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Errol Spence Jr Breaks Down and Stops Yordenis Ugas in a Texas Firefight

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  • Errol Spence Jr Breaks Down and Stops Yordenis Ugas in a Texas Firefight

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    A trio of world welterweight title belts were on the line tonight at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, where Errol Spence Jr clashed with Yordenis Ugas in the featured bout of an 11-fight card. Spence vs. Ugas and three other bouts were bundled into the pay-per-view portion.

    Ugas, the 35-year-old Cuban defector who has been training in Las Vegas under Ismael Salas, entered the bout in excellent form. He had won 12 of his last 13 with the only setback inside this window a controversial, split decision to Shawn Porter. Spence was undefeated (27-0, 21 KOs heading in), but this was only his third fight in the last 31 months during which he suffered facial injuries in a bad car accident and had surgery for a detached retina. But Spence, 32, dispelled any thoughts that his best days were behind him with a very strong performance that culminated with him winning on a 10th-round stoppage.

    Ugas (27-5) was competitive through the first half of the fight. He rocked Spence in the sixth frame with a right hand that knocked out Spence’s mouthpiece. However, Spence returned the favor in the following round, rocking Ugas, and assumed control as the swelling over the Cuban’s right eye became progressively worse. The eye eventually swelled shut and controversial referee Laurence Cole waived the fight off near the midway point of the 10th after consulting with the ring physician. The official time was 1:44.

    Spence, who resides in a Dallas suburb, had the fans in his corner. The announced attendance was 39,946.

    If the fans have their way, Spence’s next fight will come against fellow unbeaten Terence Crawford. If that long-simmering match does indeed come next, it will be a blockbuster -- the biggest welterweight title fight since the first meeting between Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns in 1981.

    The Other Pay-Per-View Fights

    Mexico City lightweight Isaac Cruz was rewarded for his competitive showing against Gervonta “Tank” Davis, a fight he took on one month notice, by getting second billing on this show. He was pit against 2004 Olympic gold medalist Yuriorkis Gamboa who at age 40 has seen better days and looked older than his years tonight.

    Cruz (23-2-1, 16 KOs) rocked him in the opening minute of the fight and had him on the canvas four times before referee Mark Calo-oy, who should have been quicker on the trigger, finally pulled the plug at the 1:32 mark of round five. It was the third straight loss for Gamboa (30-5).

    Jose Valenzuela, a 22-year-old lightweight from Seattle by way of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, stole the show with a brutal one-punch knockout of Mexico City warhorse Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas, a former WBC 130-pound world title-holder. Valenzuela, who improved to 12-0 (8) knocked Vargas flat on his back with a left hook and the referee didn’t bother to count. It was all over in 85 seconds.

    This may be the end of the line for Vargas (27-4-2) who has always been a willing mixer with the result that he has taken a lot of damage. Valenzuela is trained by Jose Benavidez Sr.

    In the ppv opener, 29-year-old southpaw Cody Crowley, who hails from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada but has been living and training in Las Vegas, showed that his upset of previously undefeated Kudratillo Abdukakhorov was no fluke with a wide decision over 19-year veteran Josesito Lopez (38-9) in a welterweight contest slated for 10.

    Lopez had a few good moments early, notably in the third round, but was repeatedly beaten to the punch by Crowley who was credited with a knockdown in round seven that was something of a slip. Lopez’s trainer and chief cornerman Robert Garcia wanted to pull him out after the eighth, but Lopez balked and was allowed to press on until the final bell. The judges had it 99-90 and 98-91 twice.

    Other Bouts of Note

    In a 12-round welterweight contest for one of the various WBA title belts, Eimantas Stanionis outpointed Radzhab Butaev, winning a split decision that should have been unanimous. In winning, Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs) avenged two losses to Butaev during his days as a young amateur.

    This was a “pick-‘em” fight that was a solid scrap but didn’t quite live up to its expectations. Stanionis, a 2016 Olympian for Lithuania, faded a bit late but there was little doubt about the outcome after Butaev (14-1) was deducted a point in round 11 for punching down at Stanionis after he was instructed to break. The judges had it 117-110, 116-111, and a curious 113-114.

    It was the first pro loss for Butaev (an earlier defeat was changed to a no-contest when his opponent failed his post-fight drug test) who was coming off his career-best win, a ninth-round stoppage of favored Jamal James.

    Twenty-two-year-old welterweight Brandun Lee, born to a Korean father and a Mexican mother in the California desert town of La Quinta, saw his knockout streak end at 15, but kept his undefeated record intact with a clear-cut 10-round decision over Brooklyn’s Zachary Ochoa. Lee (25-0, 22 KOs) pressed the action and prevailed by scores of 98-92 and 99-91 twice. Ochoa entered the contest with a record of 21-2.

  • #2
    Bring on Spence-Crawford. 🔥

    If boxing can’t produce this matchup, it’s officially dead and efforts to liberate boxing from itself must be considered by outside forces. Are you hearing me Elon Musk? Free up the suppressed speech on Twitter and then please sir, consider making boxing great again.