ARLINGTON, Texas – About an hour after Errol Spence Jr. made it clearer than ever that he wants to fight Terence Crawford, the unbeaten IBF/WBA/WBC welterweight champion wasn’t about to begin negotiating during his post-fight press conference.
Spence is confident that their representatives will get together soon enough and ultimately come to an agreement for them to finally fight later this year. The 32-year-old Spence’s 10th-round stoppage of Yordenis Ugas early Sunday morning at AT&T Stadium ensured that if he and Crawford indeed met in the ring that the winner would be crowned boxing’s first fully unified welterweight champion of the four-belt era.
Though Spence previously has stated publicly that he deserves a greater percentage of the pot for a pay-per-view showdown with Crawford, he’ll leave the number crunching to adviser Al Haymon and whoever will negotiate on Crawford’s behalf now that his promotional contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. has expired.
“I’m not gonna talk about what’s gonna be fair for both of us,” Spence said during the press conference. “You know, that’s for the guys in suits to go over all the little analytics and stuff like that and, you know, see what, you know, we both bring to the table. And then, you know, sort it out like that. So, you know, he got his people that, you know, take care of his business. I got my people. You know, they’ll meet up and, you know, it’ll make sense.”
Spence emphasized that, for all the criticism he has taken for the Crawford fight failing to materialize to this point, he is following the plan he divulged long ago. The DeSoto, Texas, native previously stated that he wanted to win all of the welterweight titles available on his proverbial “side of the street,” a reference to his affiliation with Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, before he would fight Crawford, the WBO champion.
“I mean, I already said what I said when I was in the ring,” Spence said in reference to what he told Showtime’s Jim Gray in the ring. “And I been saying it this whole week, during [press events] and everything. I said, ‘It’s main strap season. I got one more belt to get and, you know, after I get through with Ugas, I’m coming at Terence Crawford.’ So, y’all already know what time it is.”
The left-handed Spence overcame troublesome moments in the sixth round Saturday night, when Ugas knocked out his mouthpiece with a right hand. Spence then thought referee Laurence Cole called for a break, let his guard down and allowed Ugas to drill him with a left-right combination that knocked Spence backward, into the ropes.
That sequence seemingly motivated Spence to fight harder for an adoring hometown crowd announced at 39,946.
The 2012 U.S. Olympian quickly regained control of their title unification bout in the seventh round and eventually closed Ugas’ right eye entirely. Spence won by 10th-round TKO when a physician for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation determined Ugas shouldn’t continue in their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event.
Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) recorded his first stoppage since he knocked out overmatched Mexican contender Carlos Ocampo, the IBF’s mandatory challenger, in the first round of their June 2018 bout at The Ford Center at The Star in nearby Frisco, Texas. The Cuban-born Ugas (27-5, 12 KOs) lost inside the distance for the first time in a pro career that has spanned almost 12 years.
An energized Spence wasted little time in the aftermath of his impressive victory in calling out Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs), a three-division champion from Omaha, Nebraska.
“Everybody know who I want next,” Spence told Gray. “I want Terence Crawford next.”
Gray then asked, presumably because their fight has been discussed for almost four years, whether Spence could make the Crawford fight happen.
“Oh, definitely,” Spence replied. “That’s the fight that I want. That’s the fight everybody else want. Like I said, I’m gonna get these straps and I’m gonna go over there and take his sh*t, too.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.