Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman says he saw flaws in Errol Spence Jr’s game in his victory last Saturday night against Yordenis Ugas.
The former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman noted that Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) showed that he’s unclear on the rules of the sport when he made the mistake of turning around to pick up his mouthpiece in the sixth round when Ugas knocked it out with a hard shot.
When Spence turned his back on Ugas, Thurman says the Cuban fighter took advantage of it by hitting him a couple of times with a “penalty shots,” but he was still a gentleman about it by not going all out the way some fighters would if their opponents turned their backs on them.
As Thurman notes, Ugas’ decision to hit Spence when his back was turned in the sixth round was what “woke up the dog’ in him, because in the next round [seventh], Errol loaded upon an uppercut, which fractured his right orbital bone.
From that point on, the fight was a full rout with Spence bombarding the injured Ugas with nonstop mortar fire one after another, and it was all the WBA champion could do to defend against that onslaught.
Ugas was no longer fighting back and was totally focused on trying to cover up until the fight was halted in the tenth.
‘ONE TIME’ SAYS SPENCE LOOKED SLOW
“Without a high output, Spence came marching in,” said Keith Thurman to PBC Podcast on Errol Spence’s win over Yordenis Ugas. “I think he’s an excellent tempo-based fighter from what I saw last Saturday night, and he showcased his skills and his talent once again and pretty much pitched a shutout.
“I thought Ugas was slower,” continued Thurman. “He has full confidence, he knows what to do. He trains a certain way to execute that tempo and style of his,” Thurman said of Errol.
“When you let him get off, he’s not going to hesitate, and he’s proven that in the past. That’s where his man-down philosophy comes from because he’s going to keep marching in on you, and marching in and marching in.
“I forget which round he said, but his coach [Derrick James] said, ‘You’re going to have to put in work to get this done tonight,’ and Spence listened and they got the victory he was looking for.
“I don’t think there are a lot of questions of where Spence is at. He showed he’s a world-class fighter, and one of the best welterweights in the welterweight division today,” Thurman said.
ERROL PAID THE PRICE FOR MISTAKE IN 6TH
“A lot of people talk about it,” said Thurman about Spence appearing to be hurt by Ugas in the sixth round when his mouthpiece was knocked out.
“They mentioned that today in the gym. Somebody brought it today. It’s funny that ended up being the highlight. I don’t know where Spence’s head is at.
“We’re professional fighters, and we know the rules. Protect yourself at all times, and when the mouthpiece falls out, you continue to fight until the referee interjects.
“So we all know the principles, but for whatever reason, he felt it was his job to pick up his mouthpiece and know where it’s at. That look away cost him. A lot of spectators, a moment a fighter looks away, even the spectators know, ‘Oh, hit him.’
“He [Spence] got his check, he got his punishment for not paying attention and not protecting yourself at all times. Usyk came in with the one-two, boom-boom, and knocked him back into the ropes.
Technically, I like to say that you can almost argue that’s a knockdown. You’ve got to really look at it, but when the ropes hold you up, it’s a funny one. It kind of seemed like he might have been able to stay up, but he was falling backward and was knocked backward.
“I don’t think he was tremendously hurt, it woke him up, and I think Ugas was a gentleman by taking the penalty shot, but not really engaging 100%. ‘Wake up, we’re in a fight. What do you think you’re doing? We’re here, let’s continue this fight.
“It did his thing happen until the lull and the referee jumped in and put the mouthpiece back in. I think it was handled pretty well with the referee and everything,” Thurman said.
UGAS WOKE UP THE DOG IN ERROL
“Certain situations can happen. It woke up the dog in Errol Spence, and we’ve seen it in the past, and I think that shot was the turning point,” Thurman continued. “It woke up the dog and he [Spence] was already doing pretty good.
“He was not only going to get back to doing pretty good, but ‘now I’m going to put a little bit more on your behind.’ That’s what Spence started doing. That’s when in the following round, he busted the eye [of Ugas].
“So go ahead and hit Spence, but know that he’s got that fight-back, that bite-back. He wants to do damage right back at you.
“That’s the competitor in him, and anybody that steps in the ring with him just has to be prepared for that and continue to fight.
“The best thing to look for in my opinion is to look for an opponent’s weaknesses,” said ‘One Time’ Thurman about Spence. “There are different types of weaknesses. Errol didn’t look very weak.
“How do you look for weaknesses when someone is dominating? You’ve got to look for weaknesses in their strength. What do they do really well, and how can they do what they love to do be exploited,” said Thurman.
Credit: Boxingnews 24
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