Crawford, who was not at ringside, live-tweeted Saturday’s main event and ended his social media session with a trashy speech aimed at raising anticipation for a fight that boxing fans wish for a long time.
“Keep my belts warm,” Crawford tweeted at Spence. “I’m picking them up later this year.”
From a purely competitive standpoint, a matchup between Spence and Crawford, widely considered the two best fighters in the welterweight division, has long made sense. But professional boxing is also a business, which complicated the pairing of the two fighters. Spence is lined up with Premier Boxing Champions, while Crawford, through November, has been signed with rival promotional team Top Rank.
But now Crawford is a free agent and Spence’s stock is rising after his emphatic victory. Spence, who is 28-0, might not enjoy the mainstream fame of some of his welterweight predecessors, like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao, but he is selling pay-per-views and tickets – 39,946 spectators have attended the Saturday card.
“When we look at the history with Errol Spence, he’s pretty reliable at least 300,000 buys,” Stephen Espinoza, president of Showtime Sports, Saturday’s pay-per-view partner, said in a pre-fight interview. “He grosses at least $20 million every time, just in pay-per-view revenue. He’s an elite figure.
Spence also delivers action.
Early in their fight, Ugás scored with jabs and right hands to the body, disrupting Spence’s advances and countering his big punches. But as the rounds went on, Spence found his rhythm and increased his production, robbing Ugás of clear chances to counter. Where Ugás landed midrange punches, Spence worked from the outside in, pushing with his right jab until he could get close enough to rip punches to the body and the head of Ugas.
In round 6, Ugás created enough space to land that heavy right hand. He thought, momentarily, that he had turned the fight around.
“I thought I had a chance there,” Ugás said in the ring after the fight. “But he’s a great fighter. He recovered.