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Errol Spence Jr vs Yordenis Ugas now approved by WBA, unification fight expected in early 2022

Errol Spence Jr and Yordenis Ugas will unify their three belts after all.

Errol Spence Jr and Yordenis Ugas will meet in a three-belt welterweight unification
Errol Spence Jr and Yordenis Ugas will meet in a three-belt welterweight unification
Jayne Kamin-Oncea and Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Errol Spence Jr and Yordenis Ugas will meet in a three-belt welterweight title unification after all, with the fight now expected to come in the first quarter of 2022.

Spence holds the WBC and IBF titles, and was set to face Manny Pacquiao when Pacquiao held the WBA belt in the summer of 2021. That fight was scrapped when Spence came up with an eye issue that required surgery, and Yordenis Ugas stepped in, beating Pacquiao to take the belt.

The WBA originally denied Ugas’ request for a fight with Spence, as they had Eimantas Stanionis waiting as mandatory challenger. Now, with Stanionis willing to step aside, WBA President Gilberto J. Mendoza has confirmed that Spence-Ugas is approved.

It’s also expected now that Stanionis will face Radzhab Butaev, which is also a good fight, and really the most logical actual path here, with the Stanionis-Butaev winner guaranteed a proper WBA title shot in the future.

Spence (27-0, 21 KO) hasn’t fought since his Dec. 2020 win over Danny Garcia, which was his first fight since Sept. 2019, as Spence had pretty significant injuries after a single-car accident that could easily have ended his career if not his life.

Ugas (27-4, 12 KO) has fought his way into a top welterweight spot after nearly seeing a promising career go nowhere with losses to Emanuel Robles and Amir Imam in 2014, and you love to see a guy who’s just worked hard and won fights he wasn’t supposed to get an opportunity like this. It doesn’t happen as often as it should.

You can expect Spence-Ugas to be a FOX pay-per-view from Premier Boxing Champions, and while it does once again put a potential Spence vs Terence Crawford fight on the backburner, there is at least some kind of method here, in theory. If Spence wins here, he has three belts, and the only one left would be Crawford’s WBO title. We could see Spence-Crawford — or Crawford-Ugas! — for all the marbles at 147 lbs by the end of 2022.