Saturday night’s 10th round stoppage saw Errol Spence Jr complete a perfect comeback, defeating Yordenis Ugas by virtue of a ghastly swollen eye.
Coming off a 14-month hiatus, Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) lit up an exuberant AT&T Stadium and unified his WBC and IBF titles with Ugas’ WBA belt in the process.
Ugas (27-5, 12 KOs), who famously stunned Manny Pacquiao in 2021, also played his part in a pulsating encounter in Arlington, Texas.
Spence largely contained Ugas with combinations of heavy punches in the first five rounds, but the Cuban took the fight to his much-fancied opponent with a spirited response in Round 6.
The 35-year-old unleashed a flurry of shots with his right hand, which dislodged Spence’s mouthguard and left him staggering.
Spence has never been knocked down in his professional career and he did well to maintain his footing on this occasion.
The Cuban was perhaps unfortunate that referee Laurence Cole chose to afford Spence the opportunity to clean his mouthguard just as he looked to have his opponent on the ropes.
Seemingly unfazed, however, the Desoto native was able to steady the ship and forced Ugas into a close-range shootout, which was ultimately where he struck the fatal blow.
Ugas’ right eye swelled up in no time and Cole was understandably forced to stop the fight as per the recommendation of the ringside doctor.
“I didn’t have any doubts at all. I believed in myself 100% and trained 100%,” Spence said post-fight. “I didn’t want a tune-up fight or someone I knew I could beat. I wanted someone who would bring out the best in me and Ugas did that.”
Attention quickly shifted to his next fight and the 32-year-old made no bones about who his ideal opponent is.
“Everybody knows who I want next,” Spence stated. “I want Terence Crawford next. That’s the fight I want.”
Victory over Crawford, the WBO champion, would see Spence become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world.