Pick It: TBRB #1 Errol Spence vs. #3 Yordenis Ugas (Saturday, Showtime PPV, 9:00 PM EST)

32-year old Errol Spence (27-0, 21 KO) has been known to make references to strap season. Already the WBC and IBF titlist, the 2012 US Olympian is returning from over a year out of the ring due to injury with an eye on one more strap. 35-year old Yordenis Ugas (27-4, 12 KO), a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist for Cuba and 2005 World amatuer champion, has the WBA belt and a four-fight win streak that includes retiring the great Manny Pacquiao.

Considering that many thought Ugas did enough to defeat Shawn Porter in 2019 and his could easily be a thirteen-fight win streak. This one has pedigree, stakes, and an interesting style clash. Tune in for the undercard on Showtime beginning at 7 PM EST for what could be the show stealer for the night when undefeated welterweights Radzhab Butaev and Eimantas Stanionis lock horns.       

Additional Shows to Watch For

Friday - Balogun vs. Marin (UFC Fight Pass, 8:30 PM EST)

Heavyweights highlight this main event. 38-year old Mike Balogun (18-0, 14 KO) isn’t really on anyone’s radar but he’s worth a look. His age might be an obstacle to long term success but the southpaw has quick hands and some pop. That can go a long way at heavyweight. 36-year old opponent Sergio Marin (20-7, 12 KO) has been stopped three times.

Friday - Villa vs. Garcia (YouTube, 10:50 PM EST)  

Featherweights headline on this Thompson Boxing card from Ontario, California. 24-year old Ruben Villa (18-1, 5 KO) makes his first start since 2020. Villa fell short in a crack at a vacant WBO title, losing but surviving two knockdowns to make it to the cards against the tough Emanuel Navarrete. Villa faces  

Saturday - #10 Benn vs. Van Heerden (DAZN, 2:00 PM EST) 

Sometimes, the kids can scrap. Boxing has seen plenty of fighter’s kids turn out not to be the goods but there are plenty that carry the family name well. Laila Ali and Cory Spinks come to mind. Tim Tszyu is doing interesting things right now. 25-year old welterweight Conor Benn (20-0, 13 KO) looks like one to watch as well. He might not ever be the thriller his father, Nigel Benn, was but that’s a high bar. The younger Benn is developing his game and nearing serious contention. 34-year old Chris Van Heerden (28-2-1, 12 KO) has been stopped only once, by Errol Spence in 2015. He should be a good veteran test for Benn. 

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com