AMERICAN boxer, Errol Spence Jr, says he wants a title fight when he returns to the ring in early 2022. He says that tune-up fights are for fighters that lack confidence in themselves, and he’s not in that position.
Still, Spence’s recent torn retina that he suffered last August while training for a fight with Manny Pacquiao is a bad enough injury to cast doubts on whether he can come back from it.
Going straight into a title unification fight might not be the wisest decision for Spence to be making.
Until the WBA upset his plans, the IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) hoped to face World Boxing Association ‘Super World’ champion, Yordenis Ugas, in a unification fight.
Instead, the WBA has ordered Ugas to defend against number one contender, Eimantas Stanionis, next as part of their four-person tournament to consolidate the titles at 147 within their organization.
Spence’s recent eye injury may be one of the reasons the WBA chose not to give Ugas the green light to face him in a unification fight. They may be looking out for Spence’s health by their decision to have Ugas take part in their four-fighter tournament.
Spence and Ugas aren’t happy at the WBA’s ruling, as they were planning on fighting on February 26 in a three-belt fight, but that’s not happening now.
Before Ugas is available to fight Spence in a unification, he’ll need to defeat the unbeaten Eimantas Stanionis (13-0, 9 KOs) before the end of the year. If Ugas is victorious, he’ll battle the winner of the October 30 fight between WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Jamal James and #4 WBA Radzhab Butaev in the first quarter of 2022 in March.
If Spence wants to fight in a unification match before Ugas is done with his 4-fighter tournament in 2022, he’ll need to take on the winner of the November 20 fight between WBO 147-lb champion, Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford and ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter.
Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) and Porter (33-3-1, 17 KOs) would jump at the chance to fight Spence in a unification fight. Porter has been after Spence for a rematch since losing to him by a narrow 12 round split decision two years ago in September 2019.
It’s possible that Spence would have entertained the idea of fighting Porter again if not for the terrible car crash he was involved in on October 10, 2019, in Dallas, Texas.
Spence was injured in the high-speed crash of his Ferrari 488 Spider. Spence has fought just once since the car crash, beating Danny Garcia by a 12 round unanimous decision in a lackluster performance last December.
Suppose Spence’s performance against Garcia is an indication of the level that he’s now fighting at. In that case, he’s not going to beat Ugas, Crawford, Porter, or any of the top welterweight contenders.
https://www.boxingnews24.com/2021/10/will-the-welterweight-division-have-a-unification-champion-soon/Moreover, Spence’s eye injury makes it even less likely that he’ll hold onto his IBF/WBC titles for much longer.