BOXING

Errol Spence Jr stops Yordenis Ugas to unify welterweight titles, calls out Crawford

The undefeated Texan was too much for his Cuban counterpart, and has now set his sights on an undisputed title bout with his long-time rival at welterweight

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American welterweight Errol 'The Truth' Spence secured bragging rights and yet another slice of the welterweight title pie with a TKO victory over Yordenis Ugas in Arlington, Texas.

A 10th-round referee stoppage put an end to the Cuban's short-lived reign as WBA champion on Saturday night, condemning him to only the fifth loss of his professional boxing career.

In what was a dominant performance by the 35-year-old Spence, Ugas was adjudged to be badly hurt in the 10th, leading referee Laurence Cole to stop the fight on the advice of the ringside doctor. At the time, Ugas' right eye was swollen shut.

Fresh from winning the WBA strap in late 2021 with a unanimous points' decision victory over Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao, Ugas came into the fight as the firm underdog. Unsurprisingly, he found Spence, for whom he stepped in against the Filipino great, a formidable opponent, and was out-worked for much of the fight.

The American landed 216 of 784 punches thrown according to CompuBox, compared to 96 of 541 for the Cuban, and hit with 40 percent of his power shots, compared to Ugas' 28%.

Despite playing second fiddle for the majority, it was Ugas who landed the flight's first big blow, however, connecting with a right hand that knocked Spence's mouthpiece out, before following up with a hard left to send the hometown champion staggering into the ropes in the sixth round.

Spence came right back in the seventh round though, catching Ugas with a hard uppercut that effectively closed the Cuban's eye at the end of a flurry that decisively swung the momentum of the fight. From then on, it seemed only a matter of time before the stoppage, as Spence piled on the punishment on his increasingly immobile opponent culminating in the stoppage with 1:44 left in Round 10.

The win takes the undefeated Spence to 28-0 in his professional career, and means he now holds three of the four major titles at welterweight, having added Ugas' WBA belt to his WBC and IBF straps. However, it remains to be seen whether a deal for a potential undisputed clash with WBO champion and pound-for-pound darling Terence Crawford can be reached in the coming months.

Spence nevertheless issued a verbal call-out following his defeat of Ugas, saying, “Everybody knows who I want next, i want Terence Crawford next. That’s the fight I want, that’s the fight everybody wants.”

Crawford, 34, is also unbeaten in his professional boxing career, and was last seen stopping and retiring top contender Shawn Porter, who was previously unstopped as a pro, in November.

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