Boxing Tonight: Spence Jr will learn PacMan's lessons against Ugas and Benn on course for Brook (2022)

“Boxing Tonight” isi‘s weekly look ahead to the Saturday night action in the UK and beyond, with the details on how to watch and what to look out for

In the battle between legend and Olympian, it took a gladiatorial effort from Yordenis Ugas to call time on Manny Pacquiao’s career. It was a fight that was not supposed to happen, only brought about by the withdrawal of Errol Spence Jr after a tear to his left eye, and despite PacMan being at the very end of his days in the ring, Ugas was not expected to trouble him too much.

If you ask the Filipinosenator, he was undone not just by his advancing years, but by cramps which limited his movement. He went as far as to describe Ugas as one of the easiest opponents he has faced and accused him of “only having one style”.

Yet those long jabs and quick right hands will now test one of the great pound-for-pound active fighters in Spence Jr, who is already a unified champion with the WBC and IBF welterweight belts.

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Video: Errol Spence Jr. Calls Out Terence Crawford After Ugas Win: "I'm Going To Take His Belt' | SHO PPV

Ugas, of course, holds the WBA title and while this is a unification bout which lacks the intrigue around previous contests in the division – including Pacquiao against Mayweather, or indeed Sugar Ray Leonard against Thomas Hearns – it could still have historic implications.

The fight fans are waiting for is Spence against Terence Crawford. It could happen later this year and whatever you say about Spence, he has never ducked boxing’s big guns.

From the destructive power he displayed against Kell Brook, to his recent victories over Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, there is no doubt Spence has earned his place as the No 2 ranked welterweight in the world.

Crawford will be one of the fights of the year, but first it will be a spectacle to see how well he copes with Ugas’ reserved stance – he threw only half of the shots Pacquiao managed but landed plenty.

Video: Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr. - The Fight of the Century!

There is also a residing mark against his popularity, which has been affected by that infamous car crash in 2019 when he was found to have been driving “at a high rate of speed” and was later charged with driving under the influence.

He has since spoken about suffering from PTSD but promises he is in good shape and that this fight “isn’t going 12 rounds”.

Spence Jr vs Ugas

  • Date:Saturday 16 April
  • Venue:AT&T Stadium, Arlington, USA
  • Fight time:Ring walks for the main event are expected around 4am UK time
  • TV/live stream:The only way to watch the fight live in the UK is on FITE online, with pay-per-view costing $14.99 (£11.47)
  • Undercard highlights:Radzhab Butaev takes on Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis for the WBA “regular” welterweight title
  • i predicts:Spence may have to feel his way into this fight but can expect to win by KO in the middle rounds

Full card:

  • Isaac Cruz vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa
  • Jose Valenzuela vs. Francisco Vargas
  • Cody Crowley vs. Josesito Lopes
  • Radzhab Butaev vs.Eimantas Stanionis
  • Brandun Lee vs. Zachary Ochoa

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Video: Errol Spence Jr vs Terence Crawford in 2022?

Benn vs Van Heerden

The big action in the UK comes from Manchester, where Conor Benn faces the South African southpaw Chris van Heerden.

Van Heerden is considered a huge underdog despite being a former IBO champion. The momentum is clearly with the British fighter after his fights againstChris Algieri, Adrian Granados and Samuel Vargas last year.

Benn is better off not looking too far ahead to a title shot or even to his next fight, which could come against Kell Brook. At any rate, Brook has hinted at retirement though the feeling is he has one more fight left in him – without reading too much into his comprehensive win over a rusty Amir Khan in February.

  • Date:Saturday 16 April
  • Venue:Manchester Arena, Manchester UK
  • Fight time:Ring walks for the main event are expected around 10pm
  • TV/live stream: DAZN, with subscriptions from £7.99 a month
  • Undercard highlights:Campbell Hatton will get a massive reception just as father Ricky always did in Manchester and he will want to fare better than he did at his last really major event on the undercard of Joshua-Usyk, though he won on the night. He’s won another two bouts since.
  • i predicts:Van Heerden has only been knocked out once in his career but he could face another here – Benn to win comfortably

Full card:

  • Chris Billam-Smith vs Tommy McCarthy
  • Campbell Hatton vs Lee Glover
  • Jordan Thompson vs Mariano Angel Gudino
  • Jack Cullen vs TBA
  • Thomas Whittaker-Hart vs Ben Ridings
  • Cyrus Pattinson vs Danny Mendoza
  • Luke Evans vs Miguel Cesario Antin

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Video: Errol Spence Jr vs Chris Algieri Full Fight Boxing HD New 2016

Any other business

There are two other boxing events in the UK on Saturday night, with promoters Boxxer hosting a lightweight tournament in Coventry headlined by Rylan Charlton and Joe Hughes. You can watch that on Sky Sports Action, while over on BT Sport 1 super-bantamweights Jason Cunningham and Terry Le Couviour fight in Shropshire.

However, the big news in British boxing this week concerns a hastily called press conference in which Dillian Whyte promised to break his silence ahead of his WBC title challenge against Tyson Fury.

Whyte spoke – but silence prevailed. With TopRank nominating members of the media to ask questions, a number of high-profile news and investigative journalists who wanted to ask Fury about his connections to former advisor Daniel Kinahan were overlooked.

Kinahan, who has been sanctioned by the US Treasury standing accused of leading a criminal cartel, is one of the most influential figures in the sport.

Video: Errol Spence Jr vs Terence Crawford 2021 MEGA-FIGHT

The case, and its murky implications for boxing, continues to loom over what is set to be a record-breaking fight at Wembley on 23 April.

Videos

1. Errol Spence Jr. vs Danny Garcia FULL FIGHT: December 5, 2020 | PBC on FOX PPV
(Premier Boxing Champions)
2. ALL ACCESS: Spence vs. Ugas | Ep. 1 | SHOWTIME PPV
(SHOWTIME Sports)
3. Errol Spence Jr. on 4/16 Yordenis Ugás SHOWTIME PPV, Terence Crawford Fight | The Last Stand
(SHOWTIME Sports)
4. Spence vs Vargas Full Fight: April 11, 2015 - PBC on NBC
(Premier Boxing Champions)
5. Spence vs Garcia FULL FIGHT: March 16, 2019 | PBC on FOX PPV
(Premier Boxing Champions)

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