By: Hans Themistode
The boxing world appears to be split right down the middle as the welterweight unification between Errol Spence Jr. and Yordenis Ugas draws near. The two are officially scheduled to face off in just under a month on April 16th, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
With Ugas nabbing the most significant win of his career in his most recent ring appearance against Manny Pacquiao, the WBA titlist confidently believes he’ll be adding Spence Jr.’s WBC and IBF world titles to his collection. However, despite his unwavering self-belief, Bernard Hopkins isn’t giving him much of a chance.
“Errol Spence smashes him,” said Hopkins to Fight Hub TV.
Spence Jr., a former U.S. Olympian, is attempting to move one step closer to his ultimate goal of becoming an undisputed world champion. Initially, during the first few years of his career, Spence Jr. dazzled fans with his nonstop pressure and ability to end fights in the blink of an eye. However, as of late, Spence Jr. has been forced to deal with forces outside of his control.
Following his split decision win over Shawn Porter in 2019, Spence Jr. miraculously survived a horrific one-car wreck. Although Spence Jr. would dust himself off and return to the ring one year later to score a one-sided win over Danny Garcia, the unified welterweight titlist has remained sequestered on the sidelines.
Originally, the Dallas native was set to make his ring walk in August of 2021, against Manny Pacquiao. That said, he was forced to withdraw from their contest due to a retinal detachment in his right eye.
As a result, of course, Ugas stepped in on relatively short notice and claimed the spotlight for himself, winning a fairly close unanimous decision. With Spence Jr. appearing in the ring fewer than both he and his adoring fans would like, Hopkins believes that from here on out, Spence Jr. will produce jaw-dropping performances.
“Listen, I look at the pedigree of the talent. I believe from the last few fights, beyond the pullout, I believe he knows that he has to make statements every time he fights. Good for us, bad for his opponent. He knows that he must look damn there perfect or perfect every fight. There is no room for error. From what I see, he handles that very, very well.”