By: Sean Crose
Give this to Yordenis Ugas – the man has guts. Sure he ended up taking a beating at the gloved hands of Errol Spence last night in Texas. Sure he lost his WBA title belt as a result of that beating. Sure people are now – not without justification – asking if he should retire. All those things are true, but it’s also true that Ugas continued fighting last night even after Spence had fractured the orbital bone in the 35 year old’s right eye. Ugas even wanted to keep fighting after the ring doctor wisely halted the proceedings in the tenth round.
“I have a fracture in my eye,” Ugas reported on social media Sunday, “and in the next few days the doctors will say how they will treat it. Last night I spent all morning in a hospital and I write these words with only one eye, the other one is still closed. But very important me to write it for you.” Although Spence was the hometown fighter during Saturday’s fight at ATT&T Stadium in Dallas, Ugas is certainly not without his supporters. What’s more, the Cuban immigrant’s attitude in defeat is likely to attract more admirers to him.
Although Spence was favored to beat Ugas, those who closely follow the fight game knew that a Spence victory was far from a guarantee. Ugas had just defeated the legendary Manny Pacquiao, after all. Pacquiao may have been in his forties, but his skills were nowhere near the point of collapse when he faced Ugas last year. What’s more, Ugas was a veteran and skilled fighter with an Olympic pedigree. Still, Spence simply ended up being too powerful for Ugas in the ring. Ugas had his moments, to be sure, but he simply couldn’t do enough to halt Spence’s forward momentum. The ring doctor was well within his rights and responsibilities to halt the proceedings when he did.
Now, with Spence looking to have his long overdo superfight with fellow welterweight titlist Terence Crawford, Ugas has an opportunity to let his wound heal and to think about the future. “I want to congrats @errolspencejr,” Ugas wrote in his social media post, “a great champ.. and sharing the ring with him was an honor, he came as always sharp, and in the last rounds he hit me in the eye and everything was even more difficult… the best man on top won from the ring.”
Said like a true warrior – as well as a good sport.
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