By Chris Williams: Tim Bradley says he’s got some concerns about the surgically repaired right eye of Errol Spence Jr, and he feels that it might not ever be the same.
Bradley states that once a fighter has eye surgery, his eye is never the same. Spence suffered his eye injury last summer while training for a fight in August against Manny Pacquiao.
Although Spence did have surgery to repair the problem, he hasn’t fought since, and there are questions about whether he can come back.
In IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence’s case, he’s got a tough fight coming up against WBA champion Yordenis Ugas in April. If his eye still gives him problems, he could lose that fight.
If Spence loses to Ugas, the Cuban fighter will surely face WBO 147-lb champion Terence Crawford for the undisputed championship.
Ugas already sent the 42-year-old Pacquiao into retirement after stepping in as a replacement opponent for the Filipino star last August. Will Ugas send Spence into retirement too?
Spence overwhelms counter-punchers
“Errol Spence and Yordenis Ugas are on a collision course for March or April,” said Max Kellerman on Max on Boxing. “Ugas, of course, beat Manny Pacquiao.
“He’s a good boxer, and a lot of people thought beat Shawn Porter and didn’t get the decision, but Errol Spence is a next-level super fighter. How do you see this one?”
“Yeah, he is a next-level supertype of fighter, I believe that, but I still think he’s running from Terence Crawford, to be honest with you,” said Tim Bradley.
“How do I see this fight? It’s a tough fight but an easier fight than Terence Crawford. Yordenis Ugas, he’s a waiter. He’s a counter puncher.
“We’ve seen Errol in the ring against counter punchers. Danny Garcia was a counter puncher, and Mikey Garcia was a counter puncher. We’ve seen what he [Spence] can do against those types of guys.
“He can orchestrate his jab from the outside. He can dominate from the outside, and he can come around the guards of these guys. He can dictate the pace. That’s what he’s going to do against Ugas,” said Bradley.
Counter punchers only do well if they can hurt their opponents or get them to slow down their work rate to a trickle, and I’m not sure that’s going to work for Ugas against Spence.
His punch resistance is too high, and he’s not going to ease off with his offense to give him an advantage. Crawford is in the same boat as Ugas in that he’s strictly a counterpuncher who doesn’t throw a lot of shots.
If Crawford and Spence ever fight, we could see Terence getting riddled to pieces with the high-volume punching from Errol.
Bradley worried about Spence’s eye
“My only concern is in this fight is the eye [of Spence],” said Bradley about Spence’s surgically repaired torn retina. “You got to understand. You can have no hands; you can have no feet.
“You got to have eyes to be able to see inside the ring, and when one of your lenses is messed up, you got to understand that tells your brain what you’re seeing. Your eyes are telling your brain what you’re seeing.
“So, I think with Spence; I’m worried about his eye. It’s not going to be 100%,” said Bradley. “Once you get surgery on something, it’s never the same. It’s different.
“Going into this fight, I worry about coordination and how he’s feeling and how he’s seeing, and all these things are affected by his vision. So, I think it’s going to be a good fight,” Bradley said.
It’s too early to know if Spence’s eye will give him issues against Ugas, but this will be an easy fight for Errol if it doesn’t. Ugas’ low work rate will put him at the mercy of Spence, and he’ll end up getting knocked out.
Ugas can’t be patient and wait
“I think Spence will come up on top, but I think it’s a challenging fight for him in that sense. Stylistically, I think his style favors against Ugas,” said Bradley.
“You bring up a good point about counter-punchers, but it brings up another good point about how good Spence is if he’s still his best,” said Kellerman. “If you try to be patient and counter, he has a high work rate.
“We’ve him dominate good boxers by outboxing them on his defense and southpaw jab. We’ve seen him hunt guys down. So, he has good boxing skills, he’s a southpaw, he’s long and rangy, he has fast-twitch [fibers] hands and feet, he has real punching power, and he doesn’t wait.
“He has a high output, and he also has a good chin,” Kellerman said about Spence. “It’s a whole lot of, but, yes, Terence Crawford is the best matchup [for Spence].
“He’s a harder fight than Godzilla. Terence Crawford is the truth,” said Kellerman in pumping up one of ESPN’s house fighters.
It’s nice that Bradley and Kellerman spent the last portion of their discussion pumping up the ESPN house fighter Crawford, but the fact is, he’s just as vulnerable to getting outworked by Spence as the counter-punching Ugas.
Crawford is a slightly smaller and weaker version of Ugas, and he has the same counter-punching style with a low work rate. Terence has always been a counter puncher, which is why he’s failed to gain much traction with boxing fans.
Counter punchers are often boring to watch because they don’t lead, and they spend too much time waiting to land a single counter. Counter punchers are painfully dull to watch compared to fighters who press the action and throw combinations.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news to Bradley and Kellerman, but Crawford is turning 35 soon, and he’s being pursued by the young lions Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis and Vergil Ortiz Jr.
There will be a time shortly where Crawford will be forced to fight Boots and Ortiz. Those guys will take advantage of Crawford’s advanced age and his inability to lead when that happens.
Kellerman and Bradley have been building up an image in their heads about Crawford that doesn’t exist in reality by seeing him as this unbeatable phenom. He’s a good fighter, but he’s never fought anyone talented at 147 since moving up to the division in 2018.
It’s one thing for Bradley and Kellerman to be praising Crawford if he’d been actually beating A-caliber opposition at 147, but he’s NEVER done that.
All the guys that Crawford has beaten at 147 are fighters that would lose to many of the welterweights in the top 10.
I can’t think of anyone that Crawford has fought at welterweight that would last more than three rounds against Boots Ennis or Vergil Ortiz.
When you hear Bradley and Kellerman banging on about how Crawford is the #1 guy at 147, they’re guessing. They don’t know because Crawford has never fought anyone talented at welterweight, and he may never will.
Crawford’s opposition at 147:
- Amir Khan
- Kell Brook
- Jose Benavidez
- Shawn Porter
- Jeff Horn
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
None of those guys that Crawford has fought at 147 are relevant in this day and age, which is why Bradley and Kellerman have no way of knowing if Terence is the #1 fighter.
Based on how Crawford struggled against the shell of Porter, Chris Williams picks these fighters to beat him:
- Yordenis Ugas
- Errol Spence Jr
- Vergil Ortiz Jr
- Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis