“Terence I’m Coming For That Belt!” | Errol Spence Stops Ugás In 10 To Set Up Undisputed Bout Against Crawford

Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

On Saturday night, Errol Spence, Jr., the “Big Fish,” successfully steered perilous waters to take home three of the four major world titles in the welterweight division.

IBF and WBC welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. showed his greatness against WBA champion Yordenis Ugás, battling back from early adversity to stop Ugás in the tenth round.

Then Spence made his preference for his next challenge clear: to become the first undisputed champion in welterweight history.

The Big Fish

“Everybody knows who I want next,” Spence said during the postfight interview. “I want Terence Crawford. That’s the fight that I want.

“That’s the fight everybody else wants. Like I said, I’m going to get these straps then go over there and take his too. Terence, I’m coming for that belt!”

Spence delivered during the main event on live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event, Texas showed its love for its homegrown champion with an announced crowd of 39,946.

This Bud’s For You

The remaining welterweight title belongs to WBO titleholder Terence Crawford, not in Spence’s possession. He tweeted throughout the night that Spence had won 6 out of four of the ten rounds before the referee waved off the bout due to Ugàs’s left eye swollen shut.

Spence had to overcome some harsh conditions courtesy of Ugás to get to this point. Ugás hurt Spence in the sixth, knocking his mouthpiece out with an uppercut. However, Spence stormed back to damage Ugás repeatedly to the body and eye.

By the tenth round, Ugás’ right eye shut altogether, prompting referee Laurence Cole to stop the contest for the second time to allow the ringside physician to inspect the damage.

Unlike earlier, the doctor advised Cole to stop the bout at 1:44 of the tenth round, giving Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) a resounding victory.

Biggest Test Thus Far

The win was perhaps the most significant victory of his still career following a 17-month layoff after corrective surgery to his left eye forced him to pull out of a mega-fight with Manny Pacquiao.

Ugás stepped in for Spence on late notice, beating and retiring Pacquiao last summer, setting the stage for Saturday’s welterweight unification contest, just the 12th in the division’s history.

Tried And Tested

“I believe that you’re going to go through trials and tribulations,” Spence said. “I went through a lot of trials. I got tested and I passed the tests due to my upbringing.

“My mother and my father always telling me not to quit and not to give up and just believing in myself and my family. I wanted to prove them wrong, and I knew that I could come back. Why would I quit now?”

Ugás’ size and skill appeared to confound Spence early on. In fact, Terence Crawford tweeted that Ugàs won rounds 1, 3, and 6 in his opinion.

A Worthy Opponent

The Cuban Olympic bronze medalist hurt Spence with a right uppercut and a right hand that had Spence falling back into the ropes and sent his mouthpiece flying in the sixth.

Spence turned dazed and was caught twice by Ugàs, who took advantage of the opening.

The referee interrupted the action with 1:32 left in the frame to allow trainer Derrick James to replace the mouthpiece. Following the break, Spence returned fire, banging Ugás’ body to end the round.

Careful Or Overly Careful Ref?

The referee again interrupted the action with 53 seconds left in the eighth to have the doctor examine Ugás’ right eye, which was nearly shut, the result of Spence timing Ugas with hard right hands. Spence jumped on him moments later, nailing Ugás (27-5, 12 KOs) to the body, sensing the end may be near.

Ugás hurt Spence’s body with a right hand in the ninth and again with a left to the body, for which the referee warned him for veering a little low.

Spence came back and hurt Ugás with a right to the body in the tenth that had him retreating, covering up, clearly in pain. The referee again had the doctor check on Ugas’ right eye, this time deciding he had sustained enough punishment.

Honor In Defeat

“I feel sad,” Ugás said. “I trained really hard for this fight. All my respect to Errol Spence. He’s a great champion. I’m just sad about what happened tonight.”

“The referee stopped the fight, but I wanted to keep going to the end,” Ugás lamented. I definitely had a chance to win the fight in the sixth round, but he recuperated well. Congratulations to him and his team.”

Both Errol Spence and Terence Crawford now have the ability to do something that even the great Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao couldn’t do, become undisputed at 147 pounds.

The only question now is will boxing get it right and make the fight?

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.