ARLINGTON, Texas – On his return from a 14-month hiatus and surgery on a detached retina, unified champion Errol Spence Jr. made the full statement at Homecoming Saturday about his place in the welterweight division.
Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) expanded his dominance as a powerhouse at 147 pounds by uniting his WBC and IBF titles with Yordenis Ugas’ WBA belt (27-5, 12 KOs) in a thrilling 10th-round TKO run inside AT&T Electric Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
A native of DeSoto next door, the 32-year-old exchanged massive shots from close range as he looked to make a statement against the brave Ogas, who wobbled Spence in the sixth round with a series of shots that flapped his tongue. To Spence’s credit, he never fell and continued to bulge out Ogas’ right eye, forcing referee Lawrence Cole to stop the fight at 1:44 of the tenth round on the advice of the ringleader.
Spence, who previously had a history of difficult weight cuts to 147 pounds, hired a dietitian for the first time and seemed to be in the best shape of his career.
“I had absolutely no doubts,” Spence said. “I believe in myself 100% and I trained 100%.” “I didn’t want to fight a setter or someone I knew I could beat. I wanted someone who would bring out the best in me and Ojas did that.
“The nutritionist helped me a lot. I lost weight and they did a great job. It was just my work in the gym. I felt like my time had stopped” [early in his return] But I kept working. I think it was because of the long break and I was so excited to get in the ring and push the pace.”
Spence, who fought with stubborn determination the entire time while pushing at an insane pace, beat Ogas by a margin of 216 to 96, according to ShoStats. He also hit 40% of his powerful shots.
After winning, in what was just the 12th unification title match in welterweight history, Spence didn’t hesitate to announce his desire Undisputed WBO Champion Terrence Crawford.
“Everyone knows who I want next, I want to be the next Terrence Crawford,” Spence said. “This is the fight I want.”
Ojas, a 35-year-old Cuban national, took over for Spence last fall and upset Manny Pacquiao, but there will be no trophies in this despite spirited efforts in round six. Mouthpiece out. Spence raised his eye off the ball and ate two more punches after Ogas grabbed him and sent him reeling in the ropes.
“I thought the referee said stop, so I stopped,” Spence said. “I think he hit me with three or four shots. You have to protect yourself at all times and I didn’t.”
Cole halted the controversial procedure entirely when Ojas began pouring it in hopes of getting a knockout to allow Spence a chance to clean his tongue.
Never dropped as a pro, Spence continued to press forward and out of Ojas, who was largely limited to one punch at a time. He forced Ugas to shoot at close range and continued cutting until swelling in Ugas’ right eye became a major problem.
CBS Sports was with you all the way Saturday night, so be sure to catch up on the live scores and highlights below.
Spence vs Ogas card fighting, odds
- Errol Spence, Jr. (c) Dave. Jordenes Ugas via 10th round TKO (doctor stop)
- Isaac Cruz def. Yuurikis Gamboa via TKO from the fifth round
- Jose Valenzuela Def. Francisco Vargas by knockout in the first round
- Cody Crowley defeated. Josecito Lopez by unanimous decision (98-91, 98-91, 99-90)
- Eimantas Stanionis def. Radhab Putayev via split resolution (116-111, 117-110, 113-114)
- Brandon Lee Dave. Zachary Ochoa by unanimous decision (99-91, 99-91, 98-92)
Spence vs. Ugas scorecard, live coverage
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