The welterweight division has its biggest fight in three years this weekend as Errol Spence, Jr. and Yordenis Ugás face off to unify three of the four major championship belts. The last major unification bout came in 2019 when Spencer beat Shawn Porter to unify two belts.
Spence comes into this fight holding the IBF and WBC titles while Ugás holds the WBA “super” title. The fourth major belt is the WBO title and Terence Crawford currently holds it. Heading into this bout, Ring Magazine and ESPN rank the top three welterweights as Crawford, Spence, Ugás, while Bad Left Hook ranks the top of the division as Spence, Crawford, Ugás.
There is currently not an undisputed men’s welterweight champion. Since moving into the four-belt era of boxing, there have only been six undisputed champions across all weight classes. Those six champs include:
- Bernard Hopkins — middleweight — 2004
- Jermain Taylor — middleweight — 2005
- Terence Crawford — junior welterweight — 2017
- Oleksandr Usyk — cruiserweight — 2018
- Josh Taylor — junior welterweight — 2021
- Canelo Álvarez — super middleweight — 2021
The last time the men’s welterweight division had an undisputed champ was Zab Judah from February 2005 to January 2006. That came during the three-belt era of the WBA, WBC, and IBF. On the women’s side, Jessica McCaskill is the current undisputed welterweight champion.
The winner of Saturday’s bout between Errol Spence, Jr. and Yordenis Ugás opens the door for a unification bout with Terence Crawford to crown an undisputed champion. There could be a delay because Eimantas Stanionis stepped aside to let Ugás get the title bout with Spence. Stanionis is fighting on the undercard for the WBA “regular” title. It’s possible the Spence-Ugás winner will have to fight Stanionis before he can then fight Crawford.