Errol Spence Jr. calls out Kell Brook, Manny Pacquiao, Thurman after win
Errol Spence Jr. and promoter Lou DiBella called out every significant welterweight on Saturday night, basically daring them to get into the ring after Spence bludgeoned Chris Agieri at Barclays Center.
Heck, DiBella even dared Floyd Mayweather, Jr., to come out of retirement to face a young predator like Spence, who dropped Algieri (21-3, 8 knockouts) three times and nearly sent him through the ropes at 48 seconds of the fifth round before referee Benjy Esteves waved off the bout.
Now, it’s only a matter of whether those welterweights will accommodate Spence (20-0, 17 KOs) and comply with his wishes.
“What this guy just did is scary,” DiBella said at the post-fight press conference of the PBC on NBC bout. “The talent that he has, this guy’s ceiling is higher than anyone I’ve seen in a long, long, long time.”
Spence Jr. and DiBella said all the right things and named all the usual suspects – Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, who will face off in a couple months on June 25th at Barclays Center for Thurman’s welterweight title. Spence, who is from Desoto, Texas, envisions the welterweight division as a round-robin tournament where everyone is vying for the top spot.
“I think I’m in the top 5,” Spence said, sitting alongside DiBella. “I proved that I’m there with Keith Thurman and Amir Khan and Shawn Porter and Manny Pacquiao. I put on a performance that Manny Pacquiao didn’t do and Amir Khan didn’t do. They didn’t stop Chris Algieri.”
But the name that seemed to come up the most was No. 1 RING rated welterweight and IBF titleholder Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs). “Definitely I’ll take that fight next,” said Spence, who is ranked No. 7 by THE RING. “I’m the No. 1 contender (in the IBF), so I’m next up to fight Kell Brook and that’s what I’m looking for. And how that fight will go? I will win. Kell Brook is a good fighter but I believe in my abilities and I believe what I can do in the ring.”
DiBella wondered if the 29-year-old Brook would face Spence, given what he showed on Saturday against Algieri, who has now lost three of his last four. “Personally, I don’t think Kell Brook would want any piece of him,” DiBella said. “Is there anyone who thinks (another welterweight) would be a prohibitive favorite over him? Anyone? I don’t think there’s anyone. That’s pretty amazing. This man has the potential to beat anyone in the world today. Anyone.”
Spence said he would be willing to travel to the United Kingdom where Brook is from to face him. Spence traveled to Algieri’s backyard of New York on Saturday, though Spence was born in Long Island and still has family there. “If he comes here than I’ll fight him here,” Spence said of Brook. “If I have to go there then it is what it is. I’m not scared of Kell Brook. I’m not scared to go to England and bring the title back.”
Spence was asked if his next fight will be for a welterweight title. He deferred to his management team, led by Al Haymon but said he’d like to challenge for a title by the end of the year.
A lot was made of Algieri’s ability to survive against Manny Pacquiao after tasting the canvas six times. Against Spence, however, Algieri never was able to find his footing and avoid Spence’s onslaught – to the body and head. While Spence noted he outdid Pacquiao on Saturday, he also downplayed the accomplishment, clearly seeing himself as a step above Pacquiao, who said he was retiring after he beat Timothy Bradly earlier this month.
“It goes back to what my coach (Derrick James) said, ‘Manny Pacquiao – he’s a hard puncher. He’s quick but he lacks fundamentals,'” Spence said. “And that’s what I’m big on. I’m big on fundamentals because I can cut off the ring. I can vary my punches. That’s something Manny Pacquiao can’t do.”
If that didn’t sound like Spence trying to coax Pacquiao out of retirement, DiBella then issued a veiled challenge to both Thurman and Porter. Spence took the opportunity to question Thurman’s resume, saying the only notable name on it was Robert Guerrero. DiBella later said Amir Khan, who won a decision against Algieri, would have “zero” chance in topping Spence. He repeated “zero” again, as if Khan’s chances would be less than zero.
“For the time being, that’s the best fight you can make in the welterweight division,” DiBella said of Thurman-Porter. “And that’s June 25 and I’m sure (Spence) is going to be sitting ringside. But then the winner of that fight is going to have to look down into the crowd and see him.”
The crowd laughed. Spence smiled. And the possibilities seemed endless for Spence. Now, it’s only a matter if any of the other top welterweights are bold enough to face him.
Speedbag: Two of the three judges, Steve Weisfeld and Pasquale Procopio had Spence winning every round and leading 40-35 at the time of the stoppage. One judge, Frank Lombardi, had Algieri winning the first round and trailing 39-36 when the bout was stopped.