Former two division champion Timothy Bradley is backing Errol Spence to overcome Yordenis Ugas in their upcoming unification showdown.
On Saturday night, Spence and Ugas will collide for the WBA, WBC, IBF welterweight titles at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Showtime PPV will carry the event.
Ugas is coming off the biggest win of his career, a dominant twelve round unanimous decision win over future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao.
In order to beat Spence, Bradley explains that Ugas must utilize some of the same tactics that he used in his last outing.
"He needs to be the same fighter against Spence. Ugas needs to be the same defensive-minded fighter who made Pacquiao pay every time he made a mistake. Ugas is an excellent counter puncher and a better body puncher than Spence. On the inside, Spence is deadly to the body, but as far as setting up his counter and going to the body, I think Ugas is a better body puncher, believe it or not," Bradley told ESPN.
"In transition, Ugas is also a better fighter than Spence, because he can punch, play defense and punch again without breaks. Meanwhile, Spence will start things with the jab, then when punches come back at him, he would default to the high guard and block shots, but he won't punch until his opposition has finished punching. Then he will punch again. He won't look for opportunities to punch in between his opponent's shots. That's a rarity for a fighter like Spence. He's more of a get in and get out fighter, and he neutralizes a lot of guys' offense with his jab, constantly landing it. But what happens when he's facing someone who also has as good a jab and can regulate distance and win the positional battle -- as in, keeping the lead foot on the outside? That's what you need to control, the lead foot outside when you fight a southpaw, especially Spence, because that's when Spence is vulnerable, when his lead foot is on the inside."
But, at the end of the day, Bradley expects Spence to come away with the win - and three world titles around his waist.
AT the same time, he doesn't see a stoppage.
Bradley is tabbing Spence to walk away with a twelve round decision win.
"I'm picking Spence to win. If Spence can use his power and volume punching to make Ugas defensive-minded, he will beat him. Spence needs to throw combinations. Not one shot, not two shots, because that will give Ugas a chance to counter those shots. If he throws three or four crisp shots with technique, he will be able to neutralize much of Ugas' offense. Spence wins this fight by stepping up to him, high offense, a lot of volume, especially to the body, catch and shoot. Keep Ugas, who has the shorter legs, off balance by constantly punching," Bradley said.
"In his fight against Pacquiao, Ugas was able to land the harder and more impactful punches, which is why he got the win. If he plans on beating Spence, he will have to force Spence to make mistakes and get reckless. Unfortunately for Ugas, that is the exact opposite way Spence fights.
Spence will be the bigger and faster fighter, and he will be a stylistic nightmare for Ugas. Look for Spence to control the distance and stay behind his jab, not allowing Ugas to counter anything. Unless Ugas lands something big, I see Spence working the body throughout the 12 rounds and getting the unanimous decision win."