Monday, March 20, 2023  |


Derrick James and Errol Spence Jr: Poised to win

Photo credit: Tom Casino/Showtime

The Texans arrived in England May 15, so they’ve had a good long spell of acclimating ahead of the May 27 clash pitting young smasher Errol Spence Jr. against the more seasoned Brit Kell Brook.

As of late, Brook (36-1, 25 knockouts) had his rep burnished but his record besmirched by choosing to head up to middleweight to take on the hard-hitting Gennady Golovkin.

Spence and teacher Derrick James were in Bolton and treated well, the tutor told early last week.

“We are still sparring and just working and strategizing,” said James, gunning for BWAA Trainer of the Year honors, as he also oversees Jermell Charlo, a bad man and WBC titlist at 154 pounds. “We are being received very well by the British people.”

Their eyes are on the prize, which is Brook’s strap, the IBF welterweight bauble. I asked before the Saturday tango featuring THE RING Magazine/WBC/WBO junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford versus Felix Diaz, possibly a future super-fight foe for Spence, if Team Spence had an message for “Bud” and company.

“Nothing,” James answered, his eyes (and mouth) pinned to the lane that sees Brook at the finish line. “I would say to just continue to do (Crawford’s) best and keep winning!”

Then I checked in again, as decision day drew closer, as Saturday crawled closer. How certain is James that Spence will leave England still unbeaten?

“I won’t gauge my feeling of degrees but I know who Errol Spence Jr. is,” he said. “That means my full confidence is in him and myself to be successful on Saturday night.”

My take: Not real surprised. I see a breakdown along flag lines when polling fans and experts on whom they think takes the Brook-Spence bout, which unspools on Showtime in the U.S. Americans think Spence’s power will give Brook “GGG” flashbacks, while Brits foresee Spence getting exposed as a hype job. You tell us in the comment section who wins and why.






As decision day draws closer, as Saturday crawls closer, Michael Woods employs new breathing and calmness methods to help survive another nutzoid boxing weekend. After last Saturday, we probably all need ’em.




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