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Boxing: All you need to know about Errol Spence Jr v Yordenis Ugas

Three welterweight belts are on the line when Errol Spence Jr and Yordenis Ugas take to the ring in Texas on Saturday.

Errol Spence Jr, the man who was supposed to take on Manny Pacquiao last summer before an eye injury scuppered that plan, against Yordenis Ugas, the man who stepped in at the last minute to replace Spence and duly beat PacMan, sending the Filipino legend into retirement.

Spence has had plenty of time for "what ifs", thinking about how things might have turned out differently if it had been him and not Ugas who had stepped into the ring with Pacquiao back in August.

But it always looked as though the paths of these two would cross at some time, the fight finally being sanctioned in February for the AT & T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Spence Jr v Ugas odds

With a 1/6 quote by his name, Errol Spence Jr is expected to successfully his WBC and IBF welterweight titles.

Ugas, three years Spence's senior at 35, is the WBA Super Welterweight world champ and at odds of 4/1, it's expected that he's going to be relinquishing his belt on Saturday night.

Spence Jr v Ugas - Where and When?

The fight between Spence Jr and Ugas tops an eight-bout card at the AT & T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the venue where Spence retained his WBC and ITF world titles in his previous fight in 2020, when he beat Danny Garcia on points.

The main card is due to start at around midnight on Saturday, with walk-ons for the main event not likely to be before 04:00.

What are the records of the fighters?

Spence Jr, the man they call The Truth, has been pretty much faultless throughout his pro career with a 27-0 record, including 21 knockouts.

A classy amateur who went pro after missing out on a medal at London 2012, he made his debut in November of that year, knocking out Jonathan Garcia in the third.

When Spence became the first boxer to stop Chris Algieri four years later he immediately called out then world champ Kell Brook, a fight which was eventually put on in 2017 and which the New Yorker won in the 11th.

He retained his IBF belt three more times before shackling WBC title holder Shawn Porter in a unification bout, a fight in which Spence was fearing defeat until he put Porter down in the 11th and claimed a split decision.

Ugas, in the rich tradition of Cuban fighters, stayed an amateur for far longer, not turning professional until he was 24.

The 35-year-old boasts a 27-4 record with 12 wins by knockout. He controversially lost his first title tilt, beaten by Porter on a split decision three years ago, but a year later saw off Abel Ramos to claim the WBA crown.

He then took care of the great Manny Pacquiao - stepping in for Spence, who couldn’t take the fight after requiring eye surgery - to set up this tear-up in Texas.

Spence Jr v Ugas - Who wins?

The odds say it's not far off a mismatch but at the very least pretty much everything is stacked in Spence's favour.

Ugas claimed one of those feather-in-the-cap moments when he took care of PacMan last summer, but that was a 42-year-old Pacquiao, who was heading out of the ring and into the politics.

This is a step up in class and southpaw Spence can stamp his authority.

He has the reach, the height and the power to take care of Ugas, and the value is probably the win by KO or TKO at 21/10.

He's taken care of 21 of his 27 previous opponents without needing to wait for the final bell and that stat may well read 22 of 28 by Sunday morning.

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