Monday, October 02, 2023  |



Errol Spence Jr.’s goal to unify welterweight division in ’18, but first, Lamont Peterson

Fighters Network

Errol Spence Jr. is clearly one of boxing’s elite talents.

Now, he wants to prove it by beating the best next year.

First, he’s going to fight former titleholder Lamont Peterson on January 20 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Showtime. Peterson is a tough challenge for any world-class fighter, and Spence is facing the D.C. native in his first 147-pound title defense.

The bout figures to be the first high-profile bout of 2018, and with the way Peterson applies pressure, it should be a fun one.

“My goal is to unify the welterweight division in 2018, but this fight is a true test and Lamont Peterson is a veteran that I definitely will not overlook,” said Spence (22-0, 19 knockouts). “I sparred him in the amateurs and I know what he brings to the table. I have to get through him to achieve my goals and that is what I plan on doing January 20th.”

Spence won the IBF welterweight title with a breakthrough performance against Kell Brook across the pond in May. “The Truth” started slow, but eventually battered Brook and shattered his orbital bone en route to a 10th-round stoppage victory.

The 27-year-old southpaw has called out Keith Thurman time and again, but while the unified titleholder recovers from elbow surgery, Spence will sharpen his tools in hopes of securing the assignment later in 2018.

Peterson would be favored in many bouts, but not against the likes of Spence. The 33-year-old’s last defeat came in 2015 to Danny Garcia in a disputed decision defeat.

Peterson topped David Avanesyan in February, but hasn’t fought since, and will be coming off another long layoff.

“First off, I’m happy to be getting back in the ring,” said Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs). “I’ve stayed in the gym and I’m ready to go. This is a fight I wanted and as I said before when I became a welterweight, I want to fight the best and make the fights that people want to see. I’m ready to give it my all and give the fans a great show.”