Errol Spence Jr said he is coming for Terence Crawford after adding a third world title to his collection at welterweight.
‘The Truth’ halted the brave challenge of Yordenis Ugas in the 10th round of their unification at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
A crowd of nearly 40,000 witnessed Spence display a relentless performance filled with intensity and spite that saw the ringside Doctor call the fight off due to Ugas damaged right eye.
Spence said in the build-up he was gunning for a knockout and provided one of the best performances of his career despite his horrific car accident in 2019 and having received eye surgery last year.
It was the operation on the detached retina that forced Spence to bow out of his scheduled fight against Manny Pacquiao in August. Ugas stepped in to fill the slot, beating the Filipino legend allowing him to put his WBA title on the line in Arlington.
The first couple of rounds were a cagey six minutes with jabs established as well as a distance that ensured both men were never more than an arm’s length from one another. A left cross by the WBC and IBF champion followed by a body shot placed him in the driving seat in round 3. Ugas, with his tight guard, was being outworked but walked Spence on to a right hand from which ensured we most certainly had a fight.
Ugas was targeting the body in the 5th after a quiet 4th round but soon got clipped with a left hand which saw Spence step up the pressure and intensity. Ugas fired back with an uppercut and finished the round strong.
The round of the fight came in the 6 th . A right hand put Spence under the cosh, Ugas turned up the heat just as the American’s mouthpiece flew out his mouth. Calling it a ‘rookie mistake’ afterwards Spence looked around for his bit of kit believing referee Laurence Cole would step in.
Defend yourselves at all times is the rule and Ugas jumped on the error nailing Spence with a number of shots which had the home favourite in real trouble. Bizarrely the underdog switched off briefly which let Spence off the hook who was then bought some time when Cole paused the fight to allow a new mouthguard to be fitted.
Two left hands in the 7th visibly hurt Ugas. Spence was re-energised and knew he couldn’t make any more mistakes. He ramped up his output and was unrelenting as he pounded away at Ugas whose right eye was swelling badly.
The ringside Doctor was asked to check the damage in the 8th as Spence went from head to body and back again. Ugas was under fire and took a bit of a beating in this session.
Spence started the 9th strong as well. Victory was in the air, and it looked like a matter of if not when.
Ugas was beginning to get caught behind the guard, his defence was wilting in the face of a dynamic and brutal showing by Spence. Ugas was hurt to the body once more and then in the 10 th was tagged by an uppercut which forced him backwards. Referee Cole intervened to get the eye checked over.
Ugas knew what was coming and tried convincing the physician he was okay but after an examination the fight was rightly waved off at 1.44.
The shoulders of Spence were now draped in championships. The WBA now in the possession of the 32-year-old along with the WBC and IBF. One more title is left to collect and that is the WBO which is in the firm grip of free agent Terence Crawford.
“Everybody knows what I want,” the victor told Showtime’s Jim Gray post-fight.
“I want Terence Crawford next. That’s the fight I want. I’m coming for that mother fucking belt!”
Crawford had been tweeting during the fight and congratulated Spence on the win. “Now the real fight happens,” he added. “No more talk, no more side of the street. Let’s go.”
Spence v Crawford is now a must for boxing. And it is fitting that this modern-day super fight, that at one stage looked in danger of slipping away, would be for the undisputed welterweight title.