The main eventers made weight, Errol Spence, the Texas-based welterweight standout, and Yordenis Ugas, the Cuban born Florida resident, both hit their mark Friday afternoon in Texas.
“The Truth,” who possesses the WBC and IBF crowns, stepped on the scale: 146.2.
Ugas, holding the WBA welterweight titlist, was 146.8. He looked dialed in, ripped and ready, as Jimmy Lennon announced he'd succeeded on the scale.
The pugilists then did their stare down, and one could compare their frames.
Errol Spence has spoken of seeing the light, and getting a nutritionist on board, so he'd not be coming to camp in have-to-carve-down mode. He looked lean, while Ugas showed off more musculature. For those that care about such things, after 14 seconds, Spence broke off his gaze, and turned towards photogs, as the Cuban (see below) held his focus for an extra beat before facing the snappers.
Of course, this is the boxing business, and so that meant Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker Micah Parsons stood in between the combatants, forcing me to ask after the fact who that dude was. (Thanks Sarge.)
Errol Spence after the staredown gave a shoutout to fans and family. “I love you Dallas,” he said to interviewer Lennon. “We are gonna put on a great show tomorrow, I'm gonna put on a another great performance. Man down, I'm gonna add another strap to my belt!”
Also, it looks like Yuriorkis Gamboa is in a good head space, in that he seems to be cognizant that he's 40, 41 in December, and these opportunities to pull off an upset on a young gun won't be around forever. Isaac Cruz, coming off a loss to Tank Davis in December, will seek to win in conclusive fashion, so that should be a decent bout.
Youth is being served on this Errol Spence v. Yordenis Ugas card, isn't it, with Jose Valenzuela, age 22, being put in the spotlight. He's 11-0–click here to see footage from his last outing, a win over Austin Dulay in December–and will engage in a Mexican vs Mexican rumble with Francisco Vargas. Is Vargas at 37 too long in the tooth? He lost to Isaac Cruz in his last time out, yes, but he will be motivated, probably lightly irked that he's being placed in the “steppingstone” spot, for a heralded up n comer. There will be trading in this lightweight face-off, but yeah, Vargas probably doesn't have the power to keep Jose off of him. BUT…Jose hasn't been in with anyone near as experienced/crafty and probably stubborn as Vargas, who will look to catch him with his hands down.
And that Cody Crowley v Josesito Lopez fight on the Errol Spence v Yordenis Ugas card–it figures to be “fan friendly.” Crowley, a 29 year old Canadian lefty, isn't too well known, despite being 20-0, because his best name win comes over Kudratillo Abdukakorov, then 18-0, in December. It might be that “The Riverside Rocky” elongates his career that much more by showing Crowley about levels. Yes, Josesito is 38 in July. Yes, his record (38-8) is not gleaming. Yes, Lopez hasn't fought since a December 2020 win over Francisco Santana, via TKO10. But, he whacked Santana about in that last affair, and sent “Chia” to the retirement hammock. Crowley “only” has 9 KOs, but he's in your face, with volume. Yeah, this feels like the old dog could maybe show his bark and bite are still something to be respected.
The Errol Spence-Yordenis Ugas card action unfolds at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in a Premier Boxing Champions event. The pay-per-view telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, with the Cruz v Gamboa bout. You can order it right here, off PPV.com.
NOTE: Preceding the PPV Showtime will show bouts, including WBA welterweight champion Radzhab Butaev and against contender Eimantas Stanionis. The 14-0 Russian (age 28) took his crown off Jamal James in an upset last October.
This looks even on paper, as the 13-0 Lithuanian, age 29, has faced similar level competition. Butaev is a Captain Caveman type, good pop, solid chin, aggressive manner. Stanionis has the more refined style, he also likes to come forward, will he be able to keep the fight at a certain pace and tone so his basics can play out as an obvious asset?
The telecast before the Errol Spence v Yordenis Ugas main card on “regular” Sho starts at 7 p.m. ET, with power hitter Brandun Lee taking on Brooklyner Zachary Ochoa (click here to read Abe Gonzalez story on Ochoa) in a super lightweight tango. Ochoa could well be the toughest test Lee has had, on paper. The 24-0 Lee, a Cali resident, has above average power. He looks benign but checks and wrecks chins, he has 22 stops to his credit.
Ochoa has a fine record, 21-2, but he's been hindered by not getting enough work. He comes in off a loss, to Juan Velasco in February 2021, didn't fight in 2019, and just once in both 2020 and 2021. Trainer Breadman Edwards has made Ochoa, a really good kid who deserves a decent break his way, for the time and effort he's given the sport, aware that Lee can be hurtful with a straight right but that he will also loop it.