Spence would come out of the gates and after a daily slow and uneventful opening stanza that saw Ugas land the lone shot of consequence, a straight right hand that caught the Texans attention and taking the opening round on all three cards. Spence got going in the second out jabbing and outworking Ugas. Firing off beautiful combinations and evening up the fight in the second. In the third round, Spence really got cooking. Mixing in beautiful body shots and driving Ugas backward. Ugas was willing to trade on the inside and exchange power shots and landed more than his fair share of powerful shots, but the north Texas native was clearly getting the better of the exchanges and ran through the early rounds. Things briefly changed after a big sixth round from Ugas. The Cuban knocked the Texan’s mouthpiece out. A clearly dazed Spence searched for his mouthpiece as Ugas unleashed a brutal two-piece that sent Spence reeling into the ropes, on what could have been ruled a knockdown. The WBC/IBF champ survived the scare, he regained complete control as he won the seventh and nearly stopped Ugas in the eighth. The ringside physician closely examined his right eye of Ugas and appeared to be on his way to stopping the contest before allowing the WBA champ to continue. Ugas battled back hard in the ninth and landed plenty of good shots in the stanza but Spence was badly outworking and out landing his game opponent. The end came in the 10th as Spence continued to pressure Ugas, busting him up with lrft hands that eventually caused the referee to come in and call a halt to the bout. Giving Spence his first stoppage victory in nearly four years.
Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, Spence handed in what was perhaps the best performance of his career, given the level of his opposition. A dominant 10-round destruction of Ugas sets the stage for what is hopefully a battle for undisputed between Spence and Crawford that will take place later this year. Both men. A Spence-Crawford fight is really the only fight that means anything at 147, everything else is window dressing. Keith Thurman and Vergil Ortiz have both voiced interest in a Spence fight and both would be excellent fights. However, none of them have anywhere even close to the intrigue that that battle for undisputed welterweight king. The winner will be the first undisputed 147-pound champ in the four-belt era. Zab Judah was considered undisputed by most writers, fans, and pundits but that was in the three belt era. The winner of the Spence-Crawford battle would be the inaugural undisputed welterweight champ in the four-belt era. Crawford was undisputed in the four-belt era in a division south when he destroyed Julius Indongo in the summer of 2018.