In his return to AT&T Stadium, Errol Spence Jr., will look to defend his two welterweight crowns and help himself to Yordenis Ugas’ WBA title. Check out our Spence-Ugas boxing picks ahead of Saturday’s marquee clash in Texas.
If there’s any venue worthy of hosting Errol Spence Jr.’s return from a 16-month layoff on Saturday, it’s AT&T Stadium - home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. The Texas resident will aim to defend his WBC and IBF welterweight crowns in front of a hometown crowd opposite WBA titleholder Yordenis Ugas.
Spence hasn’t seen any action since he defended his straps with a unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia in December 2020. A successful return wouldn’t just add a WBA belt to his immaculate resume, it would also bring a long-awaited clash with undefeated WBO champ Terence Crawford closer to fruition.
Of course, Spence will first have to get past Ugas, a seasoned and cagey veteran who has won four straight bouts over the past three years. He most recently defended his WBA title against Manny Pacquiao in August. A former Olympian who left Beijing with bronze in 2008, Ugas has since become a welterweight fixture on the pro circuit. He meets Spence on arguably his biggest stage yet with 27 wins to his name in 31 walks to the ring.
Will Spence remain unbeaten and claim his third welterweight crown, or will Ugas spoil the prodigal son’s return to his home state?
Here are my Spence-Ugas picks and predictions for Saturday’s marquee welterweight boxing match (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Spence vs. Ugas Fight Info
Date/Time: Saturday, April 16, 9 p.m. ET (main card)TV: Showtime PPVLocation: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Spence vs. Ugas Odds Analysis
Spence opened as a heavy favorite on the strength of his pristine pro record, and he remains one as of Thursday morning. PointsBet lists him at a comfortable -625. Even at the -550 line offered at FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, and DraftKings Sportsbook, a worthwhile payout on a Spence win would require a considerable ante. Although he went the distance in each of his last three fights, a bet on a stoppage victory could make things interesting.
Spence has dispatched 21 of his 27 pro conquests by stoppage, and FanDuel has a 22nd at an enticing +230. As for his dance partner, Ugas has left his fights to the judges in 15 of his 27 wins. If an upset is in the cards, odds are it’ll come by decision, with DraftKings offering a line of +600 on an Ugas win on points.
Errol Spence Jr. Betting Profile
Unlike Ugas, Spence’s Olympic bid didn’t net him a medal, but he has been perfect in the ensuing near-decade as a pro. The hometown favorite claimed his first title with a knockout of Kell Brook in 2017. He added a WBC strap to his resume four fights later with a hard-fought split decision over Shawn Porter.
Spence has fought only once since his 2019 dogfight with Porter, but was quick to shrug off any signs of ring rust. He won via unanimous decision over Danny Garcia 14 months later. A clever southpaw who loves working the body and isn’t averse to making things ugly if need be, Spence has rallied from in-ring adversity and emphatically rebounded from lengthy layoffs over his stellar career. All of those wins came against quality competition.
Yordenis Ugas Betting Profile
After knocking around for 10 years as a pro, Ugas finally claimed his first world title with a split decision over Abel Ramos in late 2020. He has since defended the WBA throne with a unanimous verdict over the decorated Manny Pacquiao.
Though his resume lacks the more established names of Spence’s, the two welterweights do have a recent foe in common. Like Spence, Ugas fought Porter to a split decision in 2019, only for the verdict to go the other way. To his credit, the 35-year-old hasn’t taken an L since.
A patient, methodical puncher who shares Spence’s love of working the body, Ugas’ cagey habits have a way of turning many opponents gun-shy. That makes this matchup with Spence’s high output all the more fascinating.
Spence vs. Ugas Picks
To win: Spence (-550) ????Winning method: Spence on points (-125) ???
Spence vs. Ugas Predictions
Spence to win (-550)
Fireworks may be hard to come by once these two take the ring. Ugas has never been one for throwing volume, often preferring to take the center, bide his time, and pick his shots. Unfortunately for the Cuban Olympian, Spence is as adept at pummeling the body as he is and, in all likelihood, will be the busier pugilist come fight night.
Should Ugas surprise us with a newfound sense of urgency, he’ll find Spence willing to engage in a firefight from the pocket and outlast him, just as he did Porter - albeit narrowly.
Spence on points (-125)
Rarely one for throwing volume, Ugas doesn’t give much away and is thus a tough nut to crack. As such, I expect Spence to remain the busier fighter through 12 rounds and get the judges’ nod on output over damage.
Odds are he’ll eat a shot or two to the midsection for his trouble, but I’m banking on Spence to ride his work rate and his poise under fire. He'll sweep the scorecards and earn an all-but-guaranteed date with Crawford for undisputed welterweight supremacy.
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Spence-Ugas picks made 4/13/2022 at 9:48 p.m. ET.