How to watch Errol Spence Jr. vs Yordenis Ugas fight Live Broadcast On Free 16 April 2022 Free PPV LIVE STREAMING ONLINE TONIGHT
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Yordenis Ugas fight prediction, odds, undercard, expert pick, preview, date
Three of the four major titles at 147 pounds will be on the line in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night
Three welterweight championships are on the line in Arlington, Texas, when Errol Spence Jr. clashes with Yordenis Ugas on Saturday night. Spence will be defending his WBC and IBF titles while Ugas will put his WBA title up for grabs.
Spence has laid claim to being one of the top fighters in all of boxing, only seen as truly rivaled in his division by WBO champion Terence Crawford. A win over Ugas could be the next step for Spence in finally getting to a dream bout with Crawford, which would then be a four-belt unification.
Ugas is no light touch, however, as the world was reminded in his last outing, when he defeated Manny Pacquiao on late notice, sending the legend into retirement. Ugas also arguably deserved the win over Shawn Porter in a bout for the WBC title in March 2019. Porter was awarded the fight by controversial split decision.
Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) will snap a 17-month layoff following surgery on a detached retina when he defends his WBC and IBF titles at 147 pounds against Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs), the WBA titleholder, in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions event set to air on Showtime PPV (9 p.m. ET). The fight will not only provide further clarity on the road toward a possible undisputed championship fight for the winner against unbeaten WBO champion Terence Crawford, it's expected to crown a new power broker within the division.
The fact that the 35-year-old Ugas is in this position at all remains one of boxing's best human interest stories. The former Cuban amateur star has endured everything from a dangerous defection of his home country to back-to-back losses in 2014 that appeared, at the time, to label him as a failed prospect.
All Ugas has done since then is win, with the exception of a split-decision 2019 title loss to Shawn Porter, which most failed to even recognize as a defeat. Not only do some observers believe Ugas should've been given the nod on the scorecards, he was outright robbed of a 12th-round knockdown by referee Jack Reiss that would've altered the result.
Two years later, Ugas filled in on late notice to replace an injured Spence against Manny Pacquiao and authored his most impressive performance to date last fall when he upset the Filipino legend to claim the WBA belt.
"I'm a warrior. I'm a competitor. I've been facing adversity ever since I was six or seven years old," Ugas said. "I've been fighting ever since I was a little kid. This is nothing new to me. I promise you blood, sweat, and everything that I have to give for my country and for my fans.
"People know my story by now. I came back from being 15-3 [following a two-year layoff] back in 2016 and ever since then, I have established myself as part of the elite in this division. If [Spence] is the big fish, I belong in that same tank because I'm willing to swim with the big fishes whenever, wherever."
Much of the pre-fight narratives have circled around fear that Spence, a 32-year-old from nearby Desoto, Texas, may not be the same fighter physically following not only eye surgery but the drunken crash in late 2019 he was lucky to walk away from after being ejected from his vehicle.
"When people say I can't do this or I can't do that, I prove them wrong every time," Spence said. "I am the same guy I was before the accident and the injury. I feel like I'm better than that guy that fought Shawn Porter or Danny García."
The main reason for Spence's confidence despite those physical setbacks is that he has discovered a work ethic that wasn't necessarily there upon his initial rise to becoming champion. With his partying and ballooning up in weight between fights now behind him, Spence has hired a nutritionist for the first time this camp to avoid the difficult weight cuts to 147 pounds he has faced in the past.
"Ugás' trainer is looking for the same things I'm looking for on film. Salas is smart," Spence's trainer Derrick James said. "He's supposed to look for patterns and see what kind of shots the opponents' throw. That's what trainers are supposed to do. I'll watch some of his fights; I watch enough. Just to pick up on tendencies and shots he throws and how he throws his punches so I can mimic them. And I'll let Errol know that this is coming, or that is coming.
One thing that is certain is no other fighter can claim the same resume as Spence within the division in the aftermath of the Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao era. Spence owns victories over Chris Algieri, Kell Brook, Lamont Peterson, Mikey Garcia, Porter and Danny Garcia. And he hopes to add Ugas, Crawford, former champion Keith Thurman and anyone else who stands in his way.
"This is my house. This is my hometown. I love the Dallas Cowboys to death. I love AT&T Stadium and I appreciate them giving me the hospitality and making this my home. Come Saturday night, I'm going to win another championship in the home of the Cowboys."
The undercard fills out with fun fights in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions. Veteran Isaac Cruz is set to take on another veteran in Yuriokis Gamboa at 135 pounds. Jose Valenzuela faces off with Francisco Vargas at lightweight as well. Plus, veteran Josesito Lopez is back when he takes on undefeated prospect Cody Crowley at 147 pounds. Another contest at welterweight may be the most even fight of the night when Eimantas Stanionis meets Radzhab Butaev. Butaev is undefeated at 14-0 and coming off a win over Jamal James for the WBA "regular" welterweight crown. He thinks that fans should be more interested in their showdown than Spence vs. Ugas.
"If either of us were more popular in the United States, all eyes would be on us," Butaev said in an interview with Boxing Scene. "But unfortunately, we're not famous yet. So, that's what makes it more difficult. I'm not worried about being famous. But, of course, I want people to know me and to appreciate my boxing. I'm a fighter and I'm concentrating on my job, but I want more people to see me fighting and what I'm bringing to the ring."
If Spence can keep this a boxing match, everything from his length to his footwork and speed should be too much for Ugas in a competitive fight. But Spence has been lured into a war before by Porter even though his corner had created a gameplan to do essentially the exact opposite.
The problem for Porter against Spence in 2019 was that he had the heart and aggression to make it a fight of the year candidate but didn't have the firepower to hand Spence his first pro defeat. Ugas might find himself in the same predicament, even if he's successful at luring Spence into a more offensive posture, which is why Ugas will need to take more chances than he typically does if he plans on daring to be great enough to win the fight.
The good news is, this one has sneaky potential to be a high-speed chess match of the most entertaining variety, particularly in the second half when Ugas typically makes adjustments and begins to surge. But until Spence actually appears physically compromised inside of a championship fight, it's still hard to imagine him not having enough tools to figure out a method of victory.