By: Hans Themistode
There was a sense of contrition coming from Errol Spence Jr. With the unified welterweight champion spending the past few years on the mend as opposed to inside the ring, the Dallas native vowed to make up for lost time.
While many were attempting to look past Yordenis Ugas, his opponent earlier tonight, and toward an undisputed title clash between the Dallas product and Terence Crawford, the Cuban star nearly ruined their mouthwatering storyline.
As the opening bell rang to signify their welterweight unification at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, both men employed a similar game plan, meeting in the center of the ring and letting their hands fly.
Although both men fought on mostly even terms, it was Spence Jr. who elected to move away from the firefight that was ensuing and instead, opted to box. The Dallas product ultimately experienced success. He tagged Ugas from the outside with a consistent jab while also connecting with devastating hooks downstairs.
In the following round, Spence Jr. continued to thrill the crowd while flustering Ugas as he boxed and moved. With the momentum squarely in the corner of Spence Jr., Ugas upped his aggression in the third. The 35-year-old Cuban bullied his man across the ring, forcing him into the ropes where he would ultimately land crushing blows upstairs.
In the fourth, the confidence in Ugas only grew as he attacked the midsection of the unified star. While Spence Jr. attempted to get his offense going, he was nullified as Ugas butchered away at his body.
As the following bell rang to begin the fifth, Spence Jr. pumped his jab into the face of his opponent. They continued to fight on mostly even ground during the period, however, it was Ugas who dominated the sixth.
Following several well-timed hooks downstairs, Ugas connected on a picture-perfect right hook. The force of the blow knocked the unified star’s mouthpiece halfway across the ring. In what appeared to be an awkward moment, Spence Jr. seemingly forgot that he was in the middle of a heated clash and attempted to retrieve his mouthpiece. Once he did, Ugas took full advantage, landing a flush two punch combination that staggered him into the ropes.
As the Dallas crowd moaned in fear, Spence Jr. spent the duration of the round holding and avoiding many of the looping hooks Ugas threw in his direction. As the powerful southpaw regained his focus, he immediately went on the attack.
A flush right uppercut left Ugas on wobbly legs. From there, Spence Jr. continued to pummel his man. It was much of the same in the ninth. Spence Jr. was relentless in his assault, forcing referee Laurence Cole to take a close look at the grotesquely swelling right eye of the brave Cuban.
Although he was initially allowed to continue, Spence Jr. poured it on in the tenth. A smiling Ugas threw his hands in the air and egged his man on, something the Dallas product welcomed with open arms. Once again, referee Laurence Cole called upon the ringside physician to take a close look. Upon doing so, he was given no choice but to wave off their bout, officially handing Spence Jr. the victory.
With the powerful southpaw now in possession of three of the four world titles at 147 pounds, he immediately turned his attention toward the lone remaining belt holder.
“Terence [Crawford], I’m coming for that mother f*cking belt.”
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