Boxing: Errol Spence Jr, Terence Crawford’s dream opponent, will instead fight Yordenis Ugas, reuniting the world’s two best welterweights.
In their first fight of 2022, IBF and WBC champion Spence Jr is expected to meet WBA titleholder Ugas to unify their crowns.
After Ugas’ mandatory challenger, Eimantas Stanionis, decided to step aside, the WBA approved the bout.
In his protracted pursuit of Spence Jr., WBO champion Crawford is left in the dark by the deal.
“You’re lying when you say you phoned me?” Crawford asked Spence Jr. That is not something you should do. When you lie to the people, it’s a horrible look.”
“I’m doing all the heavy lifting,” Spence Jr said of battling Ugas.
“Thank you to the WBA for doing the right thing,” Ugas stated. It’s a recognition of my commitment and bravery in and out of the ring.
“I’ll be up against one of the top [pound-for-pound] fighters in the world. I’m a fighter. The first Cuban to fight for three belts in a single night.”
“This fight is the first step to establishing an indisputable champion at 147 pounds in 2022,” Ugas said of the contest.
Spence Jr was scheduled to fight Manny Pacquiao in the summer to unify the IBF, WBA, and WBC championships, but was forced to withdraw due to an eye injury.
Ugas took over for Spence Jr and defeated Pacquiao, retiring the icon and winning the WBA belt.
Crawford then became the first man to stop former welterweight champion Shawn Porter, a feat that Spence Jr was unable to accomplish when they fought in the same ring.
“The battle with Errol Spence Jr, which ran 12 rounds, was not as challenging as the fight with Terence Crawford,” Porter stated afterwards.
Spence Jr had been ringside for Crawford’s victory over Porter.
“Was he there my fight?” Crawford stated, “That youngster claimed he’d never come to my fight, but now he’s at my fight.”
“You saw what I did [against Porter] compared to what he did.”
“Who is the current welterweight champion?”
“You all know who I’m looking for.” I’ve been yelling at him. Perhaps I’ll increase my weight to 154 pounds.
“Perhaps Spence Jr will take me on.”
What are Crawford’s options?
On February 26, Josh Taylor will defend his undisputed super-lightweight title against Jack Catterall in Glasgow.
Taylor now owns all of Crawford’s belts and is planning to go up a level to face the undefeated American.
“There was some sizing up going on,” Taylor said of meeting Crawford face to face.
Taylor described himself as Crawford’s “possible future opponent.”
The WBO has Ortiz Jr as No. 1 in the world.
Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, one of the most exciting young fighters in American boxing, is ranked No. 2.
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