ERROL SPENCE JR admitted he made a ‘rookie mistake’ against Yordenis Ugas – by forgetting the golden rule in boxing.
Spence bested Ugas in ten rounds in his native Texas, adding the WBA welterweight title to his IBF and WBC belts.
But it came after a major scare for the undefeated American, who was injured in round six.
An uppercut from Ugas shattered Spence’s gumshield and landed on the floor.
But when the Texan stopped searching for his mouthpiece, Ugas continued hitting.
It sent Spence shaky-legged into the ropes and the unified champion was obviously injured.
But the referee soon stopped Ugas in his tracks so Spence could put his mouthguard back on.
Ultimately, it also gave him time to recover and the southpaw star did just that.
Spence flipped it over in the next round to injure Ugas himself, and by round ten the Cuban’s eye was so swollen that the fight was stopped.
The newly crowned three-belt welterweight champion was asked about the controversial game break.
Spence said: “Well I thought the referee said stop so I stopped and then he hit me with three or four shots.
“So that was my fault, that was a rookie mistake on my part. You should protect yourself at all times and I didn’t do that.
“I wasn’t on my feet, I turned to look for my mouthpiece and then he hit me and I was like, ‘Ah, s***’.’
“Then he just kept hitting me and I was like ‘Ah damn’. And when I put my hands up, he’d stopped anyway when the referee stepped in.
Spence recovered well and after defeating Ugas by stoppage, he called out Terence Crawford, 34, to an undisputed superfight.
He said: “Everyone knows who I want next, I want Terence Crawford next.
“This is the fight I want, this is the fight everyone else wants and like I said, I’m going to get those straps.
“I’ll go over there and take his s*** too.
“Terence, I’ve come for the damn belt.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/boxing/5141132/errol-spence-jr-yordenis-ugas-fight-referee/ “Rookie Mistake” – Errol Spence Jr. reacts to the Yordenis Ugas controversy as the referee stops action mid-attack