Spence stops Ugas to win third welterweight belt

ARLINGTON, Texas — Errol Spence was dazed as he peered around the ring looking for his mouthpiece.

Yordenis Ugas sent it flying on Saturday after he connected with a brutal right hand in Round 6 before referee Laurence Cole slowly moved to halt the action to allow Spence to retrieve it. That’s when Ugas connected with a left hand followed by a right that sent the distracted Spence careening into the ropes for what could have been called a knockdown.

The series of events seemed to only reinvigorate Spence, who was fighting in front of his hometown fans at AT&T Stadium for the third time. He began to attack far more aggressively the following round and took control of the bout. The systematic beating he dispensed on Ugas slowly but surely closed the Cuban’s right eye before the ringside doctor advised Cole to stop the fight at 1:44 of Round 10.

With the victory, Spence added Ugas’ WBA welterweight title along with the WBC and IBF titles he already owned. Now, Spence only needs Terence Crawford’s WBO title to become undisputed 147-pound champion.

“Everybody knows who I want next, I want Terence Crawford next,” said Spence, ESPN’s No. 6 pound-for-pound boxer. “That’s the fight that I want, that’s the fight everybody else wants. Terence, I’m coming for that mother——- belt.”

For years, Spence and Crawford have circled each other but never came close to finalizing a deal for what’s long been one of boxing’s biggest potential bouts. Crawford’s win over Shawn Porter in November was the final of his long-term deal with Top Rank, a promotional company that rarely does business with PBC.

Now that Crawford is a promotional free agent, the greatest roadblock to the matchup has been removed and it appears to be a genuine possibility later this year.

“Congratulations, great fight, now the real fight happens,” Crawford tweeted at Spence. “No more talk, no more side of the street, let’s go!”

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