Yordenis Ugas is holding his head high despite coming off one of the toughest defeats of his boxing career

The former WBA welterweight champion is proud of what he showed the world in his 10th-round TKO loss to Errol Spence Jr. in a title-unification fight in April. Ugas lost his belt and suffered a broken orbital bone in the process, which he said forced the ring-side physician to stop the action.

Ugas is pleased with himself for fighting through the pain of his injury as long as he did.

“To me, it was a great fight against one of the best five or six fighters in the world,” Ugas told Boxing Junkie in Spanish. “I fought well, and it was competitive until the seventh round. We were putting up a competitive fight. I had won two or three rounds.

“In round seven, he connected well, and he broke my orbital bone. I’m very proud. In the last few years, fighters who’ve had that injury, undefeated world champions, they’ve fallen out, the pain beat them. I fought four more rounds. Seven, eight, nine and 10 with that serious injury on my right eye.

“I was ready to fight to the end, but the referee stopped the fight. I’m proud and happy of all the support I’ve gotten. I’ve gotten a lot of respect from the world of boxing. I’m happy and proud.”

Ugas gives credit to Spence, who was leading 88-82, 88-82 and 88-83 after nine rounds. He wouldn’t say whether he believes he would’ve won had he not suffered the injury. However, he’s certain it would’ve been a fun fight.

“You never know what could happen,” Ugas said. “You don’t talk about what could’ve happened, that’s part of boxing. The best man won, which was Spence. But I was there, giving him a competitive fight, and I was solid.

“I worked hard and was ready for the second half of that fight. In the sixth, I had a great moment. I think it would’ve been a great fight. I can’t say if I would’ve won or not, I can’t speak on that, and that’s not valid because the fight happened. But it would’ve been a great fight, we would’ve seen a great second half to that fight.”

Ugas expects to be out for the rest of the year as he recovers from his injury. He feels good in the healing process, and believes there’s still big fights ahead in the future.

“I’m at the elite level, like I told you,” Ugas said. “I want to get the biggest fight possible. I want to fight the best. I’ve fought against future Hall of Famers, against Crawford in amateur, against Porter, Paquiao and Spence in the last nine months.

“I’m fighting the best, and I want to continue down that same line. Like I’ve said, Spence is one of my biggest motivations. He was able to recover from an accident and then a surgery on his eye. I’m doing the same now, I’m recovering, and we’ll see.

“God willing, I still have some big nights left in my career.”