By Max Schramm: Andre Ward wants the winner of the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Yordenis Ugas welterweight unification fight to face WBO 147-lb champion Terence Crawford in their next contest.
Ward says he doesn’t want to hear the naysayer’s comments about a fight between Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) and IBF/WBC champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) won’t sell.
The problem is that the promoters would have to risk paying for the vast purses for a fight between ‘The Truth’ Spence and Crawford, and they could lose a lot of money in the process.
Crawford and Spence would both likely want $10 million each, and for those kinds of purses to be covered, it would need to bring in a lot of PPV buys.
It wouldn’t be a problem if one of the Middle Eastern countries were willing to plunk down a ton of money to make this fight happen, but that probably won’t happen.
When Crawford has fought on PPV, he’s done poor numbers, and there’s no way of predicting whether his numbers would be any better against Spence.
Ugas could upset the applecart
The time out of the ring, retinal eye surgery, and car crash has left the soon-to-be 32-year-old Spence in a position where he could lose to almost anyone at this point.
WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas has a real chance of winning this fight against this depleted version of Spence.
“It appears that Yordenis Ugas and Errol Spence will fight this spring. We all want to see Errol Spence fight Terence Crawford, right?” said Max Kellerman on Max On Boxing. “But can Ugas upset the applecart here?”
“Absolutely. Ugas, he’s got pedigree,” said Andre Ward when asked if Ugas can defeat IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence to prevent the Spence-Crawford fight from happening.
“For those who don’t know, he comes from the Cuban school of boxing, and that’s probably the hardest life for a fighter to live. You talk about fighters that live a Spartan lifestyle and go away for eight weeks to get focused.
“If you’re a Cuban fighter, your whole life is centered around winning, winning gold medals and winning world championships, winning Pan Am Championships. That’s it. That’s all it’s about.
“The training camp is called ‘The Farm,’ and that should speak enough to that. He’s got the pedigree,” said Ward about former Cuban National team star Yordenis Ugas. “He showed it against Shawn Porter, and he showed it against Manny Pacquiao.
“Some would say that ‘Oh, Manny was old.’ Manny was still dangerous. The old man was still dangerous, and you see the poise and see the boxing ability and mentality that Ugas and the skill that he brings to the ring.
“I’m happy that he’s getting his shot because it looked like the sanctioning bodies once again were going to shake him out of the situation to make him fight another fight to earn a shot.
“I’m glad they finally gave him his opportunity against Errol Spence, and I take my hat off to Errol Spence once again because no matter what Errol Spence goes through in his personal life, he always comes out and wants to fight the best.
“He’s not interested in a tune-up fight, and for that, my friend, you’ve got to respect him,” said Ward of Spence.
If Spence has been living it up, partying during the year that he’s been out of the ring, he could be asking for trouble against Ugas. The Cuban fighter lives a spartan lifestyle, and he’s not living it up with the millions he made in his last fight.
Ward insists Craword vs. Spence will sell
Andre Ward believes that the Crawford vs. Spence fight WILL do big numbers despite what PBC spokesman Tim Smith said recently.
Smith pointed out that Crawford’s track record on PPV was lacking and that with the money he would want to face Spence, it’s not a double fight.
“After that, the winner of Ugas and Spence, give me Terence Crawford. What are we waiting on?” said Ward.
“I have respect for Tim Smith, and I know he’s the spokesperson at PBC and he came out and started talking about Terence Crawford with the pay-per-view numbers.
“But nobody right now outside of one guy right now, and that’s Canelo Alvarez is doing 500, 600, 800, a million buys. So nobody can call themselves a pay-per-view star.
“What you can say about Terence Crawford is be it Madison Square Garden multiple times, and obviously, in his hometown [Omaha, Nebraska], and in Las Vegas, he’s done 10, 12, 14, 15 thousand. So you can’t say he’s not a draw.
“Errol Spence can’t do bigger numbers outside of anyone else than he can with Terence Crawford, and Terence Crawford can’t do bigger numbers than anyone else than Errol Spence. So stop telling me this fight won’t sell,” said Ward.
“Word. Let me tell you something. Let’s make it real clear everybody on what Andre just said,” said Kellerman. “If two guys want to fight, they’re going to fight.”