|Errol Spence vs Yordenis Ugas||Preview|
|Where||AT&T Stasium, Dallas|
|When||Saturday, April 23, 8pm ET|
AT&T Stadium, Texas, plays host to a high-stakes battle in the top echelon of the welterweight division as Errol Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) takes on Yordenis Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs).
With the unified WBC, IBF, and WBA titles on the line, the victor could rightfully stake their claim as the leader of the pack in a crowded welterweight division, with only the masterful Terence Crawford holding world-level honors elsewhere.
A +450 (18% implied probability) underdog here, Ugas comes into this bout off the back of a career-best win over the legendary Manny Pacquiao and, although the outsider status is warranted, his quality is now beyond dispute. Despite his four career defeats - most of which date back over a decade ago - the Cuban is a crafty, versatile fighter both inside the pocket and at mid-range.
In Spence, however, Ugas meets his toughest test yet, and it is no surprise to see the southpaw favored by the oddsmakers once again, as he has been for every one of his professional contests.
In the markets, the action leading up to Saturday has been firmly pro-Spence, with the Texas resident seeing considerable support over the past few days. Having first been listed as a firm, but not prohibitive, -400 shot when the match-up was first confirmed, the Spence price has collapsed since the beginning of fight week, with that opener now well in the rear-view mirror. Although there are still discrepancies across the industry, it looks likely that Spence will start in the range of -500 to -600 best price, with some firms going even further south — meaning that the man known as ‘The Truth’ has been tabbed as having around an 83 to 86% chance of extending his perfect record.
A key intangible could be the venue, and it’s advantage here to the adopted Texan. Over 16,000 fans attended his clash with Danny Garcia in December 2020, a figure eclipsed prior to the pandemic by the 47,000 that again packed into Arlington’s AT&T Stadium to see him outpoint Mikey Garcia. That kind of partisan support - in a familiar venue - could be crucial: each of Spence’s last three wins have come on the cards, and Ugas either being stopped, or scoring a knockout of his own feels unlikely.
Indeed, it’s been nearly four years since Spence won inside the distance and, injury and pandemic notwithstanding, longer still since he’s done so against an opponent of any real caliber. Carlos Ocampo, the last man not to hear the final bell against Spence, failed to make it out of even the first round in what was a gross mismatch from the off, with the A-side priced around -10000 to win by any means.
A stoppage win for Spence against Ugas is available at +225, or a 31% implied likelihood, but of more appeal - at least for those looking to side with the knockout - should be for him to win anywhere in the second half of the fight. Spence in rounds 7-12 is an interesting +400 (20% implied) and, excluding the potential Ocampo outlier, aligns neatly with Spence’s other most recent KO victims, with Lamont Peterson bludgeoned inside 7 rounds and Kell Brook in 11.
However, to put faith in an early night for Spence requires a disregard for both the formline and, to an extent, the ability - and durability - of Ugas. The most likely outcome feels like a fourth consecutive decision win for Spence, who might well box his way to a close, but relatively clear, points nod on his home turf in a fight that never really ignites. A price of -125 is much less exciting than the aforementioned +400 but, from this viewpoint, does have more than the 56% implied chance given to it by the layers.
Spence vs Ugas free pick
Errol Spence by decision (-125)
While it's still early days, the Spence vs Ugas full fight card is already ping up to be a good one. Here are the confirmed bouts far for the AT&T Stadium event in Dallas.
Errol Spence Jr vs Yordenis Ugas
Isaac Cruz vs Yuriokis Gamboa
Jose Valenzuela vs Francisco Vargas
Cody Crowley vs Josesito Lopez
Eimantas Stanionis vs Radzhab Butaev
Brandun Lee vs Zachary Ochoa
Spence vs Ugas is live and exclusive on PBC-Showtime PPV. It can be live streamed to your TV, smart phone or fire stick through those providers from 8pm ET.