By: Hans Themistode
From the moment Errol Spence Jr. wrapped welterweight gold around his waist in 2017, he was tabbed by most as the division’s best fighter. Those sentiments were only enhanced following the Dallas native’s split decision win over Shawn Porter in 2019 to nab his second world title.
In addition to Spence Jr., current WBO welterweight belt holder Terence Crawford has also challenged for the division’s top spot. The pound-for-pound star was recently seen in the ring scoring a tenth-round stoppage victory over Porter in the final quarter of 2021.
Outside of both Spence Jr. and Crawford, however, Yordenis Ugas believes he’s received the short end of the stick. The WBA belt holder has picked up victories in 12 of his past 13 contests with his biggest coming at the expense of Manny Pacquiao. The two battled it out this past August at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Originally, Spence Jr. was selected as the final opponent of Pacquiao’s career but was forced to withdraw due to a torn/detached retina. With an opportunity of a lifetime staring directly at him, Ugas didn’t waste the moment. The Cuban product thoroughly outboxed and outmuscled the future first ballot Hall of Famer to defend his crown.
To further cement his legacy, Ugas will now look to become a three belt champion as both himself and team Spence are locked in intense negotiations for a springtime showdown that could take place in April. Considering the long road Ugas has traveled to reach this point, he could hardly express his joy.
“A lot of respect for Spence. He’s a warrior in the ring and outside the ring,” said Ugas during an interview with ESNEWS. “I believe I’m the best, I’m really emotional and super excited. I’m ready to get it on. I’ve been waiting a long time for this.”
Since being pulled from his showdown against Pacquiao, Spence Jr. has fought only once in a two-year span, registering a lopsided unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia in December of 2020.
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