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Errol Spence Jr. stops Yordenis Ugas in ten – Bring on Bud Crawford

Written By | Apr 17, 2022
Errol Spence Jr. (right) left no doubt he has fully recovered from injury with his defeat of Yordenis Ugas Saturday in Dallas. Photo: Showtime Boxing Spence Jr stops

Errol Spence Jr. (right) left no doubt he has fully recovered from injury with his defeat of Yordenis Ugas Saturday in Dallas. Photo: Showtime Boxing

SAN DIEGO, Calif., April 16, 2022 – WBA World Welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas of Santiago de Cuba via Miami (27-4, 12 KOs) discovered the difference in skill level between WBC and IBF champion Erroll Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KOs) and the rest of the welterweight division including former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao Saturday in Dallas in front of 39,346 people at AT&T Stadium.

Spence Jr., considered by most experts to be at the top of the division with only Terence Crawford challenging his case, showed no ring rust after being out of the ring since December 2020, turning in a virtuoso performance against Ugas. His relentless performance caused referee Laurence Cole to waive off the fight to protect the battered Ugas at 1:44 of the tenth round. Spence Jr. added the WBA title to his collection. Just the WBO title remains, held by Terence “Bud” Crawford.

Spence Jr.: ‘I knew I would come up with the victory’

Errol Spence Jr. fought on the inside with pinpoint body punching and uppercuts. Photo: Showtime Boxing

Errol Spence Jr. fought on the inside with pinpoint body punching and uppercuts. Photo: Showtime Boxing

“It means a lot, man, it means a lot fighting in my hometown in front of my friends and family,” said Spence Jr. He said despite 15 months out of the ring and eye surgery, he believed in his ability to win 100 percent.

“I train 100%. I knew I would come up with the victory. That’s why I didn’t want a tune-up fight. I wanted someone who would bring out the best in me,” said Spence Jr.




I felt a little off with my timing, but I knew I would catch on later in the rounds. So, I kept working. It was due to the long layoff. I was excited to get in the ring and pushed it more than I should,” admitted Spence Jr.

At the time of the stoppage, the judges gave Ugas the first and sixth rounds. In the sixth, Spence Jr. lost his mouthpiece. Spence Jr. dropped his guard, thinking the referee would pause the fight, and Ugas popped him, throwing him back against the ropes. Spence Jr. recovered without further incident. “That was a rookie mistake on myself. You’re supposed to protect yourself at all times,” said Spence Jr.

Ugas: ‘I feel really sad’

Spence Jr. drove hard left hands to the body and to the head, using the uppercut at will, with Ugas presenting himself as a target right in front of Spence Jr. without much movement. Ugas’ right eye took the worst of it, and as it worsened while Ugas fell further behind on the scorecards, Laurence Cole did the right thing by stopping the fight.

A dejected Ugas said, “I feel sad. I trained really hard for this fight. All respect to Errol Spence. I just feel really sad. I wanted a battle. I couldn’t see from the eye, the referee stopped the fight, but I wanted to go to the end.” Ugas said he knew he had an opportunity in the sixth round, but Spence Jr. recuperated before he could capitalize on the situation.

Spence Jr. landed 216 of 785 punches (28%), with 192 power punches, including 70 body shots. Ugas landed 96 of 541 punches (18%), with 77 power punches. Spence Jr. effectively neutralized anything Ugas had to offer.

Spence Jr. passes the test

Errol Spence Jr. says he trained hard, and the help of a nutritionist made a significant contribution to his condition. Photo: Showtime Boxing Spence Jr stops

Errol Spence Jr. says he trained hard, and the help of a nutritionist made a significant contribution to his condition. Photo: Showtime Boxing

Doubters who wondered whether Spence Jr.’s auto accident and eye surgery would affect him can set those concerns aside.

“I believe you’re going to go through trials and tribulations. I got tested, and I passed the test,” said Spence Jr., who said his parents taught him to believe in himself. “Why would I quit now? I can be at my best.” Spence Jr. worked with a nutritionist for the first time for this fight and said it helped him make weight properly.

Calling Bud Crawford

Spence Jr. left no doubt about who he wanted to take on next. “Everybody knows who I want next. I want Terence Crawford next. Forget this two sides of the street stuff. I’m going to go over there and take his shit too. Man down! Strap season! Terence, I’m coming for that MF belt!”

Crawford responded via Twitter.

There isn’t any reason to delay this welterweight showdown further. It will be the first unification fight for all the titles in the modern four-belt era. Get it done. Boxing fans will accept no substitutes.

Young guns Cruz and Valenzuela blast veteran opponents

Issac Cruz drilled Yuriorkis Gamboa for five rounds before the referee called the fight off. Photo: Premier Boxing Champions

Issac Cruz drilled Yuriorkis Gamboa for five rounds before the referee called the fight off. Photo: Premier Boxing Champions

On the undercard, young stars send accomplished veterans packing early.

Lightweight contender Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz of Mexico City (23-2-1, 16 KOs) followed up his loss to Gervonta Davis by battering former world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa of Cuba (30-5, 18 KOs) with four knockdowns before the bout was stopped for a fifth-round TKO victory.

“I wanted to leave my fingerprint here in Dallas as one of the best lightweights in the division. I came here to box, not to dance and make a spectacle here in Dallas,” said Cruz after the fight.

Cruz came close twice in the first round to scoring knockdowns and then got one in each of the following four rounds with hooks from left and right. It was a crowd-pleasing performance. Cruz didn’t give Gamboa a second to breathe. The 40-year-old veteran did what he could to conserve his energy and give himself a chance, but he hadn’t got a stoppage win since 2014.

Cruz said he wanted to stop Gamboa earlier than Gervonta Davis, who scored a 12th round TKO, and Devin Haney, who went the distance, and he did. The end came in the fifth round leading with a left hook, wrapped up with the final hard right hand, sending Gamboa into the ropes. Referee Mark Cal-oy had seen enough, stopping the fight at 1:32 of the round.

Jose "El Rayo" Valenzuela got the attention of boxing fans with his first round knockout win. Photo: Premier Boxing Champions

Jose “El Rayo” Valenzuela got the attention of boxing fans with his first-round knockout win. Photo: Premier Boxing Champions

José “Rayo” Valenzuela of Seattle via Los Mochis, Sinaloa (12-0, 8 KOs) made a strong statement, taking out former world champion Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas of Mexico (27-4-2, 19 KOs) with a delicious first-round knockout just 1:25 into the fight.

 

With Vargas coming forward, Valenzuela said he stayed patient and used his jab while looking for an opening. “I feinted with the jab, took a step back, and threw over. Beautiful. I expected him to get up, but I threw a good hard punch,” said the 22-year-old prospect.

Vargas has been in more ring wars than a half dozen average fighters, including two Fights of the Year against Takashi Miura and Orlando Salido. Vargas should have called it a career after losing badly to Issac Cruz. At age 37, this should be his last fight. Referee Jack Cal-oy was quick to wave the fight off when he saw the veteran’s head hit the canvas hard. A good call.

True, Vargas is far past his best, but Valenzuela wasn’t intimidated and did what few other opponents could. “I felt great, man. I worked very hard for this,” said Valenzuela. He thanked his stablemate, David Benavidez, for his help, whose father Jose Jr. is Valenzuela’s trainer, for sharing his experience and allowing his access during training camp in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Canadian Rocky Takes Out The Riverside Rocky

Cody Crowley of Canada (21-0, 9 KOs) remained unbeaten, dominating veteran contender Josesito López of Riverside, California (38-9, 21 KOs) by unanimous decision. Scorecards were 98-92 X 2 and 99-91. At age 37, after 16 months out of the ring, Lopez didn’t have enough gas in the tank to deliver his customary performance against the younger, busier Crowley. Trainer Robert Garcia threatened to stop the fight but let the veteran finish what is likely his last fight on his feet.

Crowley said he persevered despite not being at his best. “I’ve had so much adversity in my life. This week I had a rotten tooth. I can’t feel my face right now. But every time, I show up and get the job done no matter what. When I get pushed to the test, the true Cody Crowley comes out. When the opportunity to coast comes, I’ll take advantage of that, too. I believe I’m the real-life Rocky story, so I had to beat the real-life Riverside Rocky.”

Crowley scored a knockdown in the seventh round, saying he hit Lopez with a check hook as he was bent over, and it brought Lopez’s weight down. He thanked his Canadian boxing fans.

“Canada just needs a horse to ride, and I’m that horse,” said Crowley.

Eimantas Stanionis Becomes First Lithuanian Champion

Eimantas Staniois became Lithuania's first world boxing champion Saturday. Photo: Amanda Wescott, Showtime Boxing

Eimantas Staniois became Lithuania’s first world boxing champion Saturday. Photo: Amanda Wescott, Showtime Boxing

Eimantas Stanionis of Lithuania (14-0, 9 KOs) became Lithuania’s first boxing world champion, earning a split decision over WBA Welterweight Champion Radzhab Butaev of Russia (14-1, 11 KOs). Scorecards read 117-110 and 116-111 for Stanionis, 114-113 Butaev for Butaev.

The heavy-handed pair battled round after round down to the final bell like two rams leaning in head-to-head. Stanionis appears to be the faster and stronger puncher by just a whisker, and it made the difference in an even matchup. Referee Rafael Ramos docked Butaev a point in the 11th round for holding behind the head. It didn’t affect the eventual outcome.

Brandun Lee Goes Ten Rounds to Win Easy Decision

Brandun Lee dominated a tough Zachary Ochoa in his first 12 round fight. Photo: Amanda Wescott, Showtime Boxing

Brandun Lee dominated a tough Zachary Ochoa in his first 12-round fight. Photo: Amanda Wescott, Showtime Boxing

Super lightweight Brandun Lee of La Quinta, California (25-0, 22 KOs) met plenty of resistance from Zachary Ochoa of Brooklyn (21-3, KOs), going ten rounds for the first time as a pro. Lee handled everything Ochoa offered, winning a unanimous decision by scores of 99-91 X 2 and 98-92. It’s the kind of work a young, skilled 22-year-old like Lee needs to continue his career development.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, based in San Diego, California, is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.

Copyright © 2022 by Falcon Valley Group

 

Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.