Boxing’s Toughest Division the Welterweights Looking to Unify!
By Ken Hissner: Though a date has not been set, IBF and WBC World Welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr. 27-0 (21), out of Desoto, TX, and WBA Super World champion Cuban Yordenis “54 Milagros” Ugas, 27-4 (12), of Miami, FL, are in talks of the first of hopefully more unification bouts in 2022.
It’s been a year since Spence fought when he defeated former WBC champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, 36-3 (21), who also has not fought since. In August, Ugas defeated former WBA and WBO champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 62-8-2 (39), of General Santos City, PH, who talks retirement but is always in the mix.
With the defeats in December of No. 1, IBF ranked Kudratillo “The Punisher” Abdukakhorov, 18-1 (10), of UZB and Malaysia, to Canadian Cody “The Crippler” Crowley, 20-0 (9), of Las Vegas, NV, and former IBF and WBC world champion No. 2 IBF ranked Shawn “Showtime” Porter, 34-4-1 (17), of Las Vegas, NV, who was stopped by WBO champion Terence “Bud” Crawford, 38-0 (29), of Omaha, NEB, in November retiring Porter it is leaving the No. 1 spot in the IBF open. Crawford talks about moving up in weight for now.
The No. 1 IBF spot should be given to No. 3 ranked Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 28-0 (26), of Philadelphia, PA, the most feared contender in the division. In October, Ennis scored a sensational first round knockout of Thomas Dulorme, 25-6-1 (16), of Puerto Rico.
Dulorme was coming off back to back decision losses to WBA No. 1 ranked Eimantas Stanionis, 13-0 (9), Lithuania, who in August was in a no-decision with former WBA champion Luis Collazo, 39-8 (20). In April, Ennis also stopped former IBF light welterweight champion Sergey “Samurai” Lipinets, 16-2-1 (12), of KAZ.
The other loss by Dulorme was to former WBA champion Jamal “Shango” James, 27-2 (12), of Minneapolis, MN, who lost to Radzahab “No Mercy” Butaev, 14-0 (11), of Russia, by stoppage in October.
Also in the mix are WBC and WBO No. 1 ranked Vergil Ortiz, Jr., 18-0 (18), of Grand Praririe, TX, who fought twice in 2021, stopping former WBO light welterweight champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker, 27-2-3 (18), in March. Then in August, Ortiz stopped Egidijus Kavaliaukas, 22-2-1 (18), of Lithuania, in defense of his WBO International title.
Always in the mix is former IBF light welterweight champion Mikey Garcia, 40-2 (30), of Moreno Valley, CA, ranked No. 3 by the WBO in October though stopped by EBU Euro champion Sandor Martin, 39-2 (13), of Spain.
Former WBA and IBF champion Keith “One Time” Thurman, 29-1 (22), of Clearwater, FL, who hasn’t fought since July of 2019, losing to Pacquiao, is scheduled to fight Mario “El Azteca” Barrios, 26-1 (17), of San Antonio, TX, in February. Barrios is coming off a stoppage loss to WBA lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis in June.
No. 3 ranked WBA contender Abel Ramos, 27-4-2 (21), of Casa Grande, AZ, is also in the mix, coming off a stoppage of Omar “Panterita” Figueroa, Jr., 28-2-1 (19), in May. Ramos is scheduled to fight No. 10 ranked WBA contender Josesito ”The Riverside Rocky” Lopez, 38-8 (21), of Riverside, CA, in February.
Others in the mix are No. 3 WBC ranked David “Ava” Avanesyan, 28-3-1 (20), of Russia and the UK, who won twice in 2021, stopping Josh “Pretty Boy” Kelly, 10-1-1, in February and Liam “Dynamo” Taylor, 24-2-1, in October.
No. 4 ranked WBO contender Michael “The Problem” McKinson, 21-0 (2), of the UK, won twice in 2021. He stopped Chris “2Slick” Kongo, 12-1, in March and defeated Przemyslaw Runowski, 19-2, in August. Two impressive wins.
WBA interim champion Gabriel Maestre, 4-0 (3), of VZ, in December, stopped contender Mykal “The Professor” Fox, 22-3. Former champions IBF light welterweight Amir “King” Kahn, 34-5 (21), of UK, and IBF champion Kell “Special K” Brook, 39-3 (27), of the UK are scheduled to fight in February. The winner could fight upcoming prospect and No. 7 WBC contender Conor “The Destroyer” Benn, 20-0 (13), of the UK.
So as you can see, the welterweight division is full of possibilities and unification bouts. The best bet to end 2022 is a bout between top welterweight Crawford and Ennis, defeating the winner of Spence and Ugas.
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- Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford in the works for October – Danny Garcia previews
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