Errol Spence Jr. returns this Saturday and he gets a stiff test against fellow champion Yordenis Ugas. Spence (21-0-0, 27 KOs) is one of the best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet. However, his recent bouts coupled with his absences have turned many fans off. As another large favorite per the Spence vs Ugas betting odds, can he deliver a spectacular performance to get the boxing world back on his side?
Spence Needs To Remind Fans Who He Is
The welterweight division is boxing’s deadliest division and yet two boxers stand above the rest: Terence “Bud” Crawford and Spence. The former has continued to thrill while the latter has been in “damage control” mode over unflattering news in his life.
Spence, the IBF and WBC champion, was involved in not one but two major car accidents. The highly publicized accident in October 2019 left Spence hurt physically and emotionally, and was a blow to his public image. He was charged with a DWI. In an interview, he admitted to being involved in another car accident just three months later.
“Somebody hit me from behind,” Spence revealed. “It shook me up a little bit.”
The unified welterweight world champion would go on to reveal the extent of the mental damage the horrifying crash has put on him.
“I had like different flashes of cars running into me. I’d have flashes of cars hitting me and getting into car crashes, all the time when I was driving down the street, or at a red light or anything. PTSD is definitely a real thing. I still have it sometimes when I’m driving.”
Spence would overcome his ordeals and return to the ring to soundly defeat Danny Garcia. But it would be the only time he’s fought as he pulled out off a bout against Manny Pacquiao in which the best boxing predictions had him as a moderate favorite.
Instead of beating a living legend and likely booking a “superfight” against Crawford, Spence is now recalibrating to take on Ugas, the man who fought Pacquiao and won against in his stead.
Ugas Eyeing Another Major Upset
What was Spence’s loss was Ugas’ gain. The unheralded Cuban boxer won the biggest fight of his career as he turned back Pacquiao as an underdog. Ugas shut down Pacquiao, making him miss 84 percent of the 815 punches he threw. In turn, Ugas landed 37.3 percent of his punches.
It was a solid, albeit unspectacular, performance from WBA champion Ugas. He deserves the credit, though Pacquiao showed his age and was visibly slower. The Spence vs Ugas betting odds expect Ugas to be the more likely loser again. He’s already beaten the odds before and to do it again, he turned to another legend: Felix Trinidad.
The three-weight champion not only helped promote Ugas’ title unification bout against Spence but offered some advice.
“Errol is a rangy southpaw,” Trinidad began. “Instead of trying to go up against their right hand, I’d let a southpaw throw their biggest shot and dodge it so that I could deliver my most powerful shot. I’d tell Ugas to let Spence throw that left hand and dodge it.”
Ugas fought Pacquiao, who was also a southpaw, so he has some experience going up against a fighter like Spence. He may not have the household name that Spence or Crawford has, but barring a bogus decision in the Shawn Porter fight, Ugas has been unbeaten since 2016.
Tough, experienced and inspired, Ugas is a hard out for any boxer, even one of Spence’s caliber. He will push the American to be his best because anything less could be another upset in the making. Bettors looking for a sharp boxing pick could do worse than the Cuban.
“This is going to be a fight of a champion against a champion,” Trinidad said. “When I fought (Oscar) De La Hoya, I knew that I had to go all out and couldn’t leave anything in the tank. I believe in Ugas, and he’s going to make us all proud.”