Freddie Roach: “I Wish We Had Fought Spence Instead Of Ugas”
By: Hans Themistode
Although Freddie Roach has learned to live with the results, the Hall of Fame trainer is still contrite with the way things ended for his former starfighter, Manny Pacquiao.
The former eight-division world champion was determined to prove that even at the age of 42, he was still the top dog at 147 pounds. While initially, many were taken aback by Pacquiao’s decision to test his skills against a younger, fresher, and bigger Errol Spence Jr., the Filipino native was eager for the challenge.
With the two scheduled to face off on August 21st, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2021, Roach salivated as he constructed what he believed was a bulletproof game plan. Yet, despite Roach’s bravado, his Hall of Fame pupil was given unfortunate news.
With roughly a week and a half remaining before the two pugilistic stars shared the ring against one another, Spence Jr. was forced to withdraw, citing a torn/detached retina in his right eye. As the Dallas product reluctantly underwent surgery, Yordenis Ugas, who was set to appear in the co-main event, stepped in to replace him.
In spite of the change in opponent, oddsmakers believed that Pacquiao’s experience and overall explosive power would prove to be too much. Nevertheless, Ugas rose to the occasion, scoring a fairly wide unanimous decision victory, which would subsequently, usher Pacquiao into retirement.
Although hindsight is 20/20, Roach admits that it wasn’t auspicious to take on the former Olympic bronze medalist on such short notice.
“I wish we had fought Spence instead of Ugas,” said Roach to FightHype.com. “We ended up taking that fight on two days’ notice. There’s no way you can get ready for a big fight on two days’ notice. He has a long reach and a little bit awkward. I wish we would’ve waited for Spence to get healthy.”
Ugas’s reward for usurping Pacquiao, was an immediate date with the man he just replaced. Both Spence Jr. and Ugas engaged in a back and forth war in front of nearly 40,000 fans at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 16th.
Though Ugas believed that his victory over Pacquiao would serve as his guide to defeating Spence Jr., the powerful southpaw presented Ugas with an unsolvable puzzle. While the Cuban product had his moments, Spence Jr. would eventually break his man down, forcing a ringside physician to call a halt to their bout.
Regardless of Spence Jr.’s dominant showing, Roach is sticking to his guns. Nevertheless, the longtime trainer has been thoroughly impressed by Spence Jr.’s ability to look catastrophe squarely in the face and never blink.
In October of 2019, one month following his split decision win over Shawn Porter, Spence Jr. was involved in a horrific car wreck. The Dallas native was thrown violently from his sports vehicle, resulting in several facial lacerations.
Needing well over one year to recover from his injuries, Roach initially believed that the once-dominant fighter and pound-for-pound star would never be the same. Yet, undeterred by the words of Roach, Spence Jr. continues to steamroll his competition.
Admittedly, due to Spence Jr.’s ability in the ring and unwillingness to fold when faced with adversity outside of it, Roach has become a big-time fan.
“I like Spence a lot. What he’s been through, the car accident, I didn’t think he would come back that well. In his last two fights, he’s looked very good. He’s back to where he was.”
Errol Spence Jr. Jokes: “I Gotta Get A New Mouthpiece, Rookie Mistake To Go Looking”
By: Hans Themistode
Although Errol Spence Jr. eventually broke Yordenis Ugas down and truncated his WBA welterweight title reign, the determined Cuban slugger gave Spence Jr. all he could handle.
As a crowd of nearly 40,000 thousand cheered the unified titlist on, they were left motionless with their hands over their mouths as Ugas staggered his man in the fourth. To kick off the change in momentum, Ugas landed an overhand right that seemed to buckle Spence Jr. Shortly after, Ugas connected on an uppercut on the inside, sending Spence Jr.’s mouthpiece flying halfway across the ring.
Under normal circumstances, a referee will allow both fighters to continue battling if they’re in the middle of an exchange. However, once a lull in the action takes place, the referee will pause their showdown and allow said fighter to retrieve their mouthpiece. Spence Jr. though, seemingly forgot the rules.
The moment the Dallas product’s mouthpiece was knocked loose, he immediately stopped defending himself and attempted to recover it. Ugas though, took full advantage, landing a three-punch combination. The final blow, a straight right hand, sent Spence Jr. into the ropes.
It wasn’t the first time that Spence Jr. had an awkward reaction to losing his mouthpiece. In December of 2020, against Danny Garcia, the Philadelphia native rocked Spence Jr., causing him to spit out his mouthpiece. Once again, Spence Jr. stopped protecting himself and went looking for his mouthpiece, allowing Garcia to take advantage.
With his inability to keep his mouthguard in place, Spence Jr. admits that it’s time to go looking for a better one.
“I gotta get a new mouthpiece,” said a laughing Spence Jr. to a group of reporters. “My mouthpiece been messed up. I gotta get a new mouthpiece. It’s not molded to my mouth at all. I gotta bite down real hard for it to stay in my mouth. That’s my fault.”
When Spence Jr. initially lost his mouthpiece against Garcia, it happened at the tail end of round 11. Although Garcia attempted to follow up when Spence Jr. looked down, the bell had already rung to signal the end of the round. However, against Ugas, there was plenty of time remaining on the clock.
As the powerful southpaw staggered across the ring and into the ropes, a collective gasp could be heard from his hometown fans. While Spence Jr. initially revealed that referee Laurence Cole had shouted “break” before he went to find his mouthpiece, he refuses to blame the veteran ref for his actions. Instead, Spence Jr. is holding himself accountable for his boneheaded move.
“That was a rookie mistake for me to go looking for my mouthpiece and then I get punched like three times. That was my mistake because you’re supposed to protect yourself at all times.”
Yordenis Ugas Unwilling To Accept Defeat Against Errol Spence Jr.: “I Came Here On A Mission”
By: Hans Themistode
While Yordenis Ugas is widely respected by everyone in the boxing world, by and large, most believe that he’ll come up woefully short in his bid to become a unified champion.
In just a few short days, on April 16th, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Ugas will attempt to snag both the WBC and IBF welterweight titles of Errol Spence Jr. With the Cuban native putting the finishing touches on an arduous training camp, the current WBA trinket holder believes he’s in pristine shape.
But, despite his unwavering self-belief, both oddsmakers and fans are shrugging their shoulders. In Spence Jr., the Dallas product will have the public backing of his hometown crowd. In addition to the undying support, Spence Jr. has been perfect in the ring, racing out to a 27-0 record. Even with the newly turned 32-year-old having his out of the ring issues, including a horrific car wreck in 2019, and a detached retina in his right eye that required surgery in 2021, many believe that Ugas is in over his head.
Although countless dubious voices continue to give their unwanted opinion, Ugas isn’t paying them any attention. Instead, the Cuban star is placing his complete focus on dethroning the unified star.
“I’m a competitor,” said Ugas to a group of reporters recently. “My objective is to come here and win. I don’t plan to come here and accept a loss in any kind of way. I came here on a mission, and that’s to take all three belts.”
More than just his dogged demeanor and never say die attitude, Ugas believes his unprecedented recent run will lead him to victory on the night. With 12 wins in his last 13 trips to the ring, Ugas has seemingly come into his own.
Of course, in addition to picking up wins against notable fighters such as Jamal James, Ray Robinson, and Omar Figueroa Jr. – Ugas ushered Manny Pacquiao into retirement. The two officially clashed in August of 2021, following the withdrawal of Spence Jr. due to his previously mentioned eye injury.
A determined Ugas rendered a pro-Pacquiao crowd extraneous as he went on to hand the future first ballot Hall of Famer the final loss of his illustrious career.
With the 35-year-old slugger now on the verge of the biggest night of his career, Ugas smiled widely as he was bombarded with nonstop questions.
“I’m just happy. I’m happy to be fighting in front of 30 to 40,000 people. You’re going to see that excitement come Saturday night”
Errol Spence Jr. On Yordenis Ugas: “I Gotta Beat Him To Get Terence Crawford”
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. has heard the conversations loud and clear for the past few years now.
Although many believe that the unified welterweight star is the best fighter in the division, there are an equal number of fans who are under the assumption that Terence Crawford, actually holds that distinction.
With both 147 pounders jockeying for the top position, Spence Jr. remains optimistic that they will finally share the ring in the near future to settle the debate.
“I think so,” said Spence Jr. during an interview with Ray Flores. “I’m hopeful that it can happen.”
After becoming the first man to stop Shawn Porter in November of 2021, Crawford has made his feelings well known that he would love nothing more than to face Spence Jr. next.
All along, regardless of Crawford’s public callouts, Spence Jr. remained mostly mum. But, despite being reticent, Spence Jr. has remained true to his original words. Several years ago, the Dallas native stated that he would first place his attention on adding the WBC and WBA championships to his IBF trinket, before focusing on Crawford’s WBO belt.
Presently, with Crawford becoming an official free agent, Spence Jr. is of the belief that a showdown between them can finally come to fruition. Nevertheless, Yordenis Ugas, the current WBA 147 pound titlist, serves as the biggest impediment to said matchup.
On April 16th, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, both Ugas and Spence Jr. will face off in a three-belt unification. Yet, in spite of his impending matchup against Ugas, Spence Jr. has been bombarded with nonstop questions regarding Crawford.
While Spence Jr. is frothing over the possibility of adding the black and gold belt of Ugas to his ever-growing collection, their showdown represents more than just an opportunity to add another world title to his trophy case. More than anything, a victory over Ugas, Spence Jr. believes, will open the doors to some of the biggest fights in the sport of boxing.
“Not looking past Ugas at all. That’s my main priority. That’s the guy I have to look at because I gotta beat him to get Terence Crawford or anybody else. I wanna get the third belt and become undisputed so that’s my ultimate goal. I gotta get past this test so I’m not looking past Ugas at all.”
Errol Spence Jr.: “Watching Pacquiao Fight, I Was Like Man, I Could’ve Hurt This Man”
By: Hans Themistode
Normally stoic and stone-faced, Errol Spence Jr. couldn’t stop himself from smiling when Manny Pacquiao inked his name on the dotted line.
Having watched Pacquiao fight as a youngster, Spence Jr. believed that a matchup against the surefire future first ballot Hall of Famer was exactly what he needed to take his career to the next level.
With the pair officially set to square off on August 21st, 2021, Spence Jr. underwent a grueling eight-week camp in preparation to take on the former eight-division world titlist. But as Spence Jr.’s time in camp began winding down, he was given heartbreaking news.
With only one week left before taking on by far the most notable opponent of his career, Spence Jr. was informed that he would be unable to participate due to a partial detachment in his right retina. So, with the Dallas native officially forced to withdraw, Yordenis Ugas, the current WBA welterweight champion, was given the call.
A despondent Spence Jr. watched from his palatial estate as Ugas banked round after round on the night. With each passing second, Spence Jr. could only shake his head as Pacquiao missed with wild punches and often paid the price as Ugas landed countless blows on the then, 42-year-old.
Ultimately, the unified welterweight star has grown to live with the lost opportunity. However, after witnessing the beating Ugas dished out to the future Hall of Famer, Spence Jr. believes that Pacquiao would’ve endured a thrashing like no other had he been able to face him.
“Watching Pacquiao fight, I was like man, that should’ve been me,” said Spence Jr. during an interview with Brian Custer on ShowTime Sports. “Man, I could’ve hurt this man. I was like damn but it is what it is.”
Now that Spence Jr. has recovered fully from his eye injury, he’ll look to end the momentum of Ugas. The pair will participate in a three belt unification in less than two weeks on April 16th, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Ismael Salas, Trainer Of Yordenis Ugas, Believes Errol Spence Jr. Is Not The Same Fighter: “Something Missing”
By: Hans Themistode
Like many in the boxing world, Ismael Salas grabbed a seat near his television set, reclined comfortably, and watched carefully as Errol Spence Jr. and Danny Garcia traded blows in the center of the ring in December of 2020.
Roughly one year prior, it seemed incredibly unlikely that the Dallas native would survive his horrific car wreck, let alone box again. In September of 2019, Spence Jr. successfully truncated the world title reign of Shawn Porter, winning his WBC title in Los Angeles, California’s Staples Center.
Although the newly turned 32-year-old was ecstatic over the win, he was violently knocked off his high horse as he was flung from his sports vehicle in October of 2019, during a mind-numbing crash.
Despite the jaw-dropping videos that were released, Spence Jr. suffered only facial abrasions, along with a few broken teeth, and minimal injuries. In total, Spence Jr. would spend just over a year in the recovery room before taking on Garcia, a former two-division world titlist.
With the anticipation at its highest, Salas watched every second of every round meticulously. Though Spence Jr. would go on to win a wide decision on the night, Salas placed his hand on his chin as he began pondering what he just witnessed. After diving into Spence Jr.’s performance even further, Salas believes that he is no longer the same ferocious fighter that he once was. Even now, almost a year and a half later, Salas is unable to pinpoint the missing ingredient in the unified welterweight champions game.
“In my personal view, that’s nothing to take away from him but he was not the same guy who fought with Shawn Porter to the same guy who fought with Danny Garcia,” explained Salas to a group of reporters. “Something missing. He was missing something there. For the reason? I don’t know. Maybe the fire, maybe it can be the weight. Many reasons.”
The disappointment on the face of Salas was immediately wiped away as he re-focused his attention on WBA champion, Yordenis Ugas. With the pair set to square off on April 16th, at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, Salas works diligently with Ugas as they’ll attempt to strip Spence Jr. of his championship status.
Ugas, of course, rose to prominence following his unlikely win against Manny Pacquiao in August of 2021. Ironically enough, Ugas was given the call once Spence Jr. was forced to withdraw due to a detached retina that subsequently led to surgery.
While Salas believes that Ugas will be successful in his bid to become a unified champion, when asked if he believes Spence Jr. will be his old self come fight night, Salas responds despondently.
“We hope so, we hope so.”
Ismael Salas, Trainer Of Yordenis Ugas, Rips Spence’s Amateur Background: “Did Spence Go To The Olympics? Yes, What He Did? Nothing”
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. has made the long, lonely trek to the ring a total of 27 times as a professional. Once he walks through the raucous crowd and prior to the Dallas native swapping fists with his opponents, he waits patiently as his credentials are introduced by the ring announcer.
Normally, even before said announcer acknowledges Spence Jr. as a unified world champion, his 2012 Olympic achievements will be named first. Although the newly turned 32-year-old failed to medal during the summer games, making an Olympic roster is a rare feat.
Be that as it may, Ismael Salas, head trainer of Yordenis Ugas, isn’t impressed with Spence Jr.’s amateur accomplishments. As Salas continues to prepare Ugas for his upcoming unification clash against Spence Jr. on April 16th at AT&T Stadium, he believes the accentuation of the unified champion’s amateur background should come to an end, especially when juxtaposed with the accomplishments of Ugas.
“Did Spence go to the Olympics? Yes,” said Salas to a group of reporters. “What he did? Nothing. Ugas went to the Olympics? Yes. What did Ugas do? Bronze medal. Ugas was Pan American Game Champion, Amateur world champion. Was Spence? No.”
In totality, Salas is only partially correct. While he’s accurate in saying that Ugas was a Pan American champion and won an Olympic bronze medal, doing so in the 2008 games, the amateur credentials of Spence Jr. are being slightly downplayed. Altogether, Spence Jr. was a three-time U.S. National Champion. He was also a Golden Glove winner in 2009.
In addition to his amateur success, Spence Jr. also received a late start in the sport of boxing. Officially, the current pound-for-pound star picked up his first pair of gloves at the age of 15. Ugas, on the other hand, began his boxing journey at the age of six.
Still, despite the age discrepancy, both Ugas and Spence Jr. have nearly identical amateur records. Ugas wrapped up his time in the unpaid ranks with a record of 122-12, while Spence Jr.’s time as an amateur came to an end after amassing a record of 135-12.
Ultimately, Salas isn’t depending on what Ugas accomplished in his younger days to pick up the victory come April 16th. Having fought and defeated some of the best fighters that the welterweight division has to offer, including the likes of Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Kell Brook – Salas admits that the amateur career of Ugas will be of little importance come fight night.
“This guy is solid,” said Salas of Spence Jr. “There’s nothing to take away from him. Professional and amateur is not the same.”
Yordenis Ugas Craves Josh Taylor Showdown: “That Fight Has To Happen”
By: Hans Themistode
At one point, Yordenis Ugas could only dream of the current position he finds himself in.
With a world title wrapped around his Cuban waist, Ugas has come a long way from the fighter who suffered back-to-back defeats at the hands of Emanuel Robles and Amir Imam in 2014.
Having stuffed the win column in 12 of his past 13 fights, Ugas is just a few short weeks away from the most significant fight of his career. On April 16th, in front of a jam-packed crowd at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Ugas will take on unified champion, Errol Spence Jr. Should Ugas prove oddsmakers wrong by snagging the victory, he’ll be the proud owner of three of the four major world titles at 147 pounds.
While Ugas is placing all of his time and efforts into his upcoming showdown against Spence Jr., Josh Taylor, the current undisputed champion at 140-pounds, has caught his eye.
Following his highly controversial win over Jack Catterall in his most recent trip to the ring, Taylor revealed that his time as a 140 pounder is officially over. Although it’s unclear when Taylor plans on making his welterweight debut, Ugas has anxiously raised his hand if Taylor is in need of an opponent.
Regardless of how his upcoming showdown against Spence Jr. plays out, Ugas believes that a matchup against Taylor is one that simply has to happen.
“That fight has to happen between me and Taylor, 200 percent,” said Ugas to Behind The Gloves. “I want that fight, Taylor we want you.”
Normally soft-spoken and reserved, Ugas becomes loquacious when discussing his desire to face Taylor in the near future. But, despite the sudden change in his demeanor, Ugas quickly turns his attention back to the monumental task that is standing before him.
In Spence Jr., Ugas will face an undefeated unified champion, that has dominated in the ring. Although the Dallas native has been inactive as of late, spending the past several months recovering from eye surgery to repair a detached retina, Spence Jr. appears to be in prime physical shape.
Considering what his fellow champion brings to the table and despite his undeniable desire to face Taylor, Ugas admits that Spence Jr. has been at the forefront of his mind for a longtime.
“My training camp has been all about getting ready for the best version of Errol Spence. That’s all I’m thinking about.”
Errol Spence Jr.: “I Don’t Believe In The Tune Up Thing, To Fight Somebody Like Ugas Caliber, It’s Going To Push Me”
By: Hans Themistode
It isn’t uncommon to see even the biggest and most well-known fighters in the sport of boxing take on a few soft touches in the ring. That notion can become even more prevalent once a fighter spends a prolonged amount of time on the sidelines nursing injuries or inactivity.
However, while it’s a common practice, it isn’t something Errol Spence Jr. ever envisions himself doing.
“I just don’t believe in the tune-up thing,” said Spence Jr. to a group of reporters.
Since 2017, Spence Jr. has spent the majority of his career taking on either former, or at the time, current world champions. During that five-year stretch, only once has Spence Jr. fought an opponent who’s failed to wrap a world title around his waist. That would come in 2018 against mandatory challenger, Carlos Ocampo Manriquez.
Although the current 147-pound unified champion isn’t a fan of facing lower ranked fighters, there were several moments in his career where a “tune-up” would have been warranted.
In October of 2019, just one month after securing his second world title against Shawn Porter, Spence Jr. enjoyed himself a bit too much during a night out on the town. The Dallas product was thrown violently from his sports vehicle during a one-car wreck, resulting in the now 32-year-old spending well over one full year rehabbing.
For his return bout, Spence Jr. refused to entertain facing lesser opposition. Instead, he opted to take on former two-division world titlist, Danny Garcia. Although highly credentialed, Garcia was outgunned and overmatched, losing a lopsided unanimous decision.
With the powerful southpaw suffering a retinal detachment/break in his right eye late last year, forcing him to withdraw from his initial contest against Manny Pacquiao, the unified titlist is set to end yet another year-plus layoff by facing another difficult opponent.
In just a few short weeks, Spence Jr. will attempt to truncate the world title reign of WBA champion, Yordenis Ugas. In 12 of his past 13 fights, Ugas has managed to pick up convincing victories and is working diligently to continue his winning ways.
More than anything, Spence Jr. believes that facing the bottom of the welterweight barrel for his return would be a waste of time. No matter how long the pound-for-pound star spends on the sidelines, he believes that facing tenuous opposition won’t give him the motivation he needs to push himself to his breaking point in training camp.
“To fight somebody like Ugas caliber, it’s going to push me to the next level. It’s going to keep me training hard. If I was fighting just a Joe Blow or somebody I knew I was going to knock out, I would probably be a little bit heavier. I probably would be sneaking chips and snacks cause I know it’s not going to be a long fight. So to fight someone of Ugas caliber, I know that I got to be world prepared 100%. I got to push my body past its limits to beat a guy like Ugas. He’s a world champion and a world talent too.”
Yordenis Ugas: “People Can Underestimate Me All They Want, I Know What I’m Capable Of”
By: Hans Themistode
Yordenis Ugas has successfully picked himself up from his bootstraps to become one of the more recognizable figures in the sport of boxing.
Since back-to-back defeats at the hands of Amir Imam and Emanuel Robles in 2014, the 35-year-old Cuban slugger has come out victorious in 12 of his last 13 contests. Undoubtedly, the climax of Ugas’s career took place just a few months ago.
On relatively short notice, Ugas stepped in to replace injured unified champion, Errol Spence Jr., to take on Manny Pacquiao. Initially, oddsmakers disregarded Ugas’s height, reach, and weight advantages, as well as his overall skillset, and pegged Ugas as a decided underdog.
Of course, Ugas would go on to defeat Pacquiao via unanimous decision. Now, as Ugas prepares to face the previously mentioned Spence Jr., on April 16th, at AT&T Stadium, the soft-spoken pugilist finds himself as an underdog once again.
Spence Jr., 32, has pushed every fighter placed in front of him out of his way through 27 spotless fights. Even with the unified titlist coming off a retinal detachment in his right eye just a few months ago, oddsmakers believe his unfortunate injury won’t have any bearing on his upcoming showdown against Ugas.
In addition to the betting world adding fuel to his fire, recently, Bernard Hopkins stated that Spence Jr. will go on to “smash” Ugas. With little to no support standing in his corner, Ugas has placed his blinders on and plowed ahead.
As he’s proven time and time again, Ugas knows exactly what the bright lights associated with a big fight feel like. With the biggest night of his professional life taking place in just under four weeks, Ugas is confidently waiting for his moment to arrive.
“I’m a fighter that thrives under pressure. People can underestimate me all they want. In the end, I know what I’m capable of when the lights come on and the pipes burst. I focus on myself and I know what I’m capable of on April 16th.”
Bernard Hopkins Gives His Prediction For Errol Spence Jr. Vs. Yordenis Ugas: “Errol Spence Smashes Him”
By: Hans Themistode
The boxing world appears to be split right down the middle as the welterweight unification between Errol Spence Jr. and Yordenis Ugas draws near. The two are officially scheduled to face off in just under a month on April 16th, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
With Ugas nabbing the most significant win of his career in his most recent ring appearance against Manny Pacquiao, the WBA titlist confidently believes he’ll be adding Spence Jr.’s WBC and IBF world titles to his collection. However, despite his unwavering self-belief, Bernard Hopkins isn’t giving him much of a chance.
“Errol Spence smashes him,” said Hopkins to Fight Hub TV.
Spence Jr., a former U.S. Olympian, is attempting to move one step closer to his ultimate goal of becoming an undisputed world champion. Initially, during the first few years of his career, Spence Jr. dazzled fans with his nonstop pressure and ability to end fights in the blink of an eye. However, as of late, Spence Jr. has been forced to deal with forces outside of his control.
Following his split decision win over Shawn Porter in 2019, Spence Jr. miraculously survived a horrific one-car wreck. Although Spence Jr. would dust himself off and return to the ring one year later to score a one-sided win over Danny Garcia, the unified welterweight titlist has remained sequestered on the sidelines.
Originally, the Dallas native was set to make his ring walk in August of 2021, against Manny Pacquiao. That said, he was forced to withdraw from their contest due to a retinal detachment in his right eye.
As a result, of course, Ugas stepped in on relatively short notice and claimed the spotlight for himself, winning a fairly close unanimous decision. With Spence Jr. appearing in the ring fewer than both he and his adoring fans would like, Hopkins believes that from here on out, Spence Jr. will produce jaw-dropping performances.
“Listen, I look at the pedigree of the talent. I believe from the last few fights, beyond the pullout, I believe he knows that he has to make statements every time he fights. Good for us, bad for his opponent. He knows that he must look damn there perfect or perfect every fight. There is no room for error. From what I see, he handles that very, very well.”
Errol Spence Jr. Shrugs Off Yordenis Ugas Victory Over Manny Pacquiao: “I’m A Better Fighter Than Pacquiao”
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. is patiently watching the sand in the hourglass as he anxiously awaits his upcoming showdown against Yordenis Ugas on April 16th. The IBF and WBC unified welterweight titlist has sat unwillingly on the sidelines since scoring a fairly wide unanimous decision victory over Danny Garcia in December of 2020.
Although Spence Jr. is pegged as a sizable favorite to strip Ugas of his WBA title, both pundits and fans believe that Ugas has more than a puncher’s chance to spring the upset. In addition to Ugas picking up victories in 12 of his past 13 contests, his shining moment came just a few months ago.
On relatively short notice, Ugas stepped in to replace, ironically enough, Spence Jr., to take on future first ballot Hall of Famer, Manny Pacquiao. Spence Jr. could only sit back despondently as Ugas proved oddsmakers wrong by registering a unanimous decision victory.
Thanks to his efforts against Pacquiao, Ugas finds himself thought of highly in the mind of many in the boxing world. However, regardless of his career-changing victory, Spence Jr. shrugs his shoulders at those who believe a victory over Pacquiao will equate to a win over himself.
In fact, as Spence Jr. rummages through the annals of boxing history, he can point to a long list of former great fighters who came up short at the tail end of their careers.
“With all respect to Pacquiao, I’m a way different fighter than Pacquiao,” said Spence Jr. during a recent press conference. “At this point right now, I’m a better fighter than Pacquiao. Y’all keep bringing up Pacquiao but that’s like Larry Holmes fighting [Muhammad] Ali or Terry Norris beating up Sugar Ray Leonard or [Marcos] Maidana beating up Erik Morales. Pacquiao is way past his prime.”
As Spence Jr. eludes to, Ali, Leonard, and Morales, all ended their careers following devastating defeats. In 1991, Leonard suffered a one-sided unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Norris before retiring. Ultimately, he would return to the ring six years later at the age of 40 against Hector Camacho, losing via fifth-round stoppage.
Ali, at the age of 38, hung up his gloves following back-to-back one-sided beatings against the previously mentioned Holmes and Trevor Berbick in 1981. And as for Morales, on the back end of his career, he would go on to lose three of his final four contests, one of which came against Maidana.
More than anything, Spence Jr. refuses to get too involved in the recent performance of Ugas against a 42-year-old Pacquiao. The unified titlist, has, however, acknowledged that the split decision defeat Ugas suffered against Shawn Porter in 2019, was completely bogus.
But, regardless of Spence Jr. believing that Ugas’s victory over Pacquiao is a bit overblown, he does view Ugas as an incredible fighter and one who will give it his all come fight night.
“He’s a great fighter, he’s going to come to fight and he’s a real warrior but I’m a put on a great showing and I’m hungry too.”
Errol Spence Jr. Praises Yordenis Ugas: “He’s A Tough Competitor, Comes To Fight; I Thought He Won The Shawn Porter Fight”
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. knows he won’t be in the ring with a pushover come April 16th.
On the night, Spence Jr. will attempt to unify his WBC and IBF welterweight titles when he takes on WBA champion, Yordenis Ugas. The two will officially swap fists in front of Spence Jr.’s hometown crowd at the AT&t Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Despite facing a who’s who of fighters at 147 pounds, including Danny Garcia, Kell Brook, and Lamont Peterson – Spence Jr. has waltzed to the ring as the odds on favorite. With his showdown against Ugas slowly nearing, Spence Jr. once again finds himself in the favored position according to oddsmakers.
Ultimately, Spence Jr., who was last seen in the ring against Danny Garcia in December of 2020, doesn’t view the Cuban born Ugas as a walk in the park. Having won 12 of his 13 bouts, including a short notice win against Manny Pacquiao while being somewhat physically compromised, Spence Jr. is of the belief that the recent win streak of Ugas actually stretches to 13 straight.
During the first quarter of 2019, Ugas fought a back and forth contest against former two-time welterweight champion, Shawn Porter. Although Ugas was handed the split decision defeat, Spence Jr. views that setback as nothing more than a night of bad judging.
“He’s a tough competitor,” said Spence Jr. of Ugas during their press conference. “He’s a guy that comes to fight. I thought he won the Shawn Porter fight The Manny Pacquiao fight, he won that fight I think with a torn bicep or whatever injury that he had.”
Still, even with the enormous amount of praise Spence Jr. is hurling in the direction of his upcoming opponent, he’s backing himself to truncate Ugas’s world title reign. As Spence Jr. peels the curtain back and juxtaposes the overall skillset of his man, he’s left visibly impressed. With that said, even at the age of 31 and a decade of experience as a professional, Spence Jr. believes that his time in the spotlight hasn’t come to an end just yet.
“He’s a great warrior, great competitor but at the end of the day, I just feel like it’s my time.”
Yordenis Ugas Confident Heading Into Errol Spence Jr. Showdown: “You Should Put Your Money On Me”
By: Hans Themistode
Whenever Errol Spence Jr.’s name was brought up in conversations, Yordenis Ugas couldn’t help but smile. The Cuban-born 147 pound titlist has always considered the unified champion one of the best fighters in the world. With the 35-year-old anxious to unify titles, Ugas was incensed when he was originally told that he could not pursue a showdown against the powerful southpaw and would instead be forced to take on rising contender Eimantas Stanionis.
However, with the 27-year-old agreeing to move aside so that their three-belt unification could take place, Ugas has had a perpetual grin plastered to his face. The two will now officially square off on April 16th, at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Now, with Ugas circling the date on his calendar, he’s looking forward to sharing the ring with one of his fellow champions.
“It’s going to be a great fight, a tough fight against Spence,” said Ugas to Fight Hub TV. “I’m just working hard towards that goal.”
Since momentarily walking away from the pugilistic sport in 2014, Ugas has returned with newfound energy, winning 12 of his past 13 contests. In his most recent ring appearance, Ugas stepped in on short notice, replacing Spence Jr. ironically enough, to take on Manny Pacquiao.
Despite oddsmakers tabbing the future first ballot Hall of Famer as the favorite heading in, Ugas ignored the noise and went on to pick up the most impressive win of his career. Currently, despite having his waist laced with welterweight gold, Ugas finds himself as an underdog once again.
Admittedly, Ugas has watched Spence Jr. up close and personal on several occasions. And while he admits that the Dallas native was impressive in his one-sided victories over Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia, and Lamont Peterson, Ugas believes oddsmakers will ultimately be erroneous. As a matter of fact, come fight night, if observers are interested in fattening their wallets, Ugas advises them to plunk down a few dollars on him to pick up the win.
“I’m 200% one of the best fighters in the division. I’m a competitor, I’m a warrior. I have proven night after night that I can fight against the best. You should put your money on me because I come after it night after night.”
Errol Spence Jr. Vs. Yordenis Ugas Officially Set For April 16th At AT&T Stadium
By: Hans Themistode
Ever since bursting onto the scene, Errol Spence Jr. has stated that his number one goal has been to become an undisputed world champion. Now, in a little over two months, the Dallas native will have an opportunity to move one step closer.
On April 16th, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Spence Jr. will attempt to unify his WBC and IBF titles against WBA belt holder, Yordenis Ugas.
“I’m back!!” Said Spence Jr. on his Instagram page. “3 belts on the line.”
For the 31-year-old unified champion, he’s grown inactive over the past few years due to several injuries. Since defeating former WBC titlist Shawn Porter in September of 2019, Spence Jr. was involved in a horrific car wreck that saw the chiseled 147 pounder flung from his sports vehicle. Although many feared the worst, Spence Jr. proved that despite the wreck, his skills were still second to none, scoring a one-sided unanimous decision victory over Danny Garcia in his return bout.
While Spence Jr. was then set to square off against future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao, the powerful southpaw was forced to withdraw from their contest due to a retinal detachment/break in his left eye.
Subsequently, with Spence Jr. now out of the picture, Ugas stepped in to challenge Pacquiao on the night. Though he was considered a sizable underdog, Ugas would go on to snag the most impressive win of his career, while ushering Pacquiao into retirement.
Following his victory, Ugas immediately turned his attention towards a showdown against Spence Jr. but was ordered by the WBA sanctioning body to take part in a four-man tournament. The Cuban born champion was then instructed to take on Eimantas Stanionis but was allowed to begin negotiations with Spence Jr. instead as Stanionis agreed to step aside.
Spence Jr. vs. Ugas will headline a four-fight event shown on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View.